I hope that this blog entry finds you well-rested and encouraged. Well-rested because of the rainfall we've been having down in Texas and encouraged in God's faithfulness. I can't believe that it's already June and that almost half of 2016 is behind us! The school year has finished and we couldn't have asked for a better year with our students. Thank you for your prayers and partnership over the years, I couldn't think of a better team of partners and supporters.
We are having our Summer FOCUS meetings at 7:30pm on Thursdays and I'd love to see you there if you can make it. We are meeting at Richardson East Church of Christ in Richardson, TX. I'd be happy to introduce you to our students and show you what we've got planned this summer. I hope that my monthly posts & pictures have been consistent reminders pointing to what your support has accomplished and I would personally love to show what we're doing first-hand. If you're interested in coming, please don't hesitate to contact me! My phone number is (214) 802-7262.
This week at Summer FOCUS, Matt Clark, our UNT campus pastor, delivered a message on God's love and pursuit of his children. In Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells the story of "The Prodigal Son". This is a well-known parable teaching on the recklessness in which the younger brother squanders his share of the father's wealth and the love he is shown when he is welcomed back home. I have always read this story and looked at it as a reminder of God's faithfulness and love. Last night, Matt led the group in an activity to imagine ourselves as parents. He asked us to close our eyes and imagine the work, joy, sacrifice, love, fear, investment, discipline, and commitment associated with being a parent. I would like to be a parent one day and this activity helped me relate and empathize with what a father or mother would go through - more specifically, what they would go through if their child decided to leave.
This opened up my mind and heart to what God experiences when his children decide to leave him. As Christians, we believe that God loves us - but do we really know the true depth and gravity of this love? I am fully aware of my inability to love others and pursue them in the way God does, but when I think of God's love for me I have never thought about the distance and space will travel to pursue me even in those moments when I reject him or choose to ignore him. This thought encouraged me to embrace this idea of God's unending love and strive to love others in the same way.
Enjoy the photos below!
|Our Richland FOCUS students at the End-of-the-year party! So thankful to have had these students in my life.|
|Daniel (left) and I flying to Washington state for our week-long SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministries) conference!|
|Me (left) and some of our future student-leaders!|
|When we were in Washington for SICM, we got to attend CCF (Campus Christian Fellowship). This was such a powerful experience. God is working in campus ministries all across our nation and we are so thankful to be partnered one like CCF.|
|I got to meet one of my favorite authors, J.I. Packer. A few years ago I read "Knowing God", and this book thoroughly influenced how I think and talk about God. He was such a sweet man to meet.|
|(From left to right) Caleb, me, Aaron, and Manny were all hosted by a wonderful family in Bellingham, WA during SICM. These guys were a blast to stay with and get to know during SICM.|
|Jake (right), is one of the CCF staff in Bellingham, WA. During the week we led worship together and he's one of the most thoughtful, spiritual, and loving people I've met.|
|Front row at the CCF fellowship gathering.|
Thank you all so much for your partnership and vision for being a part of what God is doing on his campuses. I will be touching base with all of you this summer to catch up, share stories, and minister to one another. If you have anything you'd like prayer for please don't hesitate to contact me!
Your campus missionary,