So let me tell you about July!
Fourth of July
Austin and I drove up to Oklahoma to visit my oldest sister for the weekend and had a blast! I love being around family and that doesn't happen as often as I wish it did.
Oklahoma doesn't have a burn ban, so the guys just set off fireworks in the street in front of my sister's house. The whole neighborhood was doing the same thing and the effect was fantastic!
|Old Friends in Midland|
This has been such a growing season for me this year. I've learned a lot about God's provision and it is so humbling to me. It's easy for me to get puffed up in thinking that fundraising is just about putting in the time and effort (which is important), but God really is the one that makes things happen!
There have been so many instances this summer where I was feeling so discouraged because MY efforts weren't having the desired results. But then in His timing, He would do something terrific (like connecting me to an old classmate that I haven't really talked to in five years) and show that He is very much still in control and has a plan. I just have to remember that.
One really fun part of fundraising was getting to go out to my old hometown, Midland! I got to see so many old friends and reconnect with them. Midland has changed a lot but there are still so many wonderful people out there...which I ran into literally everywhere I went! I don't think there was a single place I went where I didn't run into someone I hadn't seen in years. It was terrific!
While I was in sweltering Midland, Austin was in "Oh it's almost 80 degrees today" Golden Bell, Colorado! He went with our church's teen ministry, Northeast Extreme Teens (NEXT), to lead worship for their camp. I got to go with them last year and it was amazing. Not just because it's beautiful and that's where Austin proposed, but because teens' lives truly are changed during this time. The opportunity to get away from the every day crazy of life and to be up in the mountains, surrounded by God and people who deeply love these teens does something amazing for them.
The teens worshiping at camp. Gave me chills!!
It's tempting to chalk the changes up to a Camp High, and sometimes that is true. But one of Northeast Church's values is "from the ground up," meaning they invest in their young people to build up a strong ministry that will continue growing past when all of the current leaders are gone. I've seen this in practice as many of our current student leaders and staff with FOCUS and several of my close friends (including my Austin) had "life changing experiences" that truly were Life Changing for the long haul. What a blessing to be part of a church that values teenagers like this and get to help grow the future leaders of the world!
|End of the Year Celebration, 2013|
One of the other girls on my team, Kelly, also has a strong heart for internationals. So we met up with the two of the coordinators for the Intensive English Learning Institute (IELI) and the International Students Department.
That was an exciting meeting. They have a great need for volunteers and we have a great number of willing students! Most of the things we'll be able to get involved with this year are conversation hour and conversation partners. Both of those are great opportunities to build meaningful relationships with international students, which can have deep impact on both parties. I'm so excited for this year to begin and to see what God does in this area!
Ways to Pray For August
Corefa Prep Weekend
August 14 & 15 we will have a training for our student leaders. Pray for them to really catch a Vision of what God is doing on our campuses and what their part is in that.
This is one of the most vital weeks of ministry! New students come pouring into campus and are all open, looking for friends and for places to get involved. If each person on our leader team in Denton this year met five people a day Monday through Friday of this week, we would be reaching out to 1,250 new students!!
The 2015-16 interns started on August 1st! There are fourteen of them scattered around our different campuses. Pray for them in this first month as they read the ENTIRE Old Testament, start classes and their weekly ministry tasks. It can be an overwhelming time!