August 2021 Update
August is here and that means the school year is upon us! On August 1st, 19 of us apprentices had a licensing and commitment ceremony where we made promises to God and our community about our commitment as ministers this year. I remember years ago, watching this ceremony for the first time as a student and being struck by the significance of it all.
I've been both anxiously and excitedly awaiting the arrival of August this summer. The apprenticeship with Focus is something I've wanted to do since I got involved as a freshman in this ministry. August is going to be incredibly busy, but we're ready to hit the ground running, and work hard at reaching as many students as we can at the beginning of the school year. The first few weeks of the school year is so critical at reaching students, because that is when they're most receptive to friendships. An axiom (or saying) we have here is, "A disciple too lazy to plant in the fall will have nothing to reap in the spring".
We just got back from an all-staff retreat where we spent most of the time hanging out, having fun, and getting to know each other better. One thing I love about this ministry is how much we value friendship and fun. Staff retreat is a great way to solidify our friendships as we head into a busy year of ministry!
Here's a photo from staff retreat during one of our worship sessions!
In a few days, we'll be taking potential student leaders to SICM, which stands for Student Institute of Campus Ministry, where they'll learn about how to be missionaries to their campus. We'll be taking two rounds of students this year since SICM was cancelled last year due to Covid. We normally go to the beautiful city of Bellingham in Washington state, but this year we will be going to Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, TX! Brandon Worsham visited many camps before deciding on this one, as he really wanted everyone to have the experience of being in a beautiful place.
This photo is from May 2017 when I got invited to SICM! From left to right, there's me, Shayla, Ryan, and Pedro, who were staff members at Collin. I was a freshman in college-- now I get to be on staff with them!
Please pray for our time at SICM-- 1) that students would catch the vision for what God's doing on our campuses, and accept His invitation to be a part of that, and 2) for safe travels to and from, as it's a 6 hour drive!
If you could also be praying for the school year, that God go before us and prepare the hearts and minds of those we'll be meeting! This year we'll essentially have 2 freshman classes on campus, since last year virtually no students were on campus. I know at UTD, we weren't even allowed to be on campus, so reaching students was a challenge. The first few months will be incredibly busy, so please pray for endurance, and that we rest well when we can!
And lastly, a combination of a praise and prayer request: we're pioneering at five new campuses this year, and have the man power to do it, with the largest group of apprentices we've ever had! Praise God! If you could be praying for God to work on those campuses, and to grow us all (both staff and students) in boldness, I would be so appreciative.
Thank you so much for supporting me this year! God is so good to have blessed me with such amazing people. I'm so excited to see and share what God does this year.