Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March 2018

You're Invited!

Some of our performers from last year!
(Photo: Sean Do)
You are invited to our Spring Showcase on April 7, 2018. Every year we hold a fundraiser art show and concert to support one of our biggest events of the year - SICM. We take a group of our potential leaders to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM) in Bellingham, Washington. This is a huge opportunity for our potential leaders to develop hands-on ministry skills, learn more about leading a small group and ministering to their peers, and grow in their relationship with God. 

A campus ministry in Bellingham partners with us and is super generous with us! Families from a church hosts a majority of our students - giving them a place to stay and food for the whole week - to cut down on costs for our students. Even still, this ten day trip is expensive for many college students. It costs about $815 per student, so this event makes a tremendous impact in allowing our students to afford the trip. 

The show is jam-packed with talent! We ask students, alumni, and music professionals to perform for the show. In between our shows, we hold an art sale with a variety of different pieces created by local artists and students. I would love for you to come!
There are a variety of music genres and art forms at the showcase!
(Photo: Sean Do)

When is it?
Saturday, April 7, 2018

Matinee Show: Doors open at 2:30 pm; Show begins at 3:00 pm.
Art Show: 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Evening Show: Show begins at 7:00 pm

Where is it?
Bent Tree Bible Fellowship Church
Bent Tree Family Theater
4141 International Pkwy, Carrollton, Tx, 75007

What is the cost?
$20 General Admission
$15 Student Admission

Where can I buy my ticket? 

Even if you can't come to Spring Showcase, please keep it in your prayers! There are a lot of moving parts to coordinate, so pray that it goes smoothly! Also, please pray for our students going to SICM. It can be such an impactful trip for them. Pray for their personal fundraising to go well so that they don't have added money anxiety.

One of my SICM girls getting groceries for a pancake fundraiser! 

Heating Up Outreach

We've been in the process of heating up outreach on all three of our Denton campuses this semester and that has been going great! I have loved getting to meet the "fruit" of outreach on Friday nights as new people wander in looking for the student they had met earlier that week on campus! 

One kind of outreach that has resulted in some cool stories is called "Treasure Hunting."

How to Treasure Hunt: 
  1. Take a minute to pray and settle your mind. 
  2. When you're ready, start a timer for 45 seconds. Write down whatever comes to mind in that tiny period of time. It can be a name, a pattern, a color, a place, or any other noun. Don't try to filter out words that seem irrelevant! Just write it all down. 
  3. When your 45 seconds are up, take your list and go look for someone who fits that description! When you find someone, ask them how're they're doing and tell them about Jesus! 
Outreach Gang! They prayer walked the campus today!
I know that might sound confusing, so here is a story to illustrate! A couple of weeks ago we were doing outreach at UNT and we were going to try Treasure Hunting. Aaron prayed over us and we each wrote down things that came to mind while he was praying. When he had finished, this one student, Kassi, had a very specific shade of pink come to mind. She and another student stood up to go start doing outreach and as the other student moved aside, Kassi saw a girl who had been sitting right behind him wearing the EXACT shade of pink she was looking for! She had been blocked from Kassi's view, but I know the girl had been there the whole time. Kassi gulped down her exuberant excitement and trepidation of coming across weird, and approached the girl in pink. 

The girl was actually quite open to talking with her and they had a good long conversation! She was stressed out from school and Kassi was able to love on her and encourage her. Kassi also found out that the girl had a cousin coming to visit from her same home town, so they exchanged numbers! Who knows what that conversation really meant to the girl in pink, but it was such an encouragement to Kassi! She had a new kind of interaction with the Spirit and was reminded of how powerful He is. She was encouraged in being an outreaching person because God is going before her and will direct her feet in outreach. 

I was so encouraged because Treasure Hunting is such an easy thing to do. Maybe give it a shot yourself, next time you're at the grocery store or walking in to church! Who might God want you to encourage that you wouldn't normally approach? 

A Sweet Baptism 

I had the privilege of baptizing my friend, Eryka, this past Sunday. She has had such a crazy journey and God has pursued her so hard throughout these last couple of months. This is her testimony: 

Eryka has a sweet community who will walk with her as she walks with Jesus!
My life has been a crazy mess of twists, turns and the ground being pulled out from under me on more than one occasion. As a little girl, my life consisted of neglect, abuse and confusion, wondering why I was always in so much pain. Throughout my elementary and middle school years, I suffered through so much depression and anxiety, it would lead me to self-harm and pushing others away. By high school, I would pray, but it would be for God to let me die so I wouldn't suffer anymore. My senior year I had a plan to kill myself and I had written my suicide note, ensuring that people would know how much they had hurt me. 

Before I put that into action, I went to church because of a classmate and had my first encounter with God. That night we talked about who we could trust, but I didn't feel like I could trust anyone, so it was hard for me to listen. Two days after my graduation, I went to church with the plan to kill myself when I got home, but was found out and hospitalized. I spent my time in rehab lying my way out. After I left the hospital, I was hesitant to go back to church, but was greeted by so much love and genuine care for my wellbeing. I felt so much peace knowing I was loved. 

My goals for college were to focus solely on school, but those were not God's plans. Near the end of my first semester, Pita told me about a group that met on Wednesdays and I decided to check it out. I eventually opened up to Pita and started going to more FOCUS events. At first I was overwhelmed, but grew to love it. But it wasn't until after I started meeting with Miriam weekly and her pursuing me and pointing me to the Lord that I really considered God to be a factor in anything that had happened in my life. She showed me what real love looked like, both sweet and tough, but mostly tough because I am stubborn. 

God really started to reveal himself to me in this community. I was on the fence for 6-9 months, but after my first winter camp, I decided to jump off the fence. Now, instead of sitting on the fence and trusting its structure, I can lean on God. Through him I have found peace and comfort in knowing there is safety in his arms and he will never let me go. I can always trust that I have someone to run to in the hard times. God has been with me since day one. He cried with me every time I cried and hurt with me every time I would self harm. He stayed by my side the entire time I was in the hospital and I truly believe he is here now. No matter what, he is always there and knowing that is the most comforting thing. 

Thank you for your prayers for me and for Eryka as we've met together this last year. It's been really cool recently to see her putting her faith into practice and start to share that with her friends. A lot of her old friends are in much of the same mind and emotional state that she was in before she met Jesus. I can't wait to see how the Lord uses her testimony to bring even more people into his kingdom!!

Pizza Theology

One more thing from February that was really cool was Pizza Theology! Pizza Theology is an event we put on once a semester where we dive into a bigger theological subject and spend four hours of lecture time on it, broken up by an hour of pizza and fellowship! Our topic this year was the Second Coming of Christ! I had the honor of being asked to speak for a portion of the night about the book of Revelation. I've studied Revelation some in the past, so I had a base to start from, but a good portion of my time over the last month and a half went into studying and preparing for this event. 

Soo many students!
Speaking in front of 500 students was a daunting task, but the Lord was so good to me through that experience and rocked my world several times! I loved getting to dig deeper into Revelation and to present it to the students in a way that was approachable and hopeful. If you'd like to listen to it, you can find it here

This topic came at such a good time for me - it was incredibly encouraging to be reminded of how God has been working a plan to redeem His people from the very beginning, to know that He is in control always, and to be reminded to stay alert and active as we wait for His return. There is so much hope offered in the book of Revelation. It rustled my imagination as I read through and breathed some new life into me.  

As Always...

Thank you for your support and your prayers! I would not be able to do what I do without you. Thank you for being a part of moving the Kingdom forward! 

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