Below is a picture of one happy dog named Harvey. I don't have many photos from this month because I have not seen many people in person. I did, however, see Harvey.
Does anyone else feel like they were unprepared for the heat of the summer because we’ve been indoors since March? I do. July seems to have smacked me in the face, at least temperature wise. Thankfully, ministry is going along as usual.
As a FOCUS staff, we have been watching and waiting for any update on what UTA was going to do in the fall. The campus has announced they will be doing a mix of in-person classes and online. It seems the campus is being thoughtful as they consider their students and the impacts of COVID. Also, students because of this announcement are making decisions whether they want to live on campus or not. I have spoken with several ladies who are currently planning on being on campus in the fall. Pray for our students as they weigh the costs of staying on campus or being at home. I am excited that no matter what FOCUS will be able to help provide a Jesus-filled community for our students. This is truly a season that will challenge us to be creative and innovative.
June has come and gone. It was full of fundraising and virtual ministry. I had a couple in person meetings which were such treats after isolation. I am still chugging along with two one-on-one studies. Be praying for me and the UTA staff as we begin having discussions on what to do in the fall. We are approaching a time where welcome week will look much different. How do we meet students? One answer is through virtual orientations. I have yet to do one (I’m signed up to do one in July, so fingers crossed).
|Here is a glimpse of our Thursday Night Virtual Service.|
|Here's a glimpse at a social distance after event. We stood in a circle with masks!|
I want to highlight Min this month. She is someone who I have had the pleasure of meeting with over this past year. Her story encouraged me because she is an example of how quick God can change your life. He pulled her in and made her freshman year so different. Check out the blurb she wrote:
"My name is Min and I’ve just finished my first year at UTA. I have had the blessing of being in Emily’s core and studying FOJ with her. She is such a Godly mentor and dear friend!
The change in my heart over the past year has been tremendous. Growing up I had some idea of who Jesus was, but did not attend church often. There were times I was curious about my faith, but I never really pursued anything. I grew up surrounded by loving friends and family, but I was still living a life engulfed in sin. I would pray only when I needed something, and I wouldn’t really know who I was praying to either. My heart was hardened.
A few weeks after the fall semester had started last year, I decided on a whim to attend a Thursday Night Fellowship. I then joined a core and even went to Fall camp, all in the same week. I’m usually never the type to jump into things so fast, but looking back God was really calling me to pursue Him. I met the girls in core who are now some of my dearest friends, and I also began to study FOJ with Emily. During those few weeks was when I first learned about just how much Jesus loves me. I remember walking to class one day and just smiling out of pure joy because I knew that God loves me and had put me in the right place!
The FOCUS community has shown me the love of Jesus and encouraged me to be bold in my faith. A few months ago, I was finally able to proclaim Jesus is Lord! He continues to change my heart and show me everlasting love. I am so excited to keep pursuing God".
This verse has really ministered to me over the past few days.
John 15: 12-15, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”.