|Hello! It’s time for another update.|
The end of May was incredibly nostalgic. The nostalgia came from hearing our twelve current interns share on what God taught them this year doing ministry. I was brought back to all I had learned after my internship last year. I was taught last year how to be people’s biggest fans through my bible studies. A big reminder from a year ago was I hadn’t moved to Arlington yet. I have been blessed by the ministry I was able to do since coming to UTA. My small group immediately comes to mind. I want to invite you to take a moment and think through all the ways God has provided over this past year...
I wanted to share a message from one of the interns, Hanna Mason. She said something in her sermon that really struck me. She spoke on how God used mundane situations for His glory. She spoke on how throwing a karaoke night and sending a text led to impactful moments this past year. God used a karaoke night to grow a group of friends closer and help them be more vulnerable. God used a text to bring a lonely girl into sweet friendship; a girl who had a track record for being closed off to new relationships. These aren’t glamorous, big moments by the world’s standard; they are seemingly inconsequential. A text? Really? But, I am learning that these are the moments that God uses for that exact reason. I can only point to God when something impactful comes from something so seemingly small.
|A glimpse of our Thursday Night Service on Twitch!|
I wanted to highlight another lady I have done ministry with. Emma is a gal from my small group last year at UTD. I had the privilege of studying the Bible with her and becoming her friend. She blew me away during our study because of deep-thinking and how loyal of a friend she is. Emma is so smart and so humble. I asked her to type up an update for you guys. I am proud seeing her faithfulness to God and what He has been doing through her.
My name is Emma, and I had the blessing of having Emily as my Corefa and getting to do a one-on-one bible study with her my first year at UTD. Emily, as well as the FOCUS community, does an amazing job of teaching what it means to be a leader and to invite others to experience God's love.
Reflecting on the past two years, my relationship with God has deepened tremendously, more than words can describe. God always leads me back where I need to be even if I stray off the path. One year ago, after returning from the SICM conference I had the unshakable feeling and knowing in my heart that I needed to be baptized. I prayed about it and immediately felt God telling me this is what he wanted me to do. And the more I prayed the more I heard God telling me to not be idle, and to take what I had learned from SICM and serve. This year was my first year as a Corefa. God gave me so many opportunities to be patient, ask questions, grow in relationships with others, and most importantly show others his love. The beginning of this year was filled with obstacles including oppositions from both believers and nonbelievers. But again the Lord always provided. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. Despite the challenges and doubts, he turned a rough beginning into a beautiful year. God has instilled in me endless new teachings, values, and lessons through every experience, every person met, and every story shared.
My first one-on-one study this year was with an international student. She showed up to FNF (Friday Night Fellowship) while waiting for her roommate to get out of her night class. She was not a Christian but after coming to FNF she was interested in studying and learning more about God and the Bible. I was so encouraged by her enthusiasm and willingness to jump into a culture and religion that she knew nothing about. She always asks relevant and thought-provoking questions often relating to politics and religion that I had never been asked before. She always brought a unique perspective to core and to our studies as an international student not having grown up as a Christian. It was a total God thing that she showed up that night and stayed for the sermon. He has been moving in her life and growing her faith, showing her through different people and through FOCUS what it looks like to follow Jesus and develop a relationship with God.
This next year I will be in graduate school at UTD as an audiology major, as well as being a Corefa and staying involved in FOCUS. I am very excited to see the new challenges, blessings, and wonders God will show me this next year and the years to come.
|Here's Emma after she was baptized last year!|
In closing, I want to encourage you guys. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward”.
This verse has been meaningful as the summer progresses and work is plentiful. It's easy for me to desire a slower pace. I mean it is summer. But, I'm reminded that there is good work in front of me and a good reason to work hard: I'm working hard because God has allowed me to do ministry despite COVID.
Thank you guys for making it possible to do ministry.
Let’s be faithful servants and do the good work ahead of us.