|Hope and I at Winter Camp - Hope is a TWU-D student who I|
get the pleasure of spending time with and a roommate! (PC:Katy Jordan)
We are officially one month down, eleven to go for the year 2017…time really does fly! In our first month at FOCUS, a lot has been happening, and I am lucky enough to get to witness it and share with y’all how exciting it is. Thank you for being a part of this, and for praying expectantly and supporting joyfully the work God is doing on these campuses across DFW.
|Everyone at Winter Camp Group Photo (PC: Sean Do)|
We started off the spring semester with our four-day annual winter camp (maybe even retreat?) to Sky Ranch. It was a sweet time as a whole community with students from all 9 of our campuses together a long with ~30 students from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and alumni. The weekend was spent in time of worship, fellowship, sermons, fun, and relaxation (at least for those who chose to sleep). The theme for the weekend was Church – the church as exiles and the remnant (much like we see in the Old Testament), as the family of God, and as the temple of God. Talking to the students, I got to hear how God used different speakers and their message to impact them and challenge their way of thinking. We had over 600 students there alone, and I know this weekend was a blessing to many – thank you so much for the prayers you said over this weekend. God answered them in so many good ways and His presence with us was undeniable.
|Our first Worship session of the weekend. (PC: Sean Do)|
I asked a TWU Dallas student, Laura, to share about her experience this year at Winter Camp. I hope this gives you a small glimpse into what God is doing.
“I am a true believer that you only get out of an experience, what you put in. In all honesty, I was not very excited to go to Winter Camp, unlike everyone else I encountered. However, something changed that first night we had praise and worship. I decided to let myself be loved by God and forget about what people might think if I dare raise a hand or two in the air. I made an effort to open my heart, my mind, and spirit to what God wanted for me. Although, I still struggle in my daily life, I now continue to struggle knowing I have a loving and powerful God by my side. I went to Winter Camp hoping the hours would go by fast and I left Winter Camp wishing the hours hadn't gone by at all!”
|All of our students from TWU-D at dinner at Winter Camp.|
TWU Dallas picked up their spring semester the week after Winter Camp, so they’ve only been back in session for a few weeks now. With the new semester, we also have new cores starting up. This semester, Ashley (our UTD student leader who attends graduate school at Callier Dallas) and Amber (a TWU-D alumni) will be leading core together Monday afternoon with the help of Maria (a senior at TWU-D graduating next Fall). I will be leading with Tirzah (a new graduate from TWU-D) on Wednesday afternoons with the help of Hope (a senior from TWU-D graduating this May). We also have Sarah, another woman from the Dallas FOCUS staff, helping us with growing community at TWU-D. I share all of this with you guys because I want to ask for specific prayers for all of these ladies. We are all working together as a team to build close community centered on God at a school, and my prayer is that God would grow our friendships among each other and use us to help grow deep friendships at TWU-D that last outside of nursing school. I already am getting to see how God is using this new semester to strengthen us as a team, and how that is being used to grow and deepen the community He is building. I’m really excited to get to see this all play out over the remaining semester and in the coming years.
Other ways you can be praying:
- For graduated and graduating students. Several of the leaders and students that I work with either recently graduated in December and are starting new jobs/entering into this new stage of life, or are graduating this upcoming May and are beginning their job hunt.
- For me! I recently finished a whole bunch of applications for graduate school, and I am currently in the stage of the unknown and waiting. Please pray that I do get into one of these schools, preferably UTD, for many reasons including the chance to continue working with the TWU-D students. Also, pray that throughout this whole process, no matter what the outcome, I continue to stand firm in the knowledge that God is a good God with a good plan, and that He continues to strengthens me and gives me peace. Ultimately, I ask that His will be done, and not mine (and that I am okay with that).
I love you guys a whole bunch and thank you for your prayers. Happy month of February!
More pictures for your viewing pleasure!
|One of the first girls I met in FOCUS as a freshman, and a sweet friend and supporter now.|
|Amber, Hope, Christina, and I all cramming into a bunk at Winter Camp for the memories.|
|Our UTD students and alumni Whooshing! (PC: Sean Do)|
|TWU Dallas representing. (PC: Sean Do)|
|Some of our UTD students grabbing dinner together after an event.|
|Behind the scenes at worship. One of my favorite things is hearing a group this big praising God's name without shame. It's loud but beautiful. (PC: Sean Do)|