Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Semester Finishes Strong!

My friends!

I hope that all is well with you. I can't believe that it's already December! Wow, 2017 flew by quickly and there are so many stories of God's faithfulness to show for it. I am blown away by how consistent and powerful he is in moving through the lives of our students. I hope that this Christmas holiday we are all reminded at how 2017 was a year where God was present; through the highs and lows & the ups and downs.

I am continually challenged by the idea that God came down to earth and became flesh. The story of Jesus' birth, how he came down from his heavenly home to us, encourages me in our mission to reach college students. No matter where we are or where we're going, we are sent to bring light wherever we go. Thank you for your support and being alongside me as we reach students for the gospel.

This semester was a tough one for me at times. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging text messages regarding my ACL reconstruction surgery. The recovery is going well and I am officially off of crutches! My leg is still very weak but I am able to be weight-bearing and it is getting better every day. The injury was a bit of a setback, but I was able to see how many people (a lot of them, students) came through and supported me in my time of need.

I hope that the pictures below encourage you and give you a glimpse into how God was faithful this past November! (pictures below)

Our November student testimony! Check it out and be encouraged :)

Our last Richland FOCUS of the school year. We had lunch together and shared with each other how we saw Jesus working in the live(s) of one another. It was very touching!

Another picture of our Christmas party performances! It was such a great experience & opportunity!
Our FOCUS Christmas Party! The student-led small groups prepared performances and they were so good!

This is a picture of our Pizza Theology event we had on "The Sermon on the Mount". We had Dr. Watson from Criswell College come and share with our students. He did such a great job and our students absolutely loved it!

Our Dallas (UTD, Richland, SMU, and TWU Dallas) FOCUS team. I love working with this team!

Our last Richland FOCUS of the school year!

Another shot of our pizza theology event. We had so many students attend and show such a deep interest in scripture and getting to know the heart of God.

I hope that your fall semester has been restful and full of reminders of God's faithfulness. I'm blown away that I get to serve on God's college campuses with you all as my team!

Your brother & campus missionary,


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

It's Already November! (Happy Halloween!)

My friends! My team!

Good November to you all! :)

I'm so blown away at how quickly time passes by. It's already November and before you know it, it'll be Thanksgiving. I have so many stories of God's faithfulness and his providence. So many students are encountering the gospel for the first time and authentic relationships are being nurtured in our communities. Thank you for your support and partnership over these years and I'm so excited for the many more to come :)

Featured in this month's student testimony is our very own Richland College's, Josh Erdmann!

Josh came to our Richland ministry last year and I had the privilege of studying the Bible with him and building a spiritual friendship together. He is funny, kind-hearted, and has a deep desire to know God and help others respond to this message of Christ!

Josh's testimony below:

I want you to know that Josh is just one of many students that are being reached across our campuses. Hearing his story, I am reminded why we do what we do. God is so faithful in bringing his word to his people - your support & partnership has opened up doors for this to happen more & more! Enjoy the photos below and please don't hesitate to let me know if there's anything at all that I can be praying for you about!

Sandra, one of our UTD/Richland FOCUS staff sharing her heart @ Richland FOCUS!

Before we did outreach as a ministry, we all got together to seek the holy spirit and worship together. It was such an encouraging night!

Every Wednesday @ Richland we have set up volleyball nets, thrown around the frisbee and have become a presence on campus! We have met so many students each week setting up and doing this!

I took a selfie with my core. I love these students so much - we have gotten to build such a fun group on Wednesdays @ 1:30pm!

Our UTD Friday Night Fellowship meetings!

After our Richland large group meetings - we all usually hang out and go out to eat with each other. So thankful for these students :)

Peter, one of our UTD staff - preaching at Friday Night Fellowship. He did such a great job and has become a favorite among our students. I've known him since he was a student and he has become such a strong and influential leader in our community! 
Getting ready for ACL surgery :) 

My mom and I before surgery. Even though I'm 29 years old, I'll always be a mommas-boy. She drove me to and from the hospital and took care of me the first couple of days after the surgery. So thankful for her! Love you Mommy!

