Monday, December 2, 2013

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Good December My Friends!

I hope that as the holiday season dawns upon us we are filled with the majesty and awe that only comes through adoring our savior, Jesus!  It is the reason we praise and continue to pursue our heavenly father!

It blows my mind to think that the fall semester is already flying by us and we will soon be moving quickly into spring with winter camp, SSI, SICM, end of year preparations, leadership selection, and summer FOCUS.  Thank you so much for deciding to be a part of what is happening on God's campuses here in the DFW metroplex.  I know for a fact that I would not be able to participate & be involved in the way I currently am if it wasn't for your support.  You all are playing such a large role in making disciples here on God's college campuses :)

One of our Friday Night FOCUS services - thank you so much for supporting our vision to reach students for Christ on his campuses!

This year we had Eddie Traughber, a licensed psychiatrist come and talk to our ministry on "Breaking Free From Addictions & Compulsive Behavior" @ our annual Pizza Theology - our students loved it!

Garrett (left, Collin College, Matt (center, U. of North Texas) & Myself excited to serve our students!

Please pray that we would finish the year off strong and continue to be faithful with what God has given us.  Pray that our staff would be vulnerable and loving to one another through the stressful times and that serving our students through Jesus Christ would always be our primary focus.

Thank you all again for your decision to partner with God's vision for his campuses,

Happy Holidays!

- Sirak

Monday, November 4, 2013

Here Come The Holidays!

Good Afternoon My Friends!

I hope you all are getting ready for the holidays approaching soon!  It's that time of year filled with turkeys, stockings, carbs, and family.  I don't know if any of you feel this way but it is so crazy to think that it is already November :) I hear the older you get the faster time passes; this is the truth!

It has been a great month - the FOCUS staff chose not to do our annual Fall Camp but replace it with a Fall Park Day.  We had such a great turnout - over 140 students showed up to Breckenridge park to play sports, get to know one another, and participate in a time of worship/sharing.  (See pictures below)

Students gathering before Park Day begins!

Students playing a timeless classic, Four-square during Park Day.

Courtney Atherton, one of our graduate students (and former FOCUS intern), standing on a bench sharing with the students how Jesus has shaped her during her time in college.

Park day was a huge success thanks to your support and committment to being a part of what God is doing on his college campuses.  I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for you deciding to support what is going on at UTD FOCUS.  

This Sunday night from 4:00 - 9:00 pm we are having our annual event, Pizza Theology.  This is where students from all 6 of our FOCUS campuses come to hear a guest speaker (and expert on the topic) give a lecture and enjoy a pizza dinner :)  Our topic this year is: Breaking free from addictions and impulsive behavior.  I'm excited!  Please pray that our students would be receptive to the spirit and that the event would open the door for further conversations!

Thank you again so much for your support! 

Your friendly neighborhood campus missionary,


Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Update!

Good Weekend To All Of You!

If you haven't had a chance to see it, I made a video with a few other students in our FOCUS ministry for our first kick-off FOCUS (see youtube link below).  It was a fun opportunity to welcome our freshmen students into what the FOCUS life is all about :)

FOCUS Lyfe 2013!

I have the joy of leading six of our students who are small group leaders this year.  They are all extremely passionate about serving and helping the students in their small group.  I went to visit all of their small groups over the last week and was absolutely blown away!  All six of these men are pastors of their own mini-church that meet in apartments all over UT Dallas.  Please keep these guys in your prayers as they lead the next generation of disciples at UTD!

Top row: Zack, Stephen, Jonathan, and Myself; Bottom row: Michael, Sagar, and Mark

Thank you all so much for believing in campus ministry and being a part of what is going on at God's college campuses.  He is doing so much and I want you all to know that your support is furthering his kingdom here.

Your campus missionary,


Sunday, September 15, 2013

God Doesn't Quit - Neither Should We

Greetings my supporters and fellow campus ministry believers!

This year so far has been a whilrwind of experiences and stories.  It is hard to believe I am finished with the internship and am embarking on my calling to do campus ministry.  Every week at FOCUS I am meeting a new group of students and am blown away at the kind of stuff God is doing in their lives.

Last week we had an open sharing time during worship where students walked up and shared about things in their life that they'd like to see God change this year while they're in college.  It was a moment where we saw many students make themselves vulnerable in sharing some of their struggles with sin but it was also an extremly joyful time because we serve a god that doesn't quit!

I know this personally - God has been revealing to me areas of my life where I have kept negativty and criticism stored away and have never dealt with what the implications are for the sin I chose to neglect.  God has been showing me that Jesus was a 'profound optimist' who always saw the good in people and inspired hope in whoever he met!  I want to be this to the people I meet :)

One of our first Friday Night gatherings!  Praise God - so many students eager to serve, learn, and get involved!

Once again, thank you all for the support and please keep our ministry in your prayers moving forward into the year.  None of this could be possible without your support and love!

Your campus missionary,


Monday, August 12, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen...Start Your Engines

As much as it hurts my heart to say this: summer is over.  Well almost over :) some of us are counting the days of relaxation and laziness but if you're a campus pastor a summer that consists of laziness and negligence is very farfetched!

