As promised, here is your mid-month update! I have a few stories to share along with some big news.
Let’s hop to it.
This year’s welcome week was unlike any other year I’ve experienced, but that is true of many 2020 experiences. A typical kickoff for the new semester involves movie nights, carnival-like events and so much free food. Our student leaders and the whole staff would be on campus for every event to meet students. This can be exhausting, but incredibly worthwhile. This year there were no events to welcome students. The campus was eerily empty despite the fact students had moved in. Yet, we did what we could do: we went on campus and created our own events to meet students.
Our events were simple. We divided our leader team up and sent them out in small groups across our campus. The campus had guidelines that we followed like wearing a mask and staying in groups of no larger than ten people. These rules were simple enough to follow. Some of our lady leaders hosted a picnic that was a hit! Many nights, we had groups playing ultimate frisbee or giant kickball. We had several students come to all of our nightly events who were thankful to not be in their dorm.
This year, we had a neat opportunity to meet students who don’t have any christian background. One night, a freshman posted in his group message with 300 other students about our frisbee event. We did not have 300 students arrive thankfully, but we had about thirty show up. Many of them would not have considered coming to a Christian event in normal circumstances. I wanted to share a story from one of my fellow campus pastors. She was able to talk with a girl at that event who came on a whim. The girl shared how the past year was a struggle and she had felt pretty anxious. The student just really wanted girlfriends and was planning on joining a sorority because she didn’t know where else to go.
Our staff member was able to share about FOCUS and how her first small group changed her life. She casted the vision for our community and how we aim to create lasting friendships while studying the bible. I see this conversation as a win even though the girl did not stick around. The goal is that she had a positive interaction with someone who loves Jesus. Who knows what that could lead to later?
My last tale from welcome week is one that involves mac and cheese. You already know it’s going to be a good story based on that. One of our guy leaders was walking around campus during lunch trying to meet students. A quick note is that before the semester started restaurants on campus had odd hours. So, our student came upon a closed Chick-fil-a and there he found a disappointed student. This disappointed student shared that he was wanting macaroni because he was recovering from dental surgery (Chick-fil-a now has macaroni, yay). Our guy leader asked this student if he’d be interested in going to a Arlington delicacy that serves truffle mac and cheese. The rest is history. The guy has been coming around since then! It's all thanks to Jesus, our leader’s boldness and that student’s willingness to go on an adventure with a new friend.
Now, I want to share my big news! I am helping out FOCUS at Dallas Baptist University this year. This FOCUS ministry is one of our newest plants and has been around for two years. I am joining my friend Jalen who has been with DBU. I have been blessed to have worked with him at UTA also. He is a talented campus pastor who can relate with almost anyone. He is such a good friend to the men he meets with. My role there is to help disciple the girls at DBU. My first week visiting was last week and it was a blast meeting everyone. Right now, the ministry meets in a co ed group. This is new to me, but the students there have created a special environment where everyone participates. I will be inviting students to study with me over the next few weeks.
Be praying for this new responsibility. Pray for the girls I will be meeting with and pray for ways to meet new students on DBU’s campus. Thank you guys for your support and prayers. They mean the world to me. I am excited to tell you more next month.