I'm so thankful for each and every one of you! Knowing that you are interceding through prayer for Collin students is such an encouragement, and a good reminder that God's kingdom is much wider than what I can see.
At the beginning of October we held a 24-hour camp for all our students. The time away really bolstered friendships and made space for new experiences! During one of our sessions, we did "worship stations" and one student said it was the first time he had talked to God.
While only one girl from the McKinney small group came, it was a joy to see her negative preconceptions of church fade and be replaced with openness. It was also an insightful checkpoint for me: I realized the students at McKinney have very different backgrounds, circumstances, and temperaments than those at other campuses. Realizing that helped me alter my expectations and simply ask God how he wants to use me.
This is everyone (students and staff) at the retreat! And here they are again...
One quote really stuck with me from our evangelism homework: "I believe that as long as people keep thinking, they're giving room for God to work in their lives" (More Ready Than You Realize by Brian D. McLaren). Through studying the Bible with two girls who don't know God yet (M and V), I've realized that I sometimes try to give neatly wrapped answers to their pondering questions. This book helped me realize these girls need me to be a welcoming sounding board for their thoughts more than a textbook with answers.
Me and some other apprentices on a break between our Holy Spirit class! Stepping into heavy theology is a lot easier with friends.
Small Group (Core)
We are finally in a classroom! It's a huge improvement over our previous location (the student lounge) since there are fewer distractions. My co-leader Austin and I realized the attention span of our group is quite short... so we started reading brief passages of Scripture, watching corresponding clips from The Chosen, and asking, "What do you learn about Jesus' character from this?" (The Chosen is a free, high quality dramatization of the Gospels if you want to check it out!) Utilizing media has definitely helped our students connect more with Scripture, especially since many are unfamiliar with it.
Collin had a "carnival" event that most of our core came to. It was fun to be goofy together!
Thursday Night Fellowship (TNF)
A couple weeks ago, I helped a girl find a seat at the back partway through worship, assuming she would find her friends afterward. Turns out, she didn't know anyone! She heard the music while filling up her water bottle and felt led to come. A committed believer, she told me how happy she was to find sincere college-aged Christians. Praise God for working in strange ways!
Thursday Night Fellowship (TNF) is now inside a classroom, and we're already close to maxing out our space! The room holds about 90 people, and most weeks we only have 2 or 3 seats left.
Keep Focus Growing (KFG)
Every year, we do an organizational-wide fundraiser called 'Keep Focus Growing' on Giving Tuesday. Our staff salaries are funded by generous people like you, so this fundraiser is exclusively for evangelistic events, Bible study materials, and administrative costs across all our campuses. The extra investments ensure we finish the year strong and are poised for what God will do on DFW campuses next year.
I wanted to share this opportunity if you feel called to give! Some of our generous donors have banded together and agreed to match up to $52,000 in total donations during the campaign! The best way to give is on the FOCUS Facebook page, @anyfocusministries, on November 30th. (Facebook itself also offers matching funds, so there's a chance some could be applied to your donation!) If you have any questions about this fundraiser, feel free to visit our KFG page at anyfocus.org/kfg, or ask me directly :)
I am so grateful for your continued support of both me and the Lord's work at Collin! If there are any ways I can be praying for you, I would love to know how I can be supporting you as well :)
For A, who is learning the biblical view of sin and how to navigate friendships with a Christ-like lens
For M, who is coming to our 1on1 Bible study more consistently! She has a Muslim background but asked for a Bible of her own!
For J, who found a car within her tight budget after her old one was wrecked! She is becoming more and more open to conversations about God.
For V, who is excited for Bible study every week and is noticing similarities between her beliefs (she identifies as "pagan") and those held in Scripture.