Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Matt's August Update

One thing that I was especially encouraged by this week happened while I was a new restaurant in Denton. They were giving away free food...so of course some of our college students were there also. While I was waiting in line with Danielle, I watched two of the students go sit with a guy who was there by himself and talk to him for a while. Later I asked one of them about it and she said that they had seen him on campus last week and noticed he was alone. They wanted to say "hi" and make sure he had friends by just being that to him. How great is that?! I'm just constantly impressed by the people God has blessed us with to reach out on these college campuses. He is good!

Here are those crazy college kids I just mentioned :)

Now that it's August, classes will begin soon - that's both exciting and a little terrifying at the same time! Terrifying because the amount of work to do and people to meet & befriend is downright overwhelming to wrap your mind around. Yet it's exciting because nothing is too big for our God and the possibilities for Him to change people's lives through us is unimaginable!

When I think back to past Welcome Weeks (the first couple weeks of the school year), I remember the people I had first met during those times. It's only then that I start to realize the full impact of my outreach efforts. I notice that so many of my close friends now were people I had met during those initial weeks. And, actually, that was how I was brought into the ministry when I was a student at UTD.

I think you can see how critical these two weeks are when it comes to meeting new people! What's sad is that so many young people are lonely during their transition into college. Even if they do make some friends, it's really tough to find good friends. We want the members of our ministry to be making friends with new freshmen and transfer students so they aren't lonely and DO find good friends. We want to make every effort to reach out to them while they're involved in "Welcome Week" activities out on campus. We want to show them a welcoming spirit to set a good precedent for our campus' culture. We want them to have an opportunity to see and experience God's goodness in community.

Since these two weeks are so important we take a significant amount of time to prepare our student leaders for making the most of that time. We have scheduled 7.5 hours next weekend to cast a vision for young leaders to be embody God's love to incoming students, prepare our hearts and theirs for service and humility, discuss various practical advice for reaching out during Welcome Week, spend time developing relational unity as a team, and worship our Lord as a community through song and prayer. We will also be inviting our entire Denton student community to a portion of the weekend to equip as many people as possible! I want to ask you to be praying over this time as well, that God will prepare each of us to do exactly what He wants us to do.

We will go on campus this month to reach as many as we can. Will you pray for us as often as you can starting 8/19 through the end of the month? Please pray that we will do the Lord's work and not our own. Pray that we will be brave in moving outside of our comfort zones when necessary. Pray that the Spirit will guide us to specific people whose lives He is currently moving in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support! Knowing we have committed brothers and sisters praying over our efforts and a good God going before us gives me all the confidence I need.

Yours for the Campus,

Matt

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