Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Matt's December Update

There are three things I want to update you on as we close out this semester:

1) Pizza Theology

We had an incredible pizza theology this semester focused on the Sermon on the Mount. In case you aren't familiar, we do a "pizza theology" each semester with all of our campus communities combined. It's a 4-hour lecture taking our students deeper on a particular theological subject with an hour break in the middle for pizza! Our guest speaker, Bill Watson, is a professor at Criswell College in Dallas. His message was especially challenging and encouraging as he gave insight into what Jesus was saying in the greatest sermon ever preached. Our students were very engaged and Bill even told us he enjoyed the experience of speaking to our group because of how attentive they were. I would encourage you to listen to the recording if you want to explore the Sermon on the Mount - I guarantee you it's worth your time.

2) Prayer for the community

This semester has been especially hard for many of our students, staff, and church community due to various reasons. Some are dealing with ill family members, others anxiety, depression, fear, or even their own health. Personally, I've been experiencing high stress and feeling overwhelmed. Please pray for me as I try to lean into God's strength and find balance in the amount of effort I put into my ministry and home life. Please pray for those who are ill and their families as they walk through that with them. Please pray for students and staff facing mental/emotional battles. Please pray for our community as a whole that the Lord will guide us individually and collectively through our various struggles and that through it all, he would strengthen and grow our faith in Him.

Please also be praying for our students as they go into Christmas break. This time can easily be a way to check out and actually backtrack in their spiritual growth. My hope and prayer is that each student will continue to deepen in their relationship with God, coming out of the break in a better place, more refreshed, and ready to start a new semester of ministry on campus!

3) KFG

Giving Tuesday last week was a big success! In a single day, we raised $30,000 of our $50,000 goal! Thank you if you gave that day!

Right now we have about $16,000 left to go, and we have great momentum. Please pray for God to give us exactly what we need so we will continue to rely on Him every step of the way.

If you'd like to join in, you can go to right now!

I'd like to say a special thank you to all of you who give financially to me, to another staff member, to support one of our campuses or the general fund, and/or to our special Keep FOCUS Growing Fund. We are truly blessed by your support.

And lastly, I'd like to share a testimony from a UNT alumna!

"I always dreamed of being a missionary. My plan was to go to college to please my parents, graduate as quickly as possible, and then leave the country. As I got more involved in FOCUS, I began to see how purposefully the people around me shared their lives and faith. The Lord began to show me that ‘missions’ is not what happens in other countries but in our everyday lives. Through the example of dear friends, I learned how to love like Jesus even when it is not fun or easy. After graduation, the Lord opened doors for me to move to Bolivia as a missionary. Looking back on my time in college, I believe that the Lord prepared me through the friendships, community, and study in FOCUS far more than through my degree program. I am so thankful that the Lord, in His mercy, did not let me rush through college to please my parents, but used the ministry of FOCUS to lay a foundation for years to come."

Danyelle Graves de MorĂ³n
University of North Texas, Social Work, Graduated 2013