This was my view for the first few days after surgery. I am now able to move around on crutches and the pain has subsided a bit. Please be praying for a quick recovery and that I would stay consistent in physical therapy and my rehab :)

We did outreach at Richland college and asked the question: What would it say on your tombstone? I wasn't able to be there due to my injury, however, I heard that they had GREAT conversations and got to engage our campus deeply!

Another picture of our outreach event @ Richland! Eddie did such a great job planning and initiating this event!

Thank you all so much for your support and partnership! I am blown away and honored to call you all my team :) You've all been there with me since the beginning and I can't ask for a better group of partners. Please keep me in your prayers that I would heal & recover with no delays. 

Until next time, thank you and love you!

Your brother & campus missionary,

Sirak Asfaw

Monday, October 2, 2017

Here Comes October!

My friends, my team!

Thank you so much for your partnership and support! :) I can't believe that we're already in October and almost at the halfway point of the semester. God has been so faithful with all of the new students that are entering our lives. I hope that the photos below are encouraging and a faithful reminder of how good our God is!

This year I am studying the bible 1 on 1 with several students. Please be praying for my relationship(s) with Josh, Kirubel, Javon, Chris, and Evan. These are all young men that I feel the Lord has called me to befriend and I am forever grateful for their heart(s) and willingness to form spiritual friendships in our community. Please pray for wisdom, insight, and for all of these students to encounter the love and personhood of Jesus Christ!

This year at Richland College, we have been doing outreach every week on Wednesdays. Every week we set up a volleyball net and bring water/Gatorade with the hopes of meeting and building new friendships with students. So far, this has been a powerful experience! I think that we, as a ministry, have been wrestling with how to balance our ministry meetings and formal outreach. These Wednesday activities have been a great addition to our gathering time(s) that help us meet students and grow in our presence on campus! We've had several campus faculty and even the president of the college walk by us and share how thankful they are to see students on campus hanging out & building campus life! Check out the photos below and be encouraged!

Our first Richland large group meeting! Sandra did a great job speaking at our meeting :) She shared how Jesus is our Vision, Passion, and King. I think that the students were very engaged and loved hearing from her :) We have such a great group of students this year at Richland 

Josh, one of our students at UTD FOCUS was sharing during our large group time how the Lord has changed his life! I loved getting to hear from him. 

Our worship team does such a great job every week at UTD FOCUS! There are many areas of our ministry that are 100% student-led. Our worship/audio-visual team(s) are driven in large part by our students. Their time serving our campus create so many opportunities for relationships to be formed!

Our Richland FOCUS ministry setting up for Wednesday outreach! I can tell that they really enjoy one another and are excelling at building a community on campus.

Michael, one of our seniors at UTD FOCUS, sharing about how his vision of campus ministry has changed from his freshman year to now. He has been such an influential leader in our community and so many of our students look up to him! I always love getting to hear him speak.

Some of our Richland students decided to play an impromptu game of touch-football. It was great to watch them spend time with each other and have fun.

A shot from the back row of our UTD FOCUS meetings!

Our Richland FOCUS ministry! I'm so thankful for each and every one of them. They all bring something unique to our ministry and are all becoming such close friends :)
Our UTD, Richland, SMU & TWU-Dallas ministries gathered for Fall-Camp 2017! This was such a great experience for our students. Many new friendships were formed and Jesus was very present during our sessions. Please be praying for all of the students who attended and are beginning their 1 on 1 bible studies!

Thank you all so much for your support and partnership! I am blown away that it has been 6 years since I walked on campus for the first time as a full-time campus missionary and many of you have been there with me since day one! You're all an inspiration to me and keep me going every day. The Lord has been faithful in crossing our paths over the years and I am looking forward to many more with you all side-by-side with me :)

Your campus missionary,


Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Great Start To A Great Year!

My friends & team!

