Friday, December 4, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving and (almost) Goodbye to 2015!

My friends, my family, my brothers and sisters. I hope that your November was full of family, quality-rest, encouragement, and reminders of our God's faithfulness. It is crazy to think that 2015 is almost over - as I look through my previous blog entries I am overwhelmed with how faithful and omniscient our God is. He really is all-knowing and is always aware of what we need despite our (at times) selfishness and seeking only our wants.

Please be praying for our students as we move into our Christmas break. We encourage our students go back home with renewed minds and hearts. Many of our students will be travelling back home and may be tempted to fall back into old habits of laziness, selfishness, and boredom. We encourage our students to have positive attitudes, seek to serve their families, and use this Christmas break to spend time seeking the Lord and preparing for the spring 2016 semester. It's extremely important to spend these breaks productive - oftentimes when our students spend the break purposefully their families begin to see the powerful life-changes that the gospel produces!

I meet weekly with Stephen & Kufre (two of our small group leaders this year) and last Wednesday we ran into Jared, a FOCUS small group leader from 2004! His daughter Kailey (far right) was there and we took a photo together symbolizing the different generations of FOCUS student leadership!

I had the pleasure to shoot and edit our "Keep FOCUS Growing - It's Worth It" videos. See link: for more information. These videos were shared on Facebook/Twitter in hopes of raising $45,000 to fund our ministries monthly expenses.

We had an outreach event at Richland College on Tuesday & Wednesday the week before break. We met many students and are praying that those interactions would blossom into a 1 on 1 bible study and a great spiritual friendship. Richland College is a very deep-thinking campus and the students are consistently desiring deep spiritual conversations - pray that Christ would be their focus and goal. 

I had the privilege to go to Rome, GA for Campus Renewal's campus ministry training conference. I got to meet many college ministers from all over the nation. To my right is my friend, Jung-Woo. We went to high school together and graduated from Plano East High School in 2006. It wasn't until last year that the Lord crossed our paths on campus at UTD and now he is a campus pastor with another organization! It was so encouraging to see him and get to hear what the Lord is doing through his life. 

John Cheng, one of the campus pastors with CRU in Dallas/UTD, and I with his daughter, Hope. Hope was in the ICU with a bacterial meningitis infection and has been in recovery. Please be praying for this precious family and for their daughter, Hope. That she would be fully healed and that they would have a wonderful holiday together. They have been such an encouragement to me and everyone else at UT Dallas that they cross paths with. 

Over 50 college campus pastors gathered to fellowship and learn how we can effectively serve and challenge our students. It was such a blessing to be a part of this 3-day conference. Campus ministry can be challenging and stretching at times. It was encouraging to be able to see what all God is doing across the nation through hundreds of other campus ministries and that definitely inspired me to not grow weary!

I am so thankful for your support and friendship throughout this campus-missions process. You all are building God's kingdom NOW on his campus through your support. Your prayers and monthly donations have helped plant a campus ministry at UT Arlington and have paved the way for three 1 on 1 bible studies I am involved in at Richland - please be praying that these relationships would inspired generations of students to follow Jesus and give up all they have for the gospel.

As we enter the Christmas holiday season I want to encourage you with this scripture from Isaiah:

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." Isaiah 55:1

Let's approach God this holiday season and seek to glorify him through our obedience and sacrificial lives. 

I think you for your partnership - let's have a great break and spring semester!

Your missionary,


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Happy Halloween & An Almost New Year :)

My friends! My people!

I can't believe we're in November already. October was a month full of energy and life-changing conversations with the many students on our campuses. Just yesterday I was talking with a student at Richland College who asked me, "What does it mean to be a Christian?" I said, "It means to follow Jesus and call him Lord." He said back to me, "I question the bible too much." "Would you like to study the bible together?" I asked. He said that he would consider it. Our college campuses are full of stories like this one - students ready and eager to learn more about our Lord and experience what it means to trust and follow Christ.

I posted many pictures that sum up what the last month has looked like. In these pictures you'll find our UTD large group gatherings, our Richland group meetings, our (2nd Place!!) UTD FOCUS Flag Football Team, an outreach day we had at Richland, our UTD men's leader team strategizing final plans for camp, and a selfie of our Richland FOCUS students. I hope that these pictures encourage and remind you of how faithful our God is and what your support is going towards. I am so thankful for each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

One of our UTD FOCUS large group fellowships during October. 

