The new year brings in a new semester. Students in Denton will be starting classes next Tuesday so please be praying for them, especially because transitioning to a new campus in the Spring semester is more difficult. Be praying for our communities to show any new or transfer students a welcoming spirit - we want to help anyone looking for community get plugged in somewhere on their new campus, whether that's with FOCUS or another organization.
Winter CampThis is one of our biggest events of the year. Typically we bring in someone as a guest speaker, but this year our staff will be speaking on various aspects of what it means to be God's people. More important than the sermons, it's a time when our community gets to be together for a longer duration of time to deepen old friendships and develop new ones. It's a chance for our students to catch a bigger vision of what God is doing as they see students from all 9 of our campuses. It's a place for students to be encouraged, ministered to, and spiritually prepared for the semester to come. For many students, this weekend is a turning point in their commitment to God within our community. Please be praying that our students' hearts and minds are open to the Spirit working this weekend!
|Our group from last year's camp!|
Update on the Keep FOCUS Growing fundraiserSo far, we've almost reached our goal with a whopping $46,050! Thank you so much if you sent a gift! It's not too late to donate still if you haven't. Investing in college students' spiritual growth is one of the most strategic investments in God's kingdom that you could make. These young men and women will become the future leaders in our world. We want to equip them for this and teach them how to lead in the context of following Jesus.
|Here are some of the students you're investing in!|
Pray For Our Potential LeadersSpeaking of tomorrow's leaders, we are currently thinking through potential new leaders for next school year. Please be praying for guidance as we make decisions regarding who to invite to our upcoming leadership training conference this summer (SICM, the Student Institute of Campus Ministry). And be praying for God to work powerfully in preparing these students for ministering to their peers.
Thank you for your faithful commitment to God by supporting campus ministry. You are playing a significant role in changing our world at a foundational level!
Yours for the Campus,
I'd also like to share one of our student's reflections as she wraps up her time in school and looks forward into life after college:
Before college, I spent a vast majority of my time at church, from volunteering to mission trips. After graduating, I was nervous about what Christian community would look like now that I had to find it for myself. I prayed for a group of friends who cared about me. I was at the gym six weeks into my freshman year and while I was working out on the treadmill, something made me turn around (while running 80% speed) and I saw a banner for FOCUS. I visited that Friday night and stayed because people sought out His Word, ways to practice His teachings and made Christ-likeness a lifestyle- specifically, Autumn Priestley, a senior at the time I joined FOCUS. I constantly asked myself “why would someone who’s about to leave college want to spend time with me”? She spent time with me because of the lessons she learned through FOCUS. As I make my transition into the “real world” and becoming a teacher, I will remember to seek to understand then be understood when working with students, parents, and other teachers. I will look at my students and love them. I will consider their needs and provide for them, whether that means that I attend their sporting events or support them through tough times. I will show them who Jesus is through my teaching, patience, and discipline on and off the podium. It’s because of my involvement in FOCUS that I am able to know what it looks like to be a disciple in the “real world”.
|Chiazo Akagha (Senior, University of North Texas, Choral Music Education)|