Thank you so much for your support and partnership :) This year has been flying by and God has continually been faithful and consistent in the way he brings students into our lives. The month of August was filled with new friendships being born, freshmen finding community during their first few weeks of school and lots of welcome-week events! August is always a crazy month for us but we wouldn't have it any other way! I hope that the pictures below encourage you and give you a glimpse into what has been going on over the past month :)

This year at UT Dallas & Richland College, I have begun spending time with a student from Costa Rica and one from Chicago. They both come from polar opposites of the world but the same theme has emerged in both of our relationships: they found community in our FOCUS ministries. College ministry affords these opportunities to have worlds collide and see how the name of Jesus can be proclaimed higher & higher! I am so grateful to be a part of what God is doing this year and I would appreciate it if you prayed for the holy spirit to move in the lives of our students.

Below are a few pictures of our Dallas (UTD/Richland/TWU Dallas/SMU) leader team retreat, outreach events, welcome week worship events, and a few others. Thank you again for all of your support and believing in me for the last six year. I couldn't do this without you! Enjoy the pictures below:

Our Dallas leader team meeting up for a weekend of practical leadership training! So thankful to work with these men & women!

One of our most successful outreach events every year: Ultimate Frisbee/Kickball! We brought so many students and they all had a blast playing sports, cooling off, and doing it again! Many students that came to this event got plugged into a core small group!

Before the start of every year, we have a combined worship event with all of the other campus ministries. The event was a huge success and we brought so many students to come & share in what the Lord is doing on campus! 

UT Dallas plans and facilitates a variety of welcome-week events every year and for us, that is great! We gather our students, show up and meet people! This was the comet beach luau and we loved getting to be around all of the students!

This was our first Friday Night Fellowship meeting of the year! We nearly filled out a room that we would barely fill up halfway last year! Praise God!

Our Richland student organization fair! We met so many students there and got a lot of sign-ups for our group! I really enjoyed getting to be on campus and be a part of what God has planned @ Richland!

Another panorama picture of our Richland organization fair last week! We met so many students!

A picture from the back of our Friday Night FOCUS meeting!  
I had the privilege of preaching our first two weeks of Friday Night FOCUS about our theme, "Send Me". We discussed how Jesus was sent into the world & so are we! We also discuseed how Jesus was sent into the lives of others & so are we! It was such a privilege to share what God has placed on my heart!

Thank you so much for your support & partnership! I am honored to get to be your missionary and share the gospel with students every day. I couldn't have asked for a better team to stand side-by-side with me on campus, thank you for your support!

Please if you'd like prayer for anything do not hesitate to ask me! I would be honored to pray for you.

Thank you for your support & I will talk to you soon!

Your campus missoinary & brother,


Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Beginning Is Almost Here!

 My friends!

Can you believe that summer is over and we're about to begin the fall semester? This fall will be my sixth year as a campus missionary and I am so excited to have you alongside me for the journey. Thank you for your friendship and support through the years. This year will be no different than the last 5: God will be faithful. He always is! In just a few short weeks there are going to be thousands of freshmen, international and transfer students walking onto God's college campuses and we hope to be the first people that they meet. Through move-ins, campus welcome week events, outreach, ultimate frisbee nights, and many other venues we are going to try and meet as many students as possible!

Our staff just got back from our annual staff retreat and it was a week of faithfully reminding one another of your goodness. I think that in campus ministry, the temptation is to have control and gain a sense of security as you meet, befriend and disciple students. The reality is that God is fully in control of it all and calls us to simply submit to his will and be faithful with what he has placed in front of us. Below are a few pictures of our staff team(s) this year and I'm excited to be serving alongside them!

I hope you've got a few minutes to check out our student testimony below. As FOCUS has continued to grow to 10 different campuses in the DFW area, we are continually hearing stories of lives changing and being turned towards Jesus. Check out the story below:
Our July student testimony! 

Our 2017-18 FOCUS Dallas Staff! (From left to right: Peter, Sandra, Laurence, Mandy, Brandon, Sarah, Eddie, Dawn, and me!) I'm so thankful to get to work with such brilliant missionaries. God has put together such an awesome team this year and I'm excited to work alongside them!

