Sunday, October 2, 2016

October Updates

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 

- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Happy autumn to you all! September is such a fast-paced month! Since the bonus blog (which you can read here) was longer, I want to give you a shorter update with some specifics of who and what to be praying about throughout this month!

Peer Team Girls

Meeting with these girls each week is my favorite part of my job! These are girls who have committed to give their time (usually around 15 hours a week) and efforts (mental, emotional and spiritual) towards being leaders in some capacity in the ministry. They are seriously the best.

We're still in the young stages of our relationships...them with each other as co-facilitators (co-fas) and with me as their peer team leader. I've been seeing more vulnerability and trust being built over these last few weeks especially.

Be praying that I'm super sensitive to the Lord's leading and the prompting of the Holy Spirit as I mentor these women. Be praying for them to be intentional with each other and their cores to build relationships, and that they really seek out the Lord as they lead their peers.

This is 7/10ths of the peer team! Tie dye for the win!

International Ministry

Maaaaan, what a fun and challenging part of ministry this is! So far, we've had the opportunity to serve IELI (Intensive English Learning Institute) by providing volunteers each week for "Coffee and Cultures," a discussion group for practicing English. We've had some really fascinating conversations, which has been great for the upper level students. But more recently, it was discovered that the lower level students (who are some of the ones who need to practice most!) weren't understanding the topics and were intimidated by the size of the group to speak. So back to the drawing board! Last week, we broke into smaller groups by language levels (0-2, 3-4, 5-6) and that seemed to go muuuuuch better. I got to talk to some of the 0-2 language level students afterwards and while they said it was still difficult, they understood more! 

That group is an excellent entry point for building relationships with individual students. I've loved getting to know a couple of them outside of the group venue and to hear more of their stories. Another way we've gotten to know international students is through a conversation partners program. I am seriously loving meeting with my partner. She's a 36 year old woman from South Korea who loves the Lord and wants to talk about what He's teaching us each time we meet. Her passion for Him and for sharing that with others, regardless of the language barrier, is encouraging and convicting.

Please be praying that we continue to have opportunities to build relationships with these students and that we are bold in sharing the love of Jesus with them.


Cores are the "core of the ministry," you know? These are the places where students make deep peer friendships that are focused on Christ and have an opportunity to grow in community. We're now beginning the fifth week of cores and already I've heard some good stuff! People are being open and vulnerable. Students who were reluctant to come at first have been consistent and are exciting to come together each week. The corefas (core facilitators) are practicing thinking pastorally as they determine what the core will study or discuss each week. I'm starting my first round of core visits next week and I can't wait! It's one of my favorite things to get to know the girls my peer team is ministering to and to see how each of the corefas themselves lead in those groups.  

Please continue to pray for each of these cores, the students in them, and the one on one Bible studies that are being had out of relationships being built there.

Core hang out at the beginning of the semester!

 Fall Camp

Fall Camp is something that happens each year in October. Over the course of 24 hours at Mount Lebanon Camp in Cedar Hills, Texas, students from all three campuses (UNT, TWU & NCTC) gather together for fun and games, testimonies and worship, outdoor adventuring and lotssss of snacks! This seems to be a real solidifier for students...relationships are deepened (or established), often they decide to actually become a part of the community and not just someone who shows up, and best of all, usually they encounter God in ways that's hard to do in the midst of all the distractions of normal life and busyness. 

This year, I'm coordinating Fall Camp for the Denton team! This is a new, exciting and daunting task! I'm so thankful to have so many others to ask advice from and to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. 

Be praying for this event with me, please! Pray that even more than it going smoothly (which I realllly want to happen!), that the students will encounter God and will deepen in their relationships with Him. Pray that the ones who are supposed to be there this weekend will not let distractions keep them from coming. Pray that we are sensitive to the Lord's leading in how He wants this weekend to go! I can't wait to update y'all next month! 

Thank you for all of your love and prayers! Ministry would not be the same (or even possible!) without each of you and the ways that you support and pray each month. Love y'all!