One of the most special things about doing campus ministry is seeing new and potentially lifelong friendships forming in front of you. Although I love many things about what I do, this might be one of my favorites. Many students come and go throughout the years, and oftentimes you are left wondering what will stick with them. Will they remember any sermons or talks they heard? Will they remember what you mentored them on, conversations you had, things about God that you taught them, leadership skills, spiritual disciplines, and so on? They might remember bits and pieces of that stuff, and a lot of it will impact them whether they have a distinct memory or not.
Time and time again, what continues to create the longest standing impact are the relationships students make. I think that's why Jesus spent so much time mentoring the 12. He did all those other things to, a lot of them. But it was the 12 disciples and their relationship with Him and each other that enabled them to take those teachings and build the church. The same kind of things happen in our ministry. People learn a lot, but what sticks and helps enable them to use what they've learned are the relationships they've made.
I've seen this very distinctly in one of my friends Jaden this year (to the right of me in the photo). I have the pleasure of having him be part of my small group, as well as studying the Bible with him 1x1. My favorite thing is seeing him form deep friendships with myself and the guys around him. Jaden had a rough childhood to say the least, and in a lot of ways this is his first time really being able to let loose in a safe environment. He's staying up until 5 in the morning hanging out with the friends he's made in our ministry. He's having deep conversations about meaningful things, whether he knows it or not he's in the process of building lifelong friendships with those around him.
There is a lot that will need to happen for those relationships to stand the test of time, but I see the seeds have already been planted and have started to grow. Through these relationships I hope that a guy who could have ended up in a really rough spot, will instead be transformed into an on-fire disciple of Christ that will go on to bless others in huge ways. That is just one story of many that are all happening in our ministry right now. I ask that you be praying the Lord works in powerful ways through these relationships and friendships that are forming this semester!
Another thing to be praying about is Keep FOCUS Growing! It's a yearly fundraiser FOCUS does in order to make sure we're in a spot to respond to whatever God calls us too. This year we planted 5 new campus ministries! That was possible because of the money given last year during KFG. This fundraiser is a huge deal for our ministry, and how it goes has big impacts on the future of FOCUS. Tomorrow, on giving Tuesday, we have donors who have pledged $52,000 in matching funds. So, whatever is given will be matched up to a total of $52,000 (which is just crazy). You've already been so incredibly generous, so I don't want to put any more on your plate, but if you feel the Lord prompting you to give towards this you can give at anyfocus.org/kfg or on my Facebook fundraiser.
Thank you so much for being part of what we're building on campus, and contributing to stories like Jaden's!