Cram all the things!
I'm amazed at all the things that fit inside the four short weeks of February! Here are just a few:
Each year we invite potential student leaders to a conference up in Bellingham, WA called the Student Institute of Campus Ministry, or SICM in May. This conference is a full week of lectures, discussions, and hands on experience of learning how to do campus ministry.
This picture is from 2011, the year I went. We took sixteen students from UNT that year and from that bunch, five of us have done the FOCUS internship after graduating and three of us have committed to being on staff.
SICM was such an impactful week for me. I came away with a clear vision of how I could help my classmates come to know Jesus and felt empowered to lead my peers as I grew deeper in my own relationship with Him.
The first week in February we spent finalizing who would be asked to go to SICM. I'm so excited to be sending a whole new bunch of students to Washington to learn more about how to impact their peers while at college. Keep those students in your prayers as they work to raise the money to go and pray for them to really catch a vision for campus ministry and to come back excited to put that knowledge into action on their own campuses.
Outreach and SSI
|Questions on Display|
Outreach has been going really well this past month and we've had some great conversations. Our displays this month have been asking questions like "Science and Religion...friends or foes?" "What is the purpose of life?" and "Does God exist?" coupled with quotes from famous people of both a Christian and non-Christian point of view. Most of the conversations I've had this month have been with students who consider themselves atheists. Some of them have been really difficult, because the student is very intent on their viewpoint being heard and aren't open to hearing other opinions. Others are hard because of their reasons why they have decided there is no God and those conversations break my heart.
Every year in March, the ministry in Bellingham, Washington sends a group of students down to our six campuses in the DFW area for SSI (Spring Student Initiative). They spend their whole Spring Break doing outreach with us! It's a great experience for both them and us! We'll be using a lot of the same displays from this past year all over the course of one week with their help. I would ask for your prayers as we prepare for this week long outreach event March 23-27th. Pray for good weather and health, for open hearts and solid conversations with students, and that this would give our students a vision and desire to impact their peers.
February - The Month of Love
|Perfect opportunity for a mushy pic!|
February is such a handy month for bringing up the topic of dating for our students! One of our goals is to help students learn how to date in a godly way that will pave the road for godly marriages. I got to be on a dating advice panel as the newly wed, along with a single girl and one of the women in our church who has been married for 20+ years. That was one of my favorite events this month, getting to share with the girls in the two cores how my perspective of dating had changed over the years and how it impacted my choice of who I was going to marry. I'm so thankful for the wisdom that is being collected and passed on to students who really want to do things right! I'm praying for a generation that sees a major drop in the divorce rate among Christians and I think that starts with how we date. This is a link to an article written by one of the campus ministers at Collin College that we've used this year to start some good conversations:
Please feel free to read it and pass it along to other people who might really benefit from a straight forward look at Christian dating!