Thursday, May 3, 2018

Wow - where did the year go?! (Cheers!)

My friends, my team!

Here we are - May 2018. Life is both long & short, isn't it? I remember walking onto campus as a FOCUS intern in August 2012 and now here we are, 6 years later, continuing God's mission of making disciples on his campuses. Life definitely sneaks up on you! THANK YOU for your support and continuing to be with me every step of the way! I remember that there were times during the school year where I felt like I wasn't strong enough or was doubting if I would ever make it through the difficult times/moments of a campus missionary. Life felt very long. In both seasons of life God has proven himself to be always faithful, always good, and always true.

Our student testimony for May 2018, Bekwele Wodi from Texas Woman's University:

"I first became involved with FOCUS when I was just starting out at Collin College. I had been living in Nigeria for a few years, so I was walking into a college experience where I didn’t know anyone. I worried a lot about not being able to find any meaningful friendships while I was there. So it came as a surprise when some old friends of mine, LorĂ© and Gibby Yessuff, invited me to a 
Thursday Night Fellowship. From that first night of fellowship, I made more friends than I could have prayed for. People asked me to sit with them, scheduled time to hang out with me, got to know me and challenged me as a disciple. It became clear to me that this was not only an example of the authentic Christian community; this was the way Jesus called us to do friendships—intentional, genuine and loving.

Through the many friendships I’ve been blessed with in FOCUS, God has changed my fear and worry of not having any friends into a desire to grow and develop friendships at TWU. I am beyond thankful when I see what he is doing in the lives of students here and for the example of Christian friends that I’m now able to extend to others."

Bekwele is one of my favorite students to be around and I hope that you're encouraged by his story!

Our Richland FOCUS leader team for the year. They were such a joy to work with! (From left to right: Sandra, Me (Sirak), Eddie, and Catherine) I'm going to miss working with them every week.

From left to right: Ava, Paulo, Me (Sirak), and Sloan. This picture was taken the day I got engaged to Sloan! Excited to marry her and thankful for all of our friends who made it out and came.

For one of our last few Friday Night Fellowship's of the year, we brought in an accounting professor from UTD. He shared his testimony and shared about the importance of living out your faith on campus. It was great to hear from him!

Jarvis (center) & Paulo (left). Both are members of our Northeast church in Garland that supports FOCUS. Thankful for them and their support for campus missions!

For the upcoming episode of the FOCUS podcast, we got to interview licensed family counselor, Eddie Traughber. In the episode, he shared on anxiety and depression. We are so thankful for his heart and being willing to come and be interviewed by us!
This is Josh (bottom) and Drew (top). Together they led a small group bible study at UTD and I had the privilege of meeting up with them every week to mentor them and help them with any pastoral issues that would come up. They ended up being such an encouragement to me and have become close friends of mine. Thankful for them and their heart for ministry!

We always end the year with open-sharing at Friday Night FOCUS. The last few years, one of the parents of our students, James, has been driving his son to and from our meetings. He shared on Friday night that he was so thankful for our group and for the way that we have welcomed in his son to our community. This is what campus ministry is all about - the opening and sharing of one another's lives to build God's kingdom here!

From left to right: Me, Michael, Josh, Dave, Daniel & Sandra! Thankful for all of these students in our group!

Sandra has done such a great job this year leading our Richland women! She believes in them and really loves seeing them thrive and grow towards becoming like Jesus! She is a very talented minister and deeply believes in those around her. Thankful for her!

This year I had the privilege of meeting up with these guys every week. These men (from left to right: Michael, Ricardo, Manny, Josh, and Drew) are all student-leaders who volunteered their time to disciple students, lead a weekly bible study, and continue to push & grow themselves to be Jesus-style missionaries on their campuses. Thankful for them and I'm really going to miss spending weekly time with them!

Thank you all so much for your support and for believing in me all of these years! I couldn't have done it without you. You all are there side by side with me on campus and so much of the fruit of our ministry is due to your faithfulness and deciding to walk next to us as we help build God's kingdom on his campuses. Thankful for all of you!

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have anything that you need prayer about! Thank you for believing in me!

Your brother & campus missionary,