During Richland FOCUS we've been discussing the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) and our students are broken up into small groups discussing Jesus' teachings!

Our FOCUS Flag Football Team! They made it all the way to the finals and lost to the UTD baseball team; they were composed and show Christ continually on and off the field.

At Richland College they had a take-a-break-from-midterms event outside in the heat but it was great! We met a ton of students had a few show up to our FOCUS meeting & core. 

Our UTD male leader team planning through the different events we have coming up and talking through how we can best minister to our small groups. These guys have done such a great job this year spending 1 on 1 time with students and being faithful tools for God to use on campus at UTD.

Our Richland FOCUS group! We have such a diverse group of students that love each other and are committed to learning about Jesus on campus. 

We did an outreach event on campus at Richland and our interns did such a great job setting it up and talking to/meeting students. Students walking by were encouraged to write down who Jesus is to them and it opened the door for many uplifting conversations to happen!

Throughout the day of outreach we had over 50 students stop by, look at our board(s), and be engaged by some of our FOCUS students. This was such a success that the office of student life said we are welcomed to continue having outreach events on campus! God has been opening up so many doors.

Once again, none of this is possible without partners like you all who are committed to bringing God's kingdom to his college campuses. Please continue to pray for us as we move into the holiday season. There are many students who do not have healthy family lives and we are going to try hard to make them feel loved and wanted as the holiday season approaches.

Thank you all again for your support and commitment to campus missions. God isn't finished here yet and I mean it when I say: we're just getting started!

Please don't hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can be praying for you about in your own life!

You campus missionary,


Monday, October 5, 2015

September Was Great :) But The Best Is Yet To Come...

My Friends!

This year is off to a great start! Thank you for your partnership and commitment to what God is doing here on his campuses and for being such an encouragement to me!

September was a great month full of new students, organization fair info-tables, outreach, open-mic nights on campus, pick-up basketball games, fall retreat, more new students, leader meetings, baptisms, surprise b-day parties, and 1-on-1 personal discipleship relationships! I think I covered about 50% of what happened - but hopefully you'll get a better idea from the pictures below :)

Thanks to your support we hit the ground running at Richland College and have been meeting new students every day that we are there! I think leading the ministry at Richland has been one of my most fulfilling experiences up to date. God has been teaching me a ton about thinking pastorally, setting the tone, and keeping an optimistic mind regarding what God has planned.

My intern, Nicki, is also doing a great job (she's in the last photo towards the bottom of our staff). She has befriended several of the girls in the ministry and has been a solid rock for me to bounce ideas off of and share the experience of ministry with (see pictures below of our Richland FOCUS ministry).

(From left to right) Hazel, Cameron, Wyatt, myself, and Chad all helped out with our Richland FOCUS info table. We had over 100 students sign up and show interest in being a part of our group.

One of our first Richland FOCUS meetings. Karlo (one of our student leaders) led us in worship and we had a great discussion on vision. We've been encouraging our students to develop a vision for their campus and the people around them. 

We had a Pizza & a Movie day for one of our large group meetings and a lot of students showed up! It was a great success and we met new people. Please be praying as we try and discern what would help serve our campus in addition to building new friendships. 

Our first worship session at FOCUS Fall Camp! This was our largest fall camp to date!

Shot from the sound booth at UTD FOCUS at one of our Friday Night services. We have been going through 1st Corinthians and our students are really enjoying the content!

Side-shot from our Friday Night FOCUS service. 

A picture of our UTD/Richland Staff! Back row: Myself, Brandon, and Laurence. Front row: Peter, Nicki (my intern), Carmen, Danni, Mandy, and Victoria. It's been such a blessing to work with these ministers this year!

Thank you all so much for your commitment to our mission to reach students on campus for our Lord, Jesus. As the months go by I am continually grateful for people like you who have decided to join in with us in the work of the gospel and walk alongside us. The year is just getting started and we know that the best is yet to come! 

Please be praying for our Richland ministry - pray that God would stir a need for him and his Son on campus and that we, as God's people, would be faithful with every situation he puts us in on campus and elsewhere. The mission is far from over and there are many more students to reach!

