Looking back, August has been a whirlwind of a month. The apprenticeship ramps up very quickly, so that first month is one of the most intense of the year. It started with staff retreat, and as soon as we got back from that, our classes started up. I was excited to get to dive into the old testament during those first couple weeks, but I had no idea how much I would learn. It was so much more than just learning the stories and events of the old testament. I learned so much about themes that run through the whole Bible, about the character of God, and really broke down a lot of misconceptions that I had about the old testament. It's been a process of evaluating beliefs I've held for a long time, and not so much changing those beliefs as building them up from a new perspective and creating a deeper foundation. It would be impossible to write about everything I have been learning in a concise way, but I'll just say that it has all been very good and the Lord has been using it to not only deepen my understanding, but also to draw me closer to Him.
I've been through 3 welcome weeks as a student leader, but as a member of staff this year it was quite different. It was certainly a lot more chaotic and exhausting, but it was very encouraging nonetheless. I met so many new students, and just seeing all of our leaders reaching out to new students and developing relationships was so amazing. At the tail end of welcome week we held our first Friday Night Fellowship of the year, and it was a big one! It was truly astonishing to see how many students were there and how excited they all were.
One of my favorite parts of that experience was meeting a student that will go by the name of Bob for this update. Bob has a very similar story to me, which we both agreed immediately bonded us. He is a sophomore and had a really tough first year at college, he grew up in the faith but wasn't involved in anything that first year. When I asked Bob what brought him to Focus that night, he said it was time for a change, and that he needed people and God back in his life, because there was an empty place he just couldn't fill. Bob went on to meet a lot of people that night and is now involved in a Core group. It was one of the many stories that showed methat all our hard work these first weeks was well worth it.
As I look forward into September I can't wait to start building deeper bonds with the guys in my peer team (which is the group of small group leaders that I get to pour into this year).They've all done an amazing job during these first weeks of school and I'm excited to see what their groups start looking like.
God is doing big things this year, and I can't wait to see what is in store next!