Friday, December 1, 2017

December Update

Keep FOCUS Growing

I'm sure you know the big deal this month is the Keep FOCUS Growing fundraiser that's currently happening! Each year, we host a fundraiser to provide funds for new campuses, student needs, advertising on campus, Focus on Jesus study books, and so much more! If you aren't already following FOCUS on Facebook, you can do so here. This last Tuesday was "Giving Tuesday," where Facebook waived all processing fees and the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation matched $2 million towards non-profits!

My friend, Tony, from Zambia!
You guys were ON IT! Over the course of that day, we went from $2,999 to $34,000 of our $50,000 goal! That is incredible. Thank you so much, if you have already given! If you haven't yet, please seriously pray about it and give through the Facebook page, since they have permanently waived fees for non-profit organizations now! 

It's only because of generous givers like you guys that we are able to do as much as we have been and would like to do on these college campuses in the DFW Metroplex! Thank you!!

Check out the Wishlist and see what gets YOU excited!

A Sweet Story

I want to share a story about the provision of the Lord for our student leaders that's been unfolding over the course of the last month! It started at one of our leader meetings near the end of October. You could feel it when you walked in, and as we started talking through the agenda that night. Our students were beat. The energy that they normally exude was just dead. Danielle felt prompted by the Spirit to change up our plan for the night and ask everyone "how are they really doing" and "what was going on"?

Some of our students hanging out!

One after another they started sharing about how stressed they felt, the high levels of anxiety a lot of them were experiencing, the feelings of overload and burn was rough! We spent some time that night praying for each other.

The next day, I got a text from the mom of one of our students. That always makes me nervous! What did your kid do? What did I do?? Hesitantly, I called her back and it was one of the most encouraging conversations. She had been at a women's retreat recently and felt the Lord leading her to start pouring out what she has been learning and benefitting from these retreats for the last several years onto the next generation. As she told me about the refreshment she experienced each year in intentionally coming away to be with Jesus, she asked if I thought that was something our students needed right now? I just started laughing. And crying a little. Boy, was it! That was exactly what our students need.

So we've started planning and figuring out the logistics. December and January are such funky months with the break, but we have tentative date set for February! Now where to host it? The next week from that encounter, I was at a mini seminar for my Bible Study Fellowship class and was paired "randomly" with a sweet lady for part of an activity. As we talked, I got to share some of what I do on campus, and at the end of our time together, she said "Well, you better get my information so I can support you!"

Just finished a Bible study with this awesome lady!
Whaaaat? If only all support raising was that simple! We exchanged information and we've spent the last several weeks trying to figure out a time to meet. We finally got to meet this last week and I was so encouraged by her. One of the first things she told me was "I want to support you, but I really feel like the Lord is leading me to open my home to you and your ministry. Is there anything you can think of that you need a place to host?"

Literally the day before I had been researching good locations for this little retreat! Now, it still might not work out there...we have around 30 women student leaders, which is a lot for one home! But the fact that the Lord is going ahead of us and opening doors is really awesome. Who knows what else we might get to do in that space next year!

This might seem like a lot of little coincidences, but each time I have gotten to meet or talk with these two women, God has provided in such sweet ways. This retreat for our women leaders is coming together and I am SO excited about it! And they have blessed and encouraged me at times when I have felt so down this month. It has been a reminder that God provides and is taking care of me and our students. The generosity of these two women (in their time, money, and home) is so reflective of His heart.  I hope that encourages you, too! I'll keep you posted about the retreat!

A picture from Pizza Theology over The Sermon on the Mount! You can listen here, if you're interested!

Student Testimony

This month's testimony is from an alum who is near and dear to my heart. Danyelle lived with my sister, Moriah, for a couple years and we did international student ministry at UNT together. This year, I've seen her go through some of the hardest things. But her heart for the Lord and his people is unwavering. Please keep Danyelle and Franco in your prayers! 


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