Saturday, July 1, 2017

July Update

Whoaaaa We're Halfway There! 

These lyrics, while silly, accurately describe where I'm at right now this summer. It's so crazy that we're already halfway through the summer and that much closer to the start of another school year at UNT, TWU and NCTC. The rest of the lyrics are appropriate for this season as well...Whoaaaaa! Livin' on a Prayer! I've been reminded more than ever the last few weeks how vital prayer is to the things we're doing and I just wanted to thank you for how you partner with me in that. There are really four main ways that I would like you to pray for me and this ministry right now! 

Leadership Conversations

We are currently in the middle of having our conversations about leadership with students that we took to SICM in May, students who were leaders last year, and others who are interested in learning more about that commitment. I love getting to have these conversations! We have a list of questions that we ask each person we're considering for leadership and it's just such an intentional conversation. I love getting to hear more of the student's perspectives of what God is doing in their lives, how they're pursuing deeper relationship with Him, and even the practicals of what this next year will be like for them. 
SICM 2016 Reunion Hangout
Through those conversations, we're able to think, pray and discern what would be best for everyone this next year. I've already had some good conversations with students who will be on our leader team next year! I've also had some conversations with students who WANT to be on the leader team, but won't be able to because their schedules aren't conducive to the time commitment. A couple of those have been really disappointing to me, but I know the Lord has some other good in mind for that student this year. So even those discouraging conversations are good as I get to help that student catch a vision for how she can still serve and lead without the title! 

Please be praying with us as we continue to have these conversations and try to nail down our leadership team this next year! Pray for the Spirit to be clear in what roles each student should have and the encouragements/challenges we need to give each student as we have these conversations. It's our goal to have everything figured out by July 15th!  

In case you don't remember what SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) is, here's a video made by one of the students who went this year! What a sweet testimony! 


Today is the 75% deadline goal for our fundraising (for both staff and upcoming apprentices)! I know there are a couple who are SO close, but who aren't at this amount yet. Please be diligent in lifting our team up in prayer for our funding. It is such an incredible blessing to be able to be on campus and to give our undivided attention to the students, but that's only possible if we're fully funded and don't have to work a side job. 

Quality time with my dad in Midland!
I was really blessed this last weekend when I was out in Midland. I had had a really hard week that left me mentally and emotionally drained and the idea of driving out to Midland, being away from Austin and the comfort of home for a week was verrrrrrrry unattractive to me. I had a really bad attitude and seriously considered canceling the plans I had made so that I could just stay home. 

But I am incredibly glad that I didn't! The Lord and I had some serious conversation for a couple of the hours on my way to Midland and we got my negative attitude under control. And then He just wowed me. Each of the people I got to meet with ministered to me in a way that made me so much more excited to come home and start the semester. It was encouraging to hear how the Lord is using discipleship and practical evangelism in my home church to bring renewal! I left Midland feeling refreshed and having a new sense of Hope for the work that God is doing there.  
Sweet ministry partners! 

And the Lord (through you guys!) brought my funding percentage up a whole 20% over a single weekend! I'm now at 83% and fully expect to be finished here in the next few weeks! That is incredible!  Every year, He provides in really neat ways and I'm so grateful for how you are part of that provision in my life. Thank you! 

Summer Time Slump

Summer can be such a fun time of year! It can also be a really hard time of year. I know I struggle more with maintaining a healthy schedule...extremes are really easy for me to fall into - overwork or being lazy. This year I think I've achieved a healthier balance than ever before, but it's still difficult in creating a good balance and finding true rest, not laziness. 

A whole core drove to Austin to visit one of their members!
It's also hard for our students. So many of them go away to work camps, live at home, or go adventuring for the summer and they lose contact with their community. They lose accountability and can fall into some crazy sins. They can become isolated and lonely. They can lose sight of the change God had worked in their lives over the last year and revert back into whatever He had called them out of. It's also incredibly easy to fall into extreme laziness and selfishness. 

Please join me in praying for them! Pray for renewed desire to pursue their relationship with God and with each other. Pray for them to seek out continued community, accountability and mentorship. Pray for the courage to turn away from temptations and to continue living in the light. Pray that they are a light and encouragement to their families or whomever they are around the most this summer. Pray that they come back ready to be a minister to their campus and their peers!

Summer Orientations

NCTC Outreach (lawn games)
We have juuuust over one month before the Fall Semester starts back up and that means we're doing a ton of orientations! UNT and TWU has either a transfer or freshman orientation almost every week! NCTC does not have summer activities, so we've been trying to maintain a presence on campus during summer school hours. Orientations and weekly outreach events are so key to us reaching the incoming students this next year! Please be praying with me for these new students! 

Pray for the Spirit to start working in their hearts now and that they would be ready to go deeper in their relationship with God, if they already know Him. If they don't, pray that He would prepare their hearts to find Him this semester. Pray that the students get connected with the ministry that will be able to encourage and grow them the most, whether that's FOCUS or another ministry on campus. Pray that we're sensitive to the Spirit's leading and don't overlook the Invisibles. 
UNT Orientation
TWU Orientation

Thank you for joining with me in these prayer requests! What a good God we serve, who hears our prayers and answers them! 

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
Isaiah 25:1

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