Our last Summer FOCUS was fantastic and it has been so encouraging to serve our students this summer through pastoring them during our worship times and helping with set-up/tear down of equipment.  Richardson East Church Of Christ helped us out tremendously by letting us use their building this summer!

The 2012-13 FOCUS Staff!  It was such a joy to work with such amazing people who are in love with the Lord and are passionate for serving college students :)

A panaorama shot of our 2013-14 UTD Small Group Leader Team.  This was taken at our pre-year leader retreat to prepare our students for the upcoming semester.

In just a few short weeks there will be over 1,000 new freshmen walking onto the campus at UT Dallas and thanks to your support we are going to be some of the first people they see and meet when move-in begins!  I want you all to know just how special you are and how much God has used you to make this dream of mine happen.  I would've never guessed I'd be doing what I am doing now but thanks to your support my dream has become a reality!

Please pray for us as we move into these first few weeks of school.  We are going to be meeting hundreds and hundreds of students during welcome week and we can't afford to be lazy!  Pray that our students would shape the lives of these young adults this year!  

You all mean more to me than you'll ever know!

Your Brother,


Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Is Here (And Ministry Ain't Gonna Stop!)

Hey there friends and supporters!

The school year has been over for about a month or so now and I can promise you that life still has not settled down.  This is good thing though - between fundraising, student 1 on 1s, planning for Summer FOCUS, and preparing for the fall I am staying busy and all this is due to your support and partnership with us in the vision to reach college students for the gospel.  Thank you!

Even though it is summer, students are still reaching out to one another and discipleship is very much alive (see two baptism videos below).  The top video is one of our Richland College students (Victor) getting baptized by Griffin.  The bottom video shows Julie, one of our international students from China getting baptized by Kelly.  This is so great!

So far fundraising has been going great! Thank you all who have decided to remain on my support team this fall - I should have touched base with all of you at this point to share that I will remain on staff this fall :)  Only a month and a half left until we are back in the school year with a new group of freshmen/transfer/commuter/international students to meet, become friends with, and disciple for the glory of God!

Thank you so much for your support!

- Sirak

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summa Summa Summatime!

Greetings from my new house!

That's right my friends!  Well..not really my house..I am sharing it with five other guys because, well, that's just the life of a campus pastor.  Group living has always been a positive experience through my years in FOCUS.  The accountability, friendship, responsibility, and discipleship of group living throughout my years in campus ministry have been extremely beneficial!

My future roomates and I! (From left: Matt, Laurence, Charlie, Chris, and Dan)  All these guys are students in our ministry and commited disciples in our ministry.

We just got back from SICM a couple of weeks ago (I hope the majority of you got your post cards) and it was such a great experience! SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) is a week long campus missionary training conference in Washington state that hosts students from all over the country and trains them how to be effective missionaries while they are in college and beyond.

This was a positive experience in building relationships with the other student leaders and taking time as a FOCUS staff to meet with and seek wisdom from the campus pastors in Washington who have been doing this for over 30 years!

Our students on the plane arriving in Washington.  Excited to be there  - can you tell? :)
Summer has arrived and it is time for Summer FOCUS to begin!  All of our campuses are meeting up and praising God with one another on Thursday nights @ 7:00 PM! We had our first meeting last week and I had the honor of leading worship with our students (see photo below)

Going to be an awesome summer!


I decided to come on staff full-time this upcoming school year with FOCUS!  I need your prayers for guidance and wisdom as I enter this school year.  I will be taking on more of a leadership role and will need to fundraise again this summer!  Thank you all for your support - I couldn't do this without you :)

Your brother,


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Ending Of A Great Year!

We all know that the year ends officially on December, 31st 11:59:59 PM annually but in the life of a campus pastor the end the year happens sometime in late April early May.  A year full of 1 on 1 bible studies, outreach events, worship services, service projects, camps, leader meetings, staff meetings, large group meetings and much more come to a close as we enter the summer encouraged and motivated when we look back on what God has done.

This time one year ago I was reflecting and ruminating on what God would teach me through this campus missionary internship.  Would I be challenged? Would I be successful? Would my eyes be open  to what God is doing on his campuses? Would I feel overwhelmed or get burned out?  I look back on these last 9 months and am so grateful to God for what he has done in my life!

This is one of our four leader teams that met up on Monday nights.  These guys did an awesome job leading small groups throughout our UTDallas FOCUS community!

End of the year worship team jam session!  I was so blessed to serve on our praise and worship team - God is so good!

I am unsure if you know this but I have decided to continue my journey on campus as a college minister through coming on staff with FOCUS this fall!  In these last few months of the internship I knew that God was not done with me and his college campuses.  Please pray that as I fundraise and assume new roles within our ministry that I would be given wisdom, strength, and peace through his spirit.

Summer is largely going to be a time of preparation for the upcoming school year.  Orientations, leader selection, event planning, and fundraising are all part of a crazy summer so I definitely will not be taking too much time off.  

