Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Feels like... October?

Hi hey hello!
We're almost halfway through the year, ah!! Here are some exciting things that happened this month and things to be in prayer for-

Mingling time before the celebration service
So many different stories in this room, all pointing at God's faithfulness!
20 year celebration 
About 700 of our focus alumni, parents, donors, and students showed up on a Saturday evening to reflect on what God has been able to do through willing people! This served as another reminder of God's abilities to use just about anyone to make disciple-makers. Not only that, but how neat and transformation occurs in His Kingdom is among us and when His agenda being pursued. I've been so much more blown away by how God has led me to where I'm at. I'm so grateful He was working in others lives and using them, before I came to Him, to build a community that would years down the line bless me beyond measure and give me a bigger vision of what life in the Kingdom of God is about. He's brought us all this far and still has so much further to take us, how neat that this will be for our sake but also for that of the people around us now and down the line! My prayer is that "I will praise Him, the Lord my God, with all my heart; that I will glorify His name forever." (Psalm 86:12, paraphrased)

My shirt stands for "The Beautiful Exchange," how fitting for a baptism!
Devin's baptism
Do you guys remember me mentioning Devin on the September blog post? Well this past month he decided to commit to a life where the only thing that is certainly true is that Jesus is Lord! I studied the scriptures one on one with him last year at UNT, as he was starting his freshmen year. I can't begin to explain to you how much he's allowed the Lord to grow him in just a year! This year he gets to be a corefa at UNT. I'm so thankful I got to spend two years out there and am even more glad to know that God used me to impact people like Devin who now get to impact others!

This room was filled with all of our student leaders (ballpark 125) from 9 campuses and adults from the Denton North, Wylie and Garland Northeast churches!
Leadership conference
Once a year our whole ministry and family of churches come together for a conference on a specific topic. This year the topic was "The inner life of a spiritual leader" and focused on our devotional times with the Lord as well as areas that taint our view of Him (like selfishness and distractions). It was yet another time for me to be reminded of the importance of continuously practicing the acknowledgement of the presence of God. He invites us into a relationship with Him that is genuine, always loving, and very deep; oddly enough these are ways that I've been learning to grow in my relationships with others! I'm thankful we work alongside God as people whose only good is found in who God says we are.

OT Class
Our Old Testament class has officially come to an end, meaning we've now finished studying the whole Old Testament (at an introductory level)! I'd love to have conversations with any of you about how this class helped deepen my understanding and appreciation of our Creator. I ultimately was amazed at how faithful God is at the promises He makes with His chosen people and how much of what He did for them was focused on them being a blessing to those around them. It's challenged me to reflect on what ways God has and is blessing me. Ways that I choose to be selfish with, instead of reflecting the character of Christ, and ways that point people to His abilities and life, not my own attempts and accomplishments.

Our favorite things to do are play Spike Ball, in the foreground, and a modified version of volleyball, in the background 

Prayer requests
  • We have continued to spend time on the Preston Ridge campus on Tuesday's by having lemonade to attract people as well as asking different questions to elicit conversation AND fun games. We've had quite a few people join us! It's neat to meet people who have been looking for people to spend time with and also to develop friendships with. Please pray that we are bold in meeting students and inviting them into community!
  • Our 1:1 bible studies have been in progress some since about the first week of school and others as of this week! It's exciting that we are empowered and able to study the scriptures in efforts to better understand and relate to God. Please pray that the students who are studying the scriptures, diligently, most, for the first time, come to know God much better and as a result seek godliness.
  • Our corefas have committed to carving out an average of 20 hours a week or so to minister to the people God has allowed them to work and interact with personally. It really is incredible how much they do despite them being full time students and working par time jobs. Please pray that their ministry is rooted in the love of Christ and their desire to make His goodness known, despite their need to be vulnerable and uncomfortable through challenges and the need for good time management.
  • The new students that we'll get to interact with and be Christ's aroma to. We have many events and activities in place to engage with students so we're constantly in need of an awareness of His presence.
  • Our staff consistently needs the Spirit's direction as we make decisions and think through what is best for our students. Please pray we are in step with the Spirit and responsive!
THANK YOU! I couldn't do what I do without you guys.  
Yours on the campus,
Pedro