Monday, August 5, 2019

The School Year is Among Us!


And just like that...summer flew by! I'm so pumped for the school year to begin and to see all of our students again. This summer, Sandra, Josh, and I have been hard at work preparing for the school year. God has been preparing the hearts and minds of our incoming leadership team and I've got a feeling that this is going to be a great year at Richland College!

We had our staff retreat this past weekend and discussed the book, "In The Name of Jesus" by Henri Nouwen. In the book he discusses the three temptations that pastors face throughout their vocational ministry: 1) the temptation to be relevant 2) the temptation to be spectacular and 3) the temptation to be powerful. As I enter my 7th year on staff as a campus missionary I have seen these temptations play themselves out in different ways as I have sought to serve the students on campus.

The book discussion time we had together at the retreat was encouraging and wonderful! I am grateful for the team (see photo below)! This year I will be the director of our Dallas branch of campuses (SMU, Richland College, and TWU-Dallas). I'm excited to serve in this new role and hopefully be a resource to our campus staff and ministers.

Also: I went to Ethiopia for 2 weeks in July! (see photos below) My entire family is from Ethiopia and I have never been there before. It was an amazing experience to see where I came from and visit such a beautiful country. Enjoy the photos below!

Thank you so much for your support and believing in me all of these years. I'm grateful for each of you and the role you play in my life!
This year I get to supervise Josh Soto! I've known Josh since his junior year at UT Dallas and he is one of my favorite people to be around. He is going to be a full-time campus missionary at Richland College alongside me and Sandra! I'm pumped!

Our SMU FOCUS team (From left to right: Laurence, Amber, and Kurt)! 

Our Richland FOCUS team! (From left to right: Sandra, Sirak (me), and Josh) I feel so lucky to get to work with such amazing people who compliment me so well!

Our Dallas team! I'm excited to get to serve along these fine folk! This was the 1st year that we split off and did our own staff retreat apart from the UT Dallas team and we were a bit nervous. The retreat turned out amazing and our time serving under Brandon & Mandy was well spent. They trained us well! Grateful for our time together at UT Dallas but we are excited as well for this next chapter!

We had a great time with our students summer at SICM! They soaked all of the experience in and were forever changed! Love them!

I miss Brady and Shirley! It was awesome to catch up with them at June SICM. They might be coming down to TX this winter for our staff retreat! I am excited for that prospect :) 

My brother, mom, and me all loved our time together in Ethiopia. The trip definitely brought us together and made us realize how fast time flies by. These are my favorite people and I love them with my whole heart. 

I got to meet my cousin, Yeyesus, who lives in Ethiopia. He is by far one of the nicest people I have ever met. He showed us all over the capital city of Addis Ababa and made our stay in Ethiopia wonderful!

Thank you so much for your support and for believing in campus missions!

Sorry for all of the photos! There's so much to update you on and I hope that you're encouraged at the photos! In just a few weeks, there's going to be thousands of students walking onto God's college campuses and we are pumped to be the first people that they meet! We are excited about the year and I'm honored to have you on my team. Thank you so much for believing in me and our mission!

Your brother & campus missionary!