I love you all dearly, and you'll be hearing from me soon!

Your campus missionary, 


Friday, September 4, 2015

The First Month Done & God is Just Getting Started!

My friends! My team! 

I hope that August has been a fruitful and productive month for all for you! Right now I'm sitting here on campus at UTD with my one of my old college roommates, Michael Howell, and we've been reminiscing on our time together as students doing ministry those many (three) years ago. It's amazing how time moves along with God's good plan. We are so grateful to the many men & women who came before us here and had a vision for making a presence for Jesus on campus. 

In meeting the many students so far this year it's so encouraging to know that through campus ministry we can build something great for God and for the students who are going to be walking on campus this year and for all the years to come! Praise God :)

I know it's only August but God has been up to so much already! Our leaders have been busy meeting hundreds of students and inviting them to our core small groups. UTD has been very busy - they've had over 25 welcome week events for these first two weeks alone and our students have attended mostly all of them. 

Please be praying for all of our students at Richland College. I am leading the FOCUS ministry on Richland's campus with Nicki Escutia. This is her first year on staff as an intern and she has been such a great partner to work with and share ministry with. We are working with a new group of students and there is still so much yet to be seen! I hope that our faithfulness to the gospel will prepare the way for what God has planned for years to come.

Enjoy the photos below of God's faithfulness and our mission together!

First day of campus! I spent time with our FOCUS leaders walking around meeting students inviting them to our welcome week events.

Rhett Hayes, one of our student leaders volunteered to be in a video we'd be playing at our first Friday Night Fellowship meeting!
Before the school year, ICF (International Christian Fellowship) put on an "International Student Party". This was a great time to meet the hundreds of international students who walked into America for the first time. So many friendships were started at this event!

We had an All-Campus Worship Night before the year began with several other of the campus ministries and it had such a great turnout! 

Our FOCUS Ministries are now at eight different campuses and we got all of our leaders together last Saturday for our leader day training! We are so thankful for their service and commitment to God's work on his college campuses. 

We had an outreach event at Richland during lunch where we played board games and invited students in to join! It was a great success. Please be praying that God would open up the doors for friendships to be made and for his Kingdom to come in the lives of the students there!

Please be praying that our Richland ministry would be an outlet for the many students on campus there who are looking for authentic friendships and God's presence.

I hope that these photos encouraged you and gave you a visual representation of what your support is going towards on campus. The lives of these students will never be the same thanks to your support and partnership. You all are such a light in my life and are always on my mind as I do the work of a campus missionary. Go in peace and may the Lord continue to enrich your lives!

Your campus missionary,


Monday, August 10, 2015

Preparing For Another Great Year!

Wow, I can't believe that we're already a few weeks away from another amazing school year! We've been hard at work this summer with new student orientations and preparing our student leaders for the most important two weeks of the school year: welcome week! Thousands upon thousands of freshmen, transfer, and international students will be walking on our college campuses for the first time here in a couple weeks and our student leaders are going to rush to be the first students that meet them :)

This fall is the beginning of my fourth year on staff with FOCUS. I want to thank you for partnering with me on this missionary journey. God has opened my eyes year after year to how faithful he is and that he calls on his faithful saints to join him in his work. I thank you for joining in his work through your support of the mission. Your prayers and donations have really helped build God's kingdom here on earth.

Please be praying for all of the students walking onto campus for the first time and that there would be doors opened for spiritual friendships to be built. It amazes me the enrollment numbers of each university's students (see below):

Student Enrollment Population:
UTD: 23,095 (2014)
UTA: 34,870 (2014)
Collin College: 52,812 (2011)
UNT : 36,168 (2013)
Richland College: 19,201 (2010)

Some of these numbers are from a few years ago and it's only probably increased with time. Please pray that every one of these students would encounter Jesus in meaningful way and have their lives shaped and changed for the gospel.

A panorama shot of our UTD/Richland/TWU student leader team! These students spent all day Saturday and the afternoon on Sunday hearing from our campus pastors on how to make the first couple weeks of school the most effective for Christ. They are ready for what God has planned this year!

