Sunday, December 4, 2011

In FOCUS, we try to have every student in our ministry go through a foundational Bible study one-on-one called Focus on Jesus (many of you already know that but just in case you don’t…). God has given me the opportunity this year to study the Bible with two different students.  Every time I get to study the Bible with someone I am amazed at how much he teaches me through that.  I have gone through the lesson called The Character of Christ 2 times in the last month so I have really spent a lot of time thinking about Jesus’ character.  When I compare Jesus to me, I just realize how short I fall but then reading about his mercy, grace, and forgiveness I am so encouraged.  He continues to work on me and I pray that my character can be more and more like his.  Both women I am studying with want to be their best for God and that really challenges me to be my best.  I have been so blessed to get to study one-on-one with them, to mentor the corefa’s, and to work with the women interns we have this year. 
 God is so good and he is so faithful.  I continue to be amazed at all he is doing all around me.  By this time in the semester, the small groups are established and one on one’s are really going.  Through the one on one’s especially, God really starts to change people’s hearts. This year has been no exception.  We have women who are really struggling with who they are going to live for.   The word of God really is living and active, sharper than a double edged sword.  I am so thankful that we have so many disciples in our ministry who are studying the Word with people. 
I am so proud of the women small group leaders (Corefas) for putting in the time to really invest in people.  By this time in the semester, the corefas are so busy with school and with all their other commitments.  This is also when they want to spend more and more time with people in their core, pouring into them.  Please pray that the women corefas  are able to learn to balance their lives between ministry, school, work, friends, family and purposeful rest time.  Also, pray for the people that are in our cores that they will really continue to grow in their relationship with God.  Pray that people will turn their lives completely over to God and make Him Lord.
We continue to have very large women’s cores at UTD.  So far God has given us what we need to minister to each woman one on one.  I am so thankful for that.  Please be praying for our students as they are ending the semester and about to be away from the community for a month.  This can be a very difficult time for people.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I honestly feel like this year is flying by.  I cannot believe it is already November and we have about a month and a half left until winter break.  So many amazing things are happening at UTD this year.  I feel like God blows me away week by week with all that he is doing in and through people.  There really are so many different things that I could share about on the women’s side of FOCUS.

I am currently leading a small group for small group leaders that we call peer team.  My peer team consists of four women who are students at UTD.  In peer team we started reading a book called Fuel and the Flame which really has reminded me why I love doing college ministry so much.   My peer team and I are really catching a vision of the foundation that we get to help lay in the lives of young women.  The corefa’s (small group leaders) in my peer team are really challenging the women that they meet with to have a deep relationship with God and to really be radical disciples of His!

I went and visited both of the cores that the women in my peer team lead this past month. I was BLOWN away by both groups.  The core I visited on Wednesday night has about 24 women in it.  The group has so many new people that the corefas can’t possibly study with them all.  The returning members of the group have really stepped up and are studying the Bible with some of the new people.  The corefas are meeting with all of these returning members, giving them weekly support.  They are basically leading a small group for the leaders in their group.  I am so proud of the hard work these corefas are putting into making sure that everyone in their group has the opportunity to study the Bible with someone and are raising up other leaders at the same time.  During core it was clear that the women enjoyed being together, have a heart to praise God, and are pretty open.

 I also got to visit a core that is on Thursday nights this past week.  It was so neat to meet so many new girls that were not in FOCUS last year.  I am so amazed at how this core seems to be growing each week.  The corefas are doing such a great job planning and really building community. God is doing some amazing things through these groups.

Today, Jamiann and I went up on campus and prayed for UTD and for FOCUS.  As I was walking back to my car I saw one of the corefas doing a one on one study with a girl in her core.  I think that God is working in so many ways and he does answer prayers.  Please continue to pray that God continues to work through these students to bring people to know him.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A New Year

The new school year has officially begun, and it has been such a busy month getting prepared for it.  Our new FOCUS interns officially started on August 1st .  We have 5 interns working on three different campuses this year, which is so exciting!  I am very excited because I get to work directly with Jamiann at UTD, and then also get to spend some time with Brianna and Kelly helping them some while they work at Collin College and the University of North Texas.  I cannot wait to see what God is going to do through them this year.

This month has definitely been busy.  We spent a couple of days doing a staff retreat with the interns just getting to know them and building our team.  I feel like that was such a great weekend and I personally left encouraged and excited to work on this team this year.  After the retreat, our UTD staff spent some time getting ready for the students to arrive and planned some activities for the Freshmen.  The Freshmen moved in 5 days before the upperclassmen and there really was not a lot for them to do the first few days they were there.   We put on several events that week and all were well attended so we were able to meet so many new students.

The fruit of all of that work has started to show since we had our first large group meeting last week.  We had about 150 people at our first Friday night of the year!  We also had about 80 women sign up to say they wanted to be contacted about being invited to a small group (Core).  This year we currently plan to have 5 women’s Cores which will meet at different times throughout the week and are student led.  So with all the students that signed up and with all the students the Core Facilitators met during Welcome week, our women’s Cores are going to all be big. This will present some challenges but is so exciting!   This year, I get to work with some of the women Core facilitators to make sure they have all the resources they need to be successful.  I am so thankful that my dear friends Christa Smith and Amy Knoles will also help with some of them as well.

 Please be praying that we can have great cores and that the women are able to build relationships where they can grow in their relationship with God.  Please continue to pray that we are able to make disciples on all of our campuses this year!