Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! The past couple weeks have been full of new students eager for friendship (and some of them are already excited for Jesus!). It would not be possible to meet so many newcomers without your support!
We've fully started our classes now! By now we've read up through Numbers and listened to almost 10 hours of lecture. It's been fascinating to read the Old Testament through Israelite eyes. I learned that when building pagan temples they would always place the image of their god as the final touch; what a neat comparison that God placed His image in the garden last!
Our books for the year! (I forgot to include the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun.)
Because of Covid, we held the yearly week-long student leadership conference right before the fall semester instead of in May. Students walked away with greater knowledge of how to read Scripture, a deeper understanding of how to listen to the Spirit, practical information on how to lead a small group, and with a great zeal to reach the lost! This meant students had more energy and enthusiasm for Welcome Week than ever before (a huge blessing given the massive influx of in-person students this year).
Our entire SICM group, including ~150 students and ~50 ministers.
Our Collin team held multiple events every day across 4 campuses to welcome students. Armed with tie-dyeing, lawn games, spicy uno, popsicles, a photo booth, and temporary tattoos, students gladly accepted our invitations to get to know each other. I alone got numbers from nearly 50 students, and we have 10 other ministers and 14 other students meeting new people daily! Many of the newcomers are desperate for friendship and have already come to our fellowship night and/or a core (small group). In fact, one freshman girl, A, answered "what's your favorite memory from this year?" by saying "the fellowship night!"
Our first TNF (Thursday Night Fellowship)! We will be inside next week when Collin allows student organizations to reserve rooms. For now, we're enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and easy access the outdoors gives us.
This is J at TNF! She wanted to be like a cat curled up in a box. (You can spot her in the picture before... she wanted to sit like this throughout the service.) Like many Collin students, she has a lot of energy with a little bit of crazy. I love her already :)
Austin and I had our first co-ed core (small group) at Central Park Campus in McKinney this week! Since we are the only one, we're doing it at lunchtime to catch the most students. This week we had about 8 people come, several of them nonbelievers! They were eager to make friends and happy to discuss Scriptures about friendship.
Thank you again so much for partnering with me to make Jesus known at Collin! Your support has already made an impact on lost students and I can't wait to see what else God will do this year.
For A, who expressed an "all roads lead to heaven" view but now says she has "chosen Christianity," to learn the heart of God.
For M, who has a Muslim and religious-inclusive background but wants to study the Bible with me, to understand who Jesus is.
For J, who has a difficult background and few friends, to learn that God loves her.
For our core at Central Park to be a place where students learn to deeply love God and each other.
For myself, that I would lean on God's grace and not my own strength.