During our student-leader training day we performed "Welcome-Week" themed musicals for the other leaders :) It was pretty entertaining to say the least!
(From left to right) Austin (UTA), Albert (Collin College - Preston Ridge), Brandon (UTD), Laurence (UTD), and myself taking a quick selfie before our staff group photo!

This is a picture of the staff team that will be leading FOCUS @ UTD/Richland/TWU. 

Our staff has grown! These are all the faithful saints who will be serving students all across the DFW metroplex on God's campuses. (I am back row, last on the right!)

Jack Hunt (middle) a student that has completed his time in FOCUS as a student/leader is off to medical school! I took him out to breakfast before his drive down to U. of Houston Medical School. Jack is a dear friend of mine. I have known him since my time as a student and it is so encouraging to see that God isn't finished with him yet. Jack is going to bless many as a doctor.

Your support means everything to me - I am so thankful to have you side-by-side with me on campus this year. I can't say it enough, but: thank you thank you thank you for your partnership! It feels like these years are flying by one after the other, but I know that through Christ we can confidently join in on the work being done and know that we're a part of an eternal kingdom!

Please let me know if there is anything going on in your lives that I can pray for you about. I am always here as a support and brother to you :)

God's will be done on campus this year!

Your campus missionary,


Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Update!

My fellow brothers and sisters,

The summer is already flying by and I've been so excited to share how God's been working so far! Our UTD staff is hard at work meeting with students and being attentive to conversations we need to have as we build our leader team for the 2015-16 school year! I've been so encouraged by the many different students interested in leadership.

FOCUS has grown every year and it's fantastic to see that disciples are being made even with more and more students showing up to our ministry events. Growth is something that many ministries want, however, we as a staff hope that growth is always accompanied with discipleship and spiritual friendships. My prayer is that this continues with the fall semester and beyond :)

I'm in the process of getting in contact with you all and touching base - until you hear from me, enjoy the pictures below!

Our new FOCUS website is up! ( It's all be revamped and has a new design to it. Check it out and get to know what's going on at our other FOCUS ministries and see the updates from the other staff!

We've been having Summer FOCUS every Thursday night for our students who are in still town but we've had a great turnout meeting students and building community as we prep for the beginning of the year!

(From left to right): Matt, Brandon, Mandy, Sirak (myself), and Bob Tiede at a fundraising seminar. Bob has worked in Josh Mcdowel ministries for over 20 years and has been a huge blessing to our staff providing materials and training on how to fundraise in a Christ-like way!

Father Craig Reed of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Farmers Branch, TX has been extremely gracious opening up his facilities for our 2015-16 interns to meet in for their weekly class. God has opened up some great doors through friendships and other campus ministries at UT Dallas that are engaged in the mission.

This summer has been a time of rest, encouragement, and refinement. I hope that you all are finding your rest fully and wholly in Christ. I want to encourage you all with what Paul wrote the Galatians in Chapter 3 verses 26 & 27: "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." I encourage you all to clothe yourselves with Jesus this summer break. Study him, pursue him, imitate him and let him have his way.

Thank you for your support and belief in the mission - your prayers and donations have given students a renewed sense of God's presence and a vision for his kingdom on his college campuses.

Your campus missionary,


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May Update!! Rest and Release :)

My Friends!

The month of May has been crazy! When I say 'crazy' - I don't mean hectic, I mean fully inspired by the heart and mind of Christ! In the month of may our students finished up the spring semester of classes, headed to SICM in Washington state, and were released to be campus missionaries on their college campuses :) I can't stress just how important SICM is to our ministry and I want to start by saying thank you to you who all who have prayed for our students leading into this week.

The official school year is over so many of our students have headed back home to be with their families for the summer. We have a lot of local students stay in the DFW area so we put on Summer FOCUS on Thursday nights @ 7:00pm at Lifepoint Church in Plano, TX. I want to invite any of you who are interested to come on down, I'd love to see you!

