October-A Season of Change and Growth
Hey guys! I want to start just by thanking you all for your continued investment and excitement for campus ministry! I couldn't be on the TWU Dallas and SMU campuses without the tremendous support you all give me! So thank YOU so much!
October seems to have gone by so fast! I feel like I just woke up one day and it was suddenly cooler and the trees had changed color! But despite the month seeming like it flew by, it has been so encouraging to reflect on what God has done and how He has moved this month. I have been reading 1st Corinthians recently, and I have been reflecting on a section in chapter three where Paul is talking about how it is only God who really grows and matures us. He says in 3:5-9,
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building."
I have been thinking and reflecting on this passage and how much in ministry, we plant seeds and water them, but we wait on God to do the growing. This semester, we have had so many new students in one-on-one FOJ studies, both at TWU Dallas and SMU! And I can see how we are planting and watering seeds in the lives of these students. We don't know what they will grow to look like, but that's where we can trust that we have a God that grows good things. We are just called to tend to the soil and be faithful. And as I think about this, I can't help but get excited for the next group of students God is preparing, including potential student leaders!
While I won't share specific details about students, but I wanted to give you guys a glimpse at some of the ways God is dramatically transforming the hearts and lives of students: In a core at TWU Dallas, girls recently shared about areas of shame in their lives and God opened a beautiful space for healing and vulnerability where the Spirit can bring life to areas that were once kept in darkness. Another student who has struggled with same-sex attraction and found her identity in the world now is seeing the beauty and freedom of finding her identity in Christ alone and is surrendering herself fully to God. One of our girls has been confronted with people pleasing and how it has ruled her life for so long, and she is now learning what it looks like to rewrite cognitives narratives that tell her she has to be perfect for everyone else and instead, surrendering it all to Christ and living for Him instead of people. Multiple students have shared about how welcomed and loved they have felt by this community and also how they have seen God transforming them in it and being drawn closer to Jesus in a way they haven't experienced before.
This is all so so good- and there is so much more! Praise God for how faithful and powerful He is to work in our lives and bring us to streams of living water!
I also want to share our Keep FOCUS Growing campaign with you guys! This is our annual fundraiser we do every year to help us create outreach activities and materials, support our administrative team, plant new campuses, offer our campus pastors health/retirement benefits, and ultimately to help us be a sustainable campus ministry that is here for years to come! This year, some of our generous donors have banded together and agreed to match up to $42,000 in total donations during this campaign. So if we receive $42,000 in total contributions, they will kick in a second $42,000!