January 2023 Update
New Year, Same Blog
2023 is off to a great start! There is SO much to update you all on and even more to be thankful for. But, per usual I'd like to begin this blog with prayer...
God, thank you so much! I don't deserve the good gifts you continually give to me. I thank you for the close friends who consistently point me back to your son. For the mentors who pour into me and challenge and trust me. For my marriage to Sam and how sweet and beautiful a gift that has been. For the countless ways you are moving and acting in the lives of the students I get to work with. You are a good God worthy of praise. You are a relational God that knows and sees us intimately. You are a loving God and a good Father. In Jesus name, Amen!
A Word of Thanks...
Thank you supporters! You are the lifeblood that keeps the wildebeest that is my ministry chewing its cud slowly but surely. None of what I get to do would be possible if you weren't partnering with me in this. So as you read the following updates, consider them your own ministry because you did play a role in all of this! You guys rock! I'm so so so thankful! Sorry for the wildebeest thing.
CTF is in a very good place! Consistently each Wednesday we have about 20-25 students showing up. Of this students we have about a 60/40 split of girls to guys. We have a budding junior high group beginning to grow. All but a couple of those young ones have a mentor that they spend regular time with and study the bible with! This is such a big deal when you stop and consider where our ministry is going! We are a sweet spot right now, but when I let myself dream about the next 3, 4, 5 years down the road I start to get really excited.
These junior high students have already shown that they are willing to ask questions, willing to open up and discuss their own fears and doubts, willing to invite their friends from school who they think could use a community like what they've found in CTF, and willing to just show up.
As for our high school students, we have a solid core of about 8 who have really stepped up to help lead and serve their peers. We just had a leader meeting the day before writing this where these students discussed how to better reach out to their friends at school, prayed together, read scripture together, and helped plan and prep for how CTF can keep getting better.
Overall, we have a great and sweet and really impressive crew of junior high and high school students who are visibly transitioning from being curious students to serious disciples. And that is something to praise God for!
McMillan Junior High
Another cool opportunity that has been in the works now for a few months is the small group that we are trying to start in McMillan Junior High.
I have partnered with a teacher and we have started a prayer group that meets in the Library every Thursday after school. The long-term goal is to move this from a prayer group to a bible-study group. So far, we've had 1 student show up each time. Humble beginnings, for sure. But where 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name, we believe he is there also.
Myself and a sweet friend, Erin Cavanaugh, have started a ministry here in Wylie for those members of our body who are dealing with grief. The goal being to offer a place where we can come together and pray, read scripture, talk, cry and even laugh together. To communicate that our grief is unique but that we are not alone and we are not crazy.
I realize I am not a trained or licensed counselor or therapist. That is why "leading" a ministry like this, at least for me, is not done from the front of the group. This isn't a time where Matt Carothers shares all of his expertise on grief and death. This ministry is lead from the alongside and beneath. I'm a wounded friend that God is healing. And if I can use my own experience and misery to point others back to Christ, then I feel that is worth doing.
We had our first meeting a couple weeks ago and it was very sweet.
- As always, please pray for wisdom and discernment in my ministry
- Pray for our students and that they know they are seen and loved
- Pray for what we are trying to start at McMillan
- Pray for our grief ministry and that God will move in big ways in peoples lives
- Pray for my marriage and that I can continue to grow and change in the ways I need to change and that I can love and serve Sam well
- Also, pray I start to remember to take pictures over the course of the month because blogs without pics are BORING