A Good End to a Good Semester
I can't believe that this semester is already over, it really has flown by unlike any other. I suppose the move to a new place always kept me excited and busy. It's funny, by the end of most semesters I am just exhausted and can't wait for the break. But this time I really am not in that state of mind, I feel not only like I could, but that I would like the semester to keep on going! Campus ministry runs in seasons though, so I know the Lord will use this season to give our students some much needed rest and help our staff prepare for the next semester. Since everything is wrapping up I figured it would be great to just highlight some stories that I feel like show longer term impacts on students, not just monthly things.
The white elephant we did with our Core leaders
A common practice in FOCUS is to wrap up our small groups for the semester with an encouragement time. We'll go around the circle, and spend time encouraging each person. So that might be in ways they have grown, or just qualities we admire in them. This is normally a super impactful time for our students, since most people don't ever really experience such intense and intentional love and building up from a group of people they feel like they belong in. It's hard to capture the emotion during these times, so I'll just share a little about my experience from my Core this year. We had one of our guys break down crying (happy tears) when we were encouraging him, and he said that this Core was a miracle in his life. That he had never been a part of a group that unconditionally loved him like this. He said he didn't know where he would even be in life without our Core. We had another guy just talk about how he had become a better person and a better Christian since joining. Another guy said that he had felt lost in his faith before finding our group. I share these things not to brag about our group, but to show just how powerful a group of disciples can be in people's lives, and I just feel like these stories sum up so much of the year and what we've been working towards.
Another really cool thing that happened this month was getting invited to officiate some of my friends wedding. Layton was in my peer team last year, so I got weekly time with him, and then Mercedes led Core with my wife years back. Both of them did such a great job leading small groups in our community, and just overall being pillars in FOCUS. They dated really well, and put Christ in the center of their relationship at all times. So it was really special to be able to officiate the wedding of two people I really love and admire. In college ministry we spend a lot of time talking about dating, so it is really cool when you get to see some of the fruits of that labor in weddings like this. They really are such a sweet couple who have built a great foundation, and they are going to have such a wonderful marriage together.
For our Christmas party this year we had a giant blanket fort building competition.
This Stranger Things themed one didn't even win (I still think it should have).
Overall this semester was really good. There were some ups and downs, but mostly ups. I'm so excited to see what the Lord has in store next. Thank you for being part of this!
Pray that we can get all of our students to our upcoming Winter Camp
Pray that our students don't waste their breaks
Pray for guidance as we plan for next semester