He makes it grow
It's been another full month, and I can't believe we are already in November. Here are just some of the ways that I have seen God grow those around me:
Fall camp! Each year, each campus of FOCUS puts on a weekend retreat that we call Fall Camp. It is one of the first times in the year that all the students can have fun, learn, and worship together outside of our normal weekly fellowship gatherings. This year we, from all five of Collin campuses, took a group of about 60 students to Mount Lebanon for a packed full 24 hours. Several of the girls from my core who came spoke about powerful interactions they had had with the Spirit during that time. One girl in particular has a Muslim background said at the end of our time that she, “Wants to get to know God better, and build a relationship with Him.” There was another girl who showed up at camp not knowing anyone, but was able to build a friendship with all the girls in my core. I’m humbled by how much the Spirit had been at work behind the scenes with so many of our students, and how we got to witness some of that fruit during Fall Camp. I know that seeing these little sproutings of growth is a testament to our God’s faithfulness to pursue people. I am reminded of Paul’s writing in 1 Corinthians 3:7-9:
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Here are a few pictures from fall camp
One of the other ways I have seen growth from the Spirit is in my cofa, Addie. She started off the year coming from a uniquely different year in ministry last year from the pandemic. Some of the normalcies of FOCUS were not part of her experience yet, and along side leading the first time, a lot was new to her as a student leader. There have definitely been key moments where I see how much God is pursuing her and growing her, but this past month has been so encouraging to witness. I’ve watched her ask different girls in our core to study the Bible with her, and I’ve seen her lead discussions with follow-up questions and thoughtful responses. Transitioning from just attending different FOCUS events to being a corefa who takes ownership of shepherding students requires commitment and humility. I’ve seen Addie make that jump. Again, I know that her choice to serve and follow Jesus sacrificially is a testament to the Spirit who has been toiling in her. I watch how God is shaping her into a disciple who believes in the Great Commission more and more. Yet again, Paul’s words ring true:
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Addie is the jazz handed, shoulder riding one
Lastly, one of the growing areas of my ministry has been my core! I am privileged enough to be able to do outreach every week on campus. This looks like having a question board up and engaging with students in conversation, meeting new students and eating lunch with them, or just playing lawn games outside. Because I am able to be on campus so consistently (through God’s provision and your support!), I’ve been able to invite several new girls to my core each week from outreach alone. Because of this I had about three weeks in October of having 2 to 3 new girls each week come. While having a big core is definitely not the goal, it’s been neat to see God bring people into core who were really looking for friendship and community. I know the Spirit has been guiding these girls already, and it is because of His work that they are receptive to Him. I have seen the girls in my core build real friendships, and I am so grateful to be a part of this core.
Some prayer requests:
-that I, and the rest of the Collin team, continue to listen to the Spirit as we reach out to new students on each campus every week!
-Keep Focus Growing!
Why do we do this fundraiser?
"Our missionaries raise support, but it takes a lot more than that for us to do ministry! Outreach activities/materials, administrative support, planting new campuses, health/retirement benefits, etc. This is about being around for the long haul and expanding our reach."
What is it?
On November 30th, Giving Tuesday, we are looking to raise $52,000. We want to make sure as many people as possible are given the opportunity to partner with God and FOCUS, so feel free to share this information with as many as you can.
How to participate and/or give:
1) invite and tell people before November 30th
2) share facebook posts about KFG
3) share the facebook fundraisers
4) give yourself in a few different ways:
a) Facebook - preferred because no fees. Ideally, give to the fundraiser on Facebook instead of the "Donate" button on the main page
b) Check - Note KFG in memo
c) any focus.churchcenter.com (Keep FOCUS Growing 2021 in drop down)
d) make a pledge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions about anything, including the KFG fundraiser, and let me know how I can be praying for you.
Love and grace to you,