A few weeks before the beginning of the fall semester our staff hosted an event called, SICM Refresh. In May we have our week long SICM campus ministry training conference and we wanted to have a condensed, one-day 'refresh' for our students have not been to SICM yet or have gone and it has been a few years. The event was such a success and the students were encouraged and prepared for an awesome kick-off to the school year! Mandy did a great job planning and coordinating this event!

This fall, I will be supervising Eddie Perez, one of our 2017-18 apprentices. Eddie recently graduated from UT Dallas and is taking a year to partake in our one-year apprenticeship program. I have known Eddie since his freshman year and I must say that I am so excited to work alongside him! He is extremely gifted and will be such a great minister to our students at UT Dallas and Richland College!

For our last FOCUS meeting of the summer we called up all of the staff that will be renewing their commitments to the front for prayer. We take our commitments very seriously and it was such a blessing to have our ministry & staff pray over our staff committing to serve our community!

Summer has been such a encouraging fundraising season! Each of our staff have been individually fundraising on their own to raise the salaries for their budgets. We plan several special events for our incoming apprentices to help them fundraise and for one of them we did a Family Feud evening (FOCUS Staff Veterans vs. Incoming Apprentices)! It was so fun and good to see our apprentices & staff bonding with one another. This year we've got a great group of apprentices and I'm excited to work alongside them!
Another picture of our 2017-18 FOCUS apprentices during the "Family Feud Game Show Fundraiser"!

Our 2017-18 FOCUS Apprentices! Please be praying for them as they prepare for the beginning of the school year. They have already begun their bible reading/apprenticeship assignments but they're going to hit the ground running here pretty soon!

Once again, thank you so much for believing in our mission and for believing in me. 10 years ago, as a 19 year old, I would've never imagined that I would be a full-time campus missionary serving on God's college campuses. Thanks to a team like you all, it's been made possible and into a reality. I recommitted to another 4 years of campus missionary work through the 2020-21 school year and I am excited to have you all side-by-side with me!

Please don't hesitate at all if you have anything you'd like prayer about :) Thank you so much for your support and I'm honored to have you on my team!

Your brother & campus missionary,


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sirak's June 2017 Update!

My team!

Thank you so much for your support and consistency! We're halfway through the summer and I am so energized and encouraged thinking about this fall. Our UTD/Richland/TWU Dallas Campus Missionary teams have been hard at work meeting up with students and building our leadership team for this fall. Please be praying for these students (many of them first-year leaders) as they prayerfully consider spending their fall & spring semester as campus missionaries! Our ministry is largely student-led and we believe in raising up leaders from the ground up! I was a student leader from 2009 - 2012 and I am forever grateful for the development and training I received then. I am so excited for many of these young adults to encounter the depth of Jesus' love as they serve and love their campuses!

Below you can see our student testimony for the month of July! This is just one story and my prayer is that this fall, as we meet students for the first time, we would be changing the stories of all the students we meet. Your support has been a huge catalyst in making this happen! I hope that the story below encourages you and reminds you of what your support is going towards!

(click to view larger)

Each week I have the privilege of studying the bible with one of our students at Richland College, Josh. He's been very involved in our group this year it's so awesome every week to see how God is growing & developing him.

Sarah King, our UTA Campus Pastor, preaching at Summer FOCUS last week. She did such a great job sharing how the Lord has grown her over the years. Our students were very impacted by her talk!

Our Summer FOCUS meetings have gotten so large! For many of you Alumni reading this, you remember that this size was that of our winter camp only a few years ago.

Thank you for believing in me and making a way for this campus-missionary journey. I am blown away at how faithful God has been through your partnership and friendship. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need prayer for anything in your life at all! Please be praying for our FOCUS staff at other campuses as we build our leadership teams. Pray for wisdom and discernment as we have important conversations with our students!

Your brother & campus missionary,