Thursday, September 3, 2015

Matt Clark's September Update

God has answered our prayers on the Denton campuses!

We have been asking all summer that God would prepare the hearts of students at UNT, TWU, and NCTC for the beginning of the school year when we attempt to meet as many as possible. I don't think I've ever seen so many people open to Christian community (believers and non-believers alike) as I have in the last few weeks! It's amazing.

At the University of North Texas many of the students have not only been open to starting new friendships, but have been very aware of the undeserved kindness extended to them. I've heard from many of our student leaders that the people they have invested time into have expressed their gratitude for this. Additionally, so many of the non-believers that our students have met are interested in being involved with our community!

We had about 200 students at our first two Friday Night Fellowship meetings this year at UNT!

A little blurry, sorry!

When I helped move new students in at Texas Woman's University, all but one was excited to be invited to check out our ministry. And even that one person was already connected to another ministry on campus! I was baffled by that since only two years ago this campus was plagued with a spiritual darkness that seemingly resisted our efforts at every turn. A lot of prayer has been lifted up toward TWU and God has clearly moved here.

A few student leaders, and several new students met during move in day at TWU!

With our new ministry plant at North Central Texas College we have mainly been "testing the waters" on campus. We had no idea what to expect. In comparison to the darkness we first experienced at TWU, there was nothing at NCTC - no dark spiritual powers nor a single Christian ministry (at their Corinth campus; I hear they have a great Christian representation at their main campus in Gainesville, 40 minutes north). This neutrality was interesting. Did Satan not see this community college campus worth his time? How many college ministries have you heard of at a community college after all? Many students are there for two years working on their associates degree before going to a university. So often these two years are seen as almost a waste of time, simply necessary to get to a school where their time will actually matter. But those two years matter and we can't ignore the students there! We want to be there to befriend whoever is open to spiritual friendships. We want to invest time making disciples even at the community colleges around us. We think that time is just as precious as any other time.

For the last two weeks a few staff and a handful of student leaders have spent a couple of hours each day playing games and hanging out with students on the NCTC Corinth campus. We had several students join us! Through that we've made some new friends. Right now we are just trying to build a community of friends and develop one-on-one relationships. In that context we plan to get to know these people, get a gauge of where they are spiritually, and slowly build the foundation of our new NCTC FOCUS ministry. Please be praying for God to be moving powerfully in this!

NCTC "Welcome Back Bash" - Bad Tattoos booth
Wade (left) is a new friend of ours and Ryan (right) is a student leader.

Another bad tattoo! Jon (left) is a student leader and Hector (right) is another new friend.
Here's our booth! Michael (a new friend I made at NCTC) is the one looking back at me.

Another cool thing that happened recently was one of our returning students, Malaika, was baptized! Here is a video and a picture of us praying over her right afterward.

Please continue to pray for our ministries as we begin to minister to the wave of new students God has brought us. Our small groups (called Cores) started this week and soon many of our one-on-one Bible studies will begin. Please be praying all of that as it is such a foundational part of what we do.

Also please pray for students to attend our Fall camp coming up in October. We will start announcing it soon to make sure our students can make time in their schedules. Our goal for this is to further assimilate newer students into our community through developing deeper one-on-one friendships within the larger group (by that time many of them will have developed decent friendships with their Core groups).

Thank you for your prayers and support! I'm so excited to see what God will do on our campuses this year after seeing what He has already done! Please pray big and specific for us! I would love to hear about what you pray for :)

Yours for the Campus,