Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy October My Friends!

Wow! I can't believe we're two months away from 2015 :) Time is flying over here at UT Dallas and we couldn't be happier with what God is doing. Your support and vision for FOCUS is showing fruit everyday as we get to walk onto campus together and meet with God's students. Every time I think of you I am filled with joy and thankfulness. Joy because of how God has ministered to all of you to bring you to partnership with us and thankfulness because I get to remember everyday that you believe in our mission and walk with me on campus in my mind and heart!

October has flown by quickly and we are already preparing for our Christmas Party, Winter Camp, end of semester activities, and planning for spring!

Campus ministry is all about relationships. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." I got to complete my first 'full-circle' of campus ministry a few weeks ago, haha (let me explain). Four years ago a young freshman named Sagar Gandhi walked into my small group at UTD FOCUS and my life would be changed forever. We got to study the bible, make winter-camp and other ministry videos, cry, and lead others to Jesus with one another. Three weeks ago he got married to his lovely wife, Carissa, and it was a pure joy to see God lead them together. I got to be a groomsman in his wedding and I think I wept through the whole ceremony thinking of God's faithfulness and love to his people :)

As Sagar and Carissa begin their life together I am praying that God would use me to be a light to another group of freshmen walking onto UTD's campus for the first time. God is so good and faithful and I can't begin to fathom why he uses broken people like us to accomplish his good and perfect will. All praise to Him!

I hope and pray you're encouraged by the photos and stories below:

Sagar (middle) a few minutes before the wedding ceremonies begin! Don't be fooled by the picture, he was so excited to marry such a beautiful, godly woman!

Matt Wills (FOCUS Intern 2013-14), myself, and Grant Trotter (FOCUS Intern 2013-14) got a chance to catch up with each other last week over dinner. Both of these young men got to serve in our one-year internship impacting students and being a light to their campuses. They are both working full-time and are involved in our Denton North church.

We had a photobooth set up at our FOCUS Halloween party and our students loved it (some of the costumers were...creative, haha - see below)!

Students posing in our photo booth together at the Halloween party!

Andrew Pham (FOCUS Intern 2011-12), myself, and Ana Fineout (FOCUS Intern 2014-15) - cleaning up after our Halloween Party!
I got to meet Lee and Darrel (both married 50 years to each other!) around a month ago and they invited me and my roommates over to their house for dinner. I met Lee while walking around my neighborhood in Plano one day and she easily became one of my most favorite people of all time. They both have lived a full life of ministry, family, and discipleship. I even found out that they are also involved in reaching out to international students at UTD! I was tremendously encouraged by their stories of God's faithfulness. Sometimes I struggle with thinking through what it looks like to have such a powerful, real trust in the Lord. I think much of that comes through walking with God for a time - but after meeting with these two faithful laborers of God I was absolutely blown away at their faithfulness and trust. It encouraged me greatly to continue to seek God and walk with him through everything!

Kyle, Junior @ UT Dallas - was baptized this past Sunday by one of our student leaders, David. Praise God!

After Kyle's Baptism we all took a group photo together - his family was so encouraged and thankful to see their son baptized into the Lord :)

I hope you all had the opportunity to look through all of the stories and pictures I posted :) I am just so excited to share all this with you to show how your support is furthering God's kingdom! The vision is happening at UTD! Disciples are being made and relationships formed to impact future generations of his people!

Please pray that we, as a team of students, staff, and volunteers would finish the semester strong and seek the Lord in what he has planned next semester - I've got a feeling he's got huge plans for us and is looking for a people that is after his heart.

I wish you were all here with me at my side but I know through your support that you are with me every step of the way through your commitment and support of campus ministry & God's mission. Love you all so much!

Your missionary,