Happy Fall!

I don't know about you, but September flew by. My time was spent hanging out with girls and prepping for FOCUS's fall retreat. Fall retreat was a success. Its purpose was to create time where people's small groups were able to grow closer together. There was board games, crafts, and ultimate frisbee. Almost all of my core girls were able to come. Nothing bonds people together like staying in a cabin. 

I want to share two moments from fall retreat. First, during the afternoon, some girls and I made homemade cookies. It was a fun moment because one of my girls was able to show off her talent. She is from South Carolina and is a fantastic baker. Her specialty is cakes and decorating them. She made a recipe for buttery shortbread cookies. She was in charge of the mixer and while everyone else searched the kitchen for ingredients. We had fun goofing around as the cookies baked. The cookies ended up a little overdone, but I feel that it is in simple moments like this where friendships are made. 

My second moment is from a conversation I had. I have been meeting with this great girl on campus. She is not a Christian but has been very interested in FOCUS. At fall retreat, there were small sessions on the topic of community where we discussed benefits and costs. I was walking with a couple of girls and we talked about past experiences in community. When it was time for her to answer, she discussed how she had never had a bad experience with the church. Then she went to say that she has been enjoying getting to be a part of our community. This encouraged me because she truly feels welcomed by the people she has met through FOCUS. I also was reminded not to assume about people's experiences. I am excited to see how she continues to engage. Keep her in your prayers. 

I can't say it enough: thank you for making this apprenticeship possible. I am thankful to be able to be doing this work. Be praying for the different one-on-one studies I am doing. Also, pray for the students as they do midterms. Stress levels are starting to rise. 

Our photo after a successful fall retreat.
We have made it a tradition to take a photo after core. Lots of stripes in this photo.
Here we are before our first session. 


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