Throughout every school year our student leaders disciple and build spiritual friendships with the students that attend their small groups. We have a week-long campus ministry training event called SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) in Bellingham, WA that is put on my CCF (Campus Christian Fellowship). God has built such a strong relationship between our two campus ministries that when we go up there it's like seeing old friends :)

My peer-team for the year. All of these guys were student leaders in our ministry this year and were faithful servants of the Gospel! Front row: Charles, me (Sirak), JD, and Austin. Back row: Morgan, Stephen, Ryan, and Marcus. (photo taken at our end-of-the-year party)

James Junior (middle) is one of the main worship pastors at CCF in Bellingham, WA. Whenever we go up to SICM he and I try to set up time to share our ministries with one another and hear what God has been up to in each other's lives.

All of our UTD students we sent up to SICM this May! Many of these students will end up being small group leaders beginning in the fall 

At the end of the week our students attended the SICM graduation ceremony. You can see them all out relaxing on the grass enjoying their weeks.

I got the opportunity to attend Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. (Canada) for two weeks (May. 24th - June. 6th) to take theology classes with several of the other FOCUS staff. This has been such an enriching experience and joy to learn from some of the most wise minds in their respective studies. God has been teaching me how important it is to read and hear what some of the most brilliant minds of our faith have to offer in regards to scripture and God's creation. (see pictures below)

Every Monday/Thursday we have been attending the chapel services that Regent college offers to the students. They have been leading the congregation in open corporate prayers and I took a quick picture of one called "Prayer of Commitment". I hope it finds you well and it is an encouragement to you wherever you are.

I took a course called More Than Music: Reimagining Worship and here is a group of the students we had together. Our instructor, Christine Longhurst (back row, third from the right), did such a great job 
I went for a walk around my neighborhood and was in awe at God's creation. Enjoy!

Summer is here and I'm so happy to get in contact with you all :) Thank you so much for your continual support and belief in the mission. It is always an encouragement to know you're all behind me through the power of the holy spirit. Your support this year has paved the way for spiritual friendships, baptisms, and lifelong changes through God's holy spirit.

You'll be hearing from me soon!

Your campus missionary,


Saturday, May 2, 2015

The End of a Great Year!

Wow, I can't believe that we have arrived at finals week on campus - which means - the end of the semester is near. I had lunch with a couple of our student leaders this week and asked them what they've learned from God through their leadership experience, and one said that he learned not to have confidence in himself but to put all of his confidence in Christ. What a powerful lesson to learn! I think that as disciples, God teaches us this same lesson on and on throughout our entire life and I have been honored to have been a part of the journey with our students.

This is now my third year of campus ministry and each year God has blown my expectations out of the water regarding what to expect out of myself and others. When we place our confidence and trust fully in Christ we make ourselves more available than we ever have before for him to work in and through - I have learned this firsthand throughout the year.

Top row: Ryan, myself, Austin, and Morgan; Bottom row: JD, Charles, Stephen, and Marcus.
I had the precious opportunity to meet with these students weekly and help them serve the students attending their small groups. They all grew tremendously in their faith and helped raise another generation of disciples!

During April we had a few of our last Friday Night FOCUS's of the year. Our attendance has traditionally dropped at the beginning of each spring semester, however, this semester our attendance has stayed strong!

Our last FOCUS leader meeting of the year!

I began playing the board game, Avalon. Have you heard of it? It's very intense and causes very heated discussions to happen, however, it's been a great way to spend time with students and laugh together. 

Our students during our last Friday Night FOCUS of the year!
The UTD FOCUS staff that worked together this year. Every year the team has changed a bit but nonetheless it has been a honor to work with such God pleasing men and women.

I wish you were all here to see first-hand what your support has contributed to this year. I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness as I look back on the last three years of serving in campus ministry because of the partnership I have received in you all :)

Last night at FOCUS we had an open-mic sharing time and the prompt was: how have you seen God work in yourself and others this year in our community? I was very encouraged by one of our freshmen students named Tim, who said that after transferring to UT Dallas from Florida he was so anxious and worried about not having any sort of a Christian community to get involved with on campus. However, God opened the door for him to get involved with FOCUS, study the bible with other students, get involved in the worship team, and now he's pumped for his Sophomore year this fall where he can be ready for all the upcoming freshmen walking onto campus that need discipleship - so encouraging!

Thank you again for all of your partnership and prayers - it's been a continued journey of praise and thanksgiving that I'm forever grateful for. I plan on getting in touch with all of you this summer to catch up and share how God has been working, you'll be hearing from me soon :)

Your campus missionary,