Monday, January 6, 2020

Each Year Is A New Opportunity

My friends! :)

How are things?

In case you haven't noticed, we have officially arrived in 2020! I was reflecting on where I was 20 years ago: halfway through my 6th grade year at Bowman Middle School and thinking to myself, "I wonder what I'll be doing in 20 years?" I don't think I would've ever thought I'd be a missionary to college students! But, such is life. I'm grateful for the many decisions, twists, and turns that have led to where I am now.

Question: Are we in control of our lives? I think that we can answer this in 2 parts. Part 1: If we think about the future, we'd ideally love to assume that we are in control of the outcome of where we are heading. Part 2: If we think about the past, we see the reality that life is a complex combination of decisions we've made, random chance occurrences, and everything else in-between.

One of the things I love about college ministry is getting to meet new students on a consistent basis. Yes, I love getting to meet them - I also love getting to hear their stories, I love learning about their family backgrounds, and piecing together all the stuff that led to them crossing paths with me. As I get to know them better, it encourages me to think that God was involved along the way leading up to that particular moment.

Some of the students I've met along the way have become some of the dearest friends of mine in my life. Others have gone to break my heart and hurt me. It encourages me to think that God is still involved along the way.

What does 2020 hold? I do not know...or understand to be quite honest. Even as a pastor I still struggle at times with questions about God and his providence; how involved he is in the day to day operations and actions of my life in addition to if I really am in control of my life or if he is...

I am, however, encouraged to trust and have faith that he is involved along the way. I am encouraged to trust that he will be just as involved in 2020 as he has ever been in the years before.

December was a restful month and I hope that you're all encouraged by the photos and stories! Thank you for your support and for believing in me and our mission!

I've been missing seeing our students since the break! It'll be good to see them for our FOCUS winter camp :) Looking forward to it! 

I can't wait for the year to get started up again and kick off our Thursday Night Thunder meetings! These have been such an encouragement to me every week.  
Our end-of-the-year dinner party was fun! We all got to eat with each other and learn about the culture of one another. It was fun!

Another picture of our end-of-the-year party!

Three students: Kendall, Kiden, and Evan are transferring so we gathered around them to pray. We are going to miss them but we know that God will be moving in their lives as they continue to grow and learn. 

I've been supervising an intern this year, Josh Soto. He's done such an awesome job learning and growing into such an awesome college pastor. This is a picture of him preaching to his fellow apprentices and the other FOCUS staff. He did an awesome job and it's been a blessing having him on our team. 

Our Richland FOCUS leader team! Grateful for these students and their hearts to serve our campuses. 

Brady Bobbink, college pastor in Bellingham, Washington; came and spoke to our FOCUS staff for staff retreat. We spent our retreat sessions asking him questions about ministry and life. It was great!

After staff retreat, Brady spoke to our family of churches and it was awesome! I got to stay with Brady and his wife Shirley at SICM last year and they are amazing hosts and we are blessed to have them as a resource.  

Thank you for believing in me all of these years and for your consistent partnership :) I'm grateful to have you on my team :)

Please be praying as we prepare for winter camp! We still have a week to get students to sign-up and prepared!

Until next time -

Your brother & campus missionary,