Sunday, October 2, 2016

Awareness of Him through His people

A simple prayer to "make us more aware of [His] presence" has resulted in sight of God's hand in motion. It has not only been visible through my own life but also through the lives of the people He has allowed us to interact with!

This past month I've seen God at work through...

Fall Camp
This year at Collin, we decided to have a 24 hour retreat, fall camp, for the first time in four years!
This is the group that was taken five years back. Many of the people pictured are currently doing ministry in some capacity! How neat that God would use something like a camp experience to invite them into His work? Even Matt Clark, Hannah King, and Aaron Hollingsworth are pictured!

We had a little over 90 students with us!

During this years camp, we emphasized the importance of being brave through the way we do relationships and the way we give ourself to the Lord so that He can mold us as He pleases. Afterwards I had multiple students tell me about how they felt the Lord's presence and were feeling pursued by Him through the people they'd been interacting with. One of those is a guy named Cameron. He and I have been spending 1:1 time studying scripture to seek out Jesus through it. He quickly has become a dear friend and someone who is reconstructing his paradigm of what christians are about. We had a time during the retreat where we set up different stations to worship God. The activities were- draw how you see God, lay prostrate and talk to God, write a love letter to God, and journal things that you are thankful for. This activity gave people the opportunity to interact with God and develop an awareness of Him, for most of them, different than what they typically experience. It was a great weekend where friendships were developed and deepened and due praise was given to our Good God. Will you pray that what the Lord did in their hearts this weekend isn't choked out by the world? And that instead, our community can continue to enable them to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus?

These are four new students and I at Whataburger after Thursday night fellowship! 
Sladen, the one in blue, is related to Dane (who you'll read about later) and is another guy that I get to study scripture with 1:1!
From left to right: Carlos, a guy that I went to a church with back in high school and got to reconnect with at the beginning of this school year, Fawzi, Michael, another one of the guys that I get to spend 1:1 time with, and myself!

The Hanson wedding!

Greg, the one next to the bride, Kaylan, and I got to study the scriptures 1:1 three years ago while we were in the same small group, with Dane (the one between Greg and I). He was the first person I intentionally spent time with and initiated to develop a spiritual friendship with in the spring of 2013. He moved away the fall of that year to SFA and all I hoped and prayed for was that He'd find a solid community where He could invest and be invested in. Thankfully God is the one in control cause he did that and much more! While being out there, and doing college ministry, he got to meet Kaylan! It was such a joy for Dane and I to celebrate with them. We even got to meet a girl who has been looking for a community out here, in Richardson. Dane, who goes to UTD and is a part of focus there, got to invite her! It's hard not to see that God is working in people and even harder not to praise Him for the fact that He allows us to be a part of that. Will you pray that God continues to make me and the rest of our staff more aware of His presence, nudges, and ways?

Cores (small groups)
This really is such an integral part of our ministry. It's where people get the chance to be known and be, as bumpers in a bowling lane, guided towards Jesus.
From left to right: John, Hayden, Cameron, me, Sammy, Bekwele, Matt C, Graham, Caleb, Ryan J, and Ryan H

I, for the first time in three years, am not leading a core but instead am meeting with two pairs of guys that do. Caleb and Matt C (blue hat and guy with his arm being pulled) are two of the corefas (core facilitators) that I get to meet with weekly so I visited their core and hung out with them afterwards and with some of the guys in the Ryan's core (first two guys on the right). Again, I've heard very frequently both form the four corefas and some of the guys in the cores that they've been seeing God more clearly through these guys vulnerability and willingness to acknowledge the fact that it's only by God's grace that they follow Jesus. Will you pray for us to be bold in reaching out to other students who the Lord wants in our cores? AND for those students, who already are in core, to continually be open to expanding their paradigm of what it means for Jesus to be Lord in their lives?

Hangout with UNT FOCUS friends
Ryan (wearing red shorts) and I met some of our friends at Six Flags on a very empty day! It was a great change of pace and opportunity to catch up on what God's doing out in Denton. Sergio (the one in blue on the far left) and I led a core last year; it was neat since he'd been in my core the year before when I led with Troy (the one in a squat on the bottom left) so I knew him some but didn't realize how much I would love getting to spend time with him until we led a core together. Devin (the one with the green t shirt between Ryan and Sergio) was a guy in our core last year who this year gets to be a corefa! He told me about his ministry and I just couldn't have been more overjoyed, not because his core was big or because he got to baptize a new student but because he is being faithful to letting the Spirit work through him! Will you pray for the work the Lord is doing out in Denton, on our UNT, TWU, and NCTC campuses?

Remember that you are invited to our 20 year celebration!!
Please shoot me a text or email if you can make it so I can be on the lookout for you that day! I look forward to celebrating with you guys!

A "thank you" is hardly sufficient to express how much gratitude I have when I realize how much your investments, financially and through prayer, allow me to let the Lord do. I not only hope hearing of God's wearabouts on our campus encourages you but I also hope it drives you to prayer for a greater awareness of His presence and work around you! Please let me know how I can be in prayer for you and your family.