Getting Ready for Break
I can't believe that we're already a couple weeks away from our students finishing up the semester. These last couple months have just flown by. It feels like I was talking to my small group leaders about how they were going to start Core just a few days ago, but now I'm asking them how they plan on ending it for the semester. Although this month and the ones before it flew by, there were so many encouraging things that came out of it. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it!
We kicked off the month of November with Family Night this year. This event is always really special for everyone involved. Families and friends get to come and hear about FOCUS and the things their students are involved in, but what stands out to me the most is that I get to hear about how our students have impacted their parents. We spend so much of our time pouring into the students and pushing them to grow into looking more like Jesus, and we can see some of the fruit of that in our ministry and in their lives at college. But so much of that fruit is outside what we normally see. It's when the students go home, and there is something different, they act different, they value different things than they did. It's when our students graduate and go out ready to reach out to coworkers and people in their lives. We are striving to make lifelong impacts on these students, and Family Night is one of the nights that as a minister, I get to hear about that part of their lives.
A highlight for us every semester is our big Pizza Theology event. This involves gathering all the FOCUS campuses together for 4 hours of deep, intense, theological lecture, and 1 hour of eating pizza together. The fact that Pizza Theo is often our most well attended event is just outstanding, and says so much about our students. I mean, what college student wants half of their Sunday afternoon to be taken up by more lecture!? But our students do, and they love it! Bill Watson was our speaker this semester, and he did a great job of painting a picture of the whole story of the Bible. He connected things in amazing ways that so many of our students had never seen before. Based on conversations I had afterwards, and the many Ooooohs and Aaaaahs that took place during the lecture, I think our students were greatly impacted by it. I can't wait for our next one in 2019!
Outreach at TWU Dallas
This month I wanted to flag an especially neat outreach event we did. All of the UTD apprentices went over to the TWU Dallas campus to put on a Christmas event for the students there. TWU Dallas is typically very different than some of our other campuses. The average age is much higher, there aren't nearly as many students, its confined to basically one building, and there aren't many events that happen on campus. So the fact that we were throwing this event and reaching out to people was already a big shift from what seems like the norm on this campus. The event was simple, we were giving out free hot chocolate, coffee, candy, and cookies. Based on the reaction of the students though, we could have been giving away cars. They were just so blown away that an organization would put on something like that. So many of them shared that our little event made their whole day. Plus, our students had the opportunity to engage in spiritual conversations with them while decorating cookies! It was so encouraging to see how far even a little effort can go to spreading the love of Jesus on campuses like that.