Please be praying for our current students who will be stepping up into leadership this fall and for all of the students entering their freshman year this fall that God is currently preparing to be a part of his mission on campus.

Love you all!

- Sirak

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Week Of Evangelism & Outreach!

I can't believe it's already April!  It feels like yesterday I was plowing through summer making a million phone calls and raising a support team to provide me with the opportunity to serve on God's college campuses.  It has really been a journey and I definitely could not have done it without you all.  Even though it's April we've still got a lot of campus ministry left in the year!  We have only five Friday Night FOCUS's left and we are still getting visitors to meet, study with, and build spiritual friendships with!

Last week we had over 20 students and staff from Bellingham, Washington come down to Texas to be a part of SSI week!  Our students hosted them in their on-campus apartments and off-campus homes for a week of contact evangelism on our FOCUS campuses (Richland, Collin College, UT Dallas, and U. of North Texas).

Group of students from Washington that came down to participate in our evangelism week!  They were so grateful and  thankful to have spent last week with us!

Myself with Jake (one of the Bellingham students) on U. of North Texas' campus.  We were out for several hours doing contact evangelism on their campus talking to students about Jesus and spirituality.

Without your support, this week of campus outreach would not be possible!  You all are a part of something huge and wonderful that God is doing on his campuses - 

Prayer requests:

- I have decided to come on staff with FOCUS for one more year and I need your prayers for guidance, wisdom, and boldness as I spend another year reaching out to students.
- Please pray for UT Dallas and the impact we are having on our college campus.
- We have over 60 students attending SICM this year.  SICM is our annual campus ministry training for students held in Washington.  Please pray for their safe travel and for the Spirit to speak to them during their stay in Washington!

Love you guys so much and thank you again for being a part of what God is doing on campus here!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thankful For Parents!

This past Saturday night we had a very special night for our parents of the students in our ministry.  This was very encouraging for all of us to see and be a part of.  Too often in campus ministry we received a flood of new freshman students who are eager to learn, participate, and serve.  As a ministry we spend time with these students, invest in them, study the bible with them, and very scarily at times attribute their growth to our own efforts!  How sad for us to forget the brave men and women who helped raise these young adults for the first 18 years of their lives!

Landscape view of our UTD Parent Night!

This was a very encouraging night to be a part of and I want you all to know that none of it would be possible without your support this year.  Campus ministry is dependent on the vision of supporters like you who believe in the mission!

In these next few months please pray that God would provide me with direction and wisdom as I move into the remaining months of this internship.  I struggle at times with making big life decisions and this can be a troubling time for me.  Despite this, I look back on the last six years of my life and I am blown away at how God has provided for me when I just stay faithful to him!

Thank you all for being a part of this special year with me.  Love you all!

Your campus missionary,


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Winter Camp And More :)

Good Afternoon!

Hey friends, this year has gotten off to a crazy start.  First off, we kicked off our campus ministry year with our annual winter camp (see photos below).  This year we had over 400 students show up and participate in one of our most impacting weekends of the year.  I really wish every one of you could have been there to see it.  

I had the opportunity to help lead worship this weekend at camp - here is a view from the stage.
 Geoff Mumley, a campus pastor from Bellingham, Washington came down to speak to us on "The Kingdom of God".  He did such a great a job discussing elements of God's kingdom that we see in our everyday life but often neglect.  He said, "Without a proper relationship with God, we lose our peace." That statement was very moving to me and I hope it ministers to you as well.

View from the back - thanks to your support we brought over 400 students to our annual winter camp!
You are the reason we were able to pull this weekend off - thanks to your support and prayers winter camp was a huge success and God moved mightily throughout the weekend.  I cannot thank God enough for you and your commitment to being a part of what he is doing on his campuses here in the Dallas metroplex.  Please be in prayer for us as we move into our last few months of the semester.  This is a time when students begin thinking critically about their role in our ministry and big life decisions are going to be made - please be in prayer that Jesus will be made Lord in the lives of our students!

Thank you again and I wish you were all here to see up front what your support has done this year :) You all are GREAT! 

- Your campus missionary,


Monday, January 14, 2013

The Start of A Great Semester!

Wow!  The break seriously flew by quicker than I expected.  But then again, it always does!

Our annual winter camp is approaching in just a few days and I was up late last night with my good friend Jonathan Seawright planning out all of the logistics for sound equipment, luggage, room reservation info, visual specifications, and other things.  Lots to plan for!
Planning winter camp with Paulo (top right),
Tim (top left), Jonathan (bottom right), and myself!
You should really see what we've got planned this year for camp - I am very excited to see all four campuses gathered together to praise God and worship his name.  This is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  It is also one of the most stressful times of the year for the FOCUS staff.  Please pray that we would be prepared and spirit led this weekend.

I wish you could all see first hand what your support this year has contributed towards.  It is a true blessing to have people like you in my life who are willing to be a part of what God is doing on his college campuses here in the DFW area!

You are all personally invited to attend our winter camp this year!

It will be January 18th through January 21st held at Sky Ranch Camp in Van, TX.

Please let me know if you'd be interested in attending!  I would love to see you there :)