On the theme of thankfulness, I want to share about a student I have been meeting with. Her name is Ana! The story of how we met is such a God deal to me. Basically, Graham and I were invited to a luncheon for a non-profit that his dear family friends are a part of. After the presentation, we were mingling and sharing how we work as campus missionaries at UTA. The group we were talking to immediately mentioned that one of the employees has a daughter at UTA. I went up to Ana’s mom and she excitedly gave me her daughter’s number. As a person who has worked freshman orientations, I have seen the excited parent before who wants their child involved in ministry. The big question in my head was does your daughter want that too. I promised as we left that I would reach out and by the end of the day, Ana was invited to my small group.
Ana showed up that next Sunday when we meet which I thought was so brave considering it was almost the middle of the semester. She has been a faithful attendee since. Where Ana shines to me is in our one-on-one study. She has easily become one of my friends. She comes to our times together with an inquisitive attitude and is easy to talk with. Pray for her as she finishes out her classes. She is an engineering student who is adjusting to the difficult classes still. Pray for her faith as she grows into the women God wants her to be. Pray she can boldly share her faith in all areas of her life.
The photo above is from Ana’s birthday party. From Ana’s story, I feel like God is teaching me how much parents can influence one’s faith story. I am thankful for her mother being a connecting piece for her to be involved. She advocated for her daughter to be in spiritual community. This is a really special lesson to see lived out.
Another thing I am thankful for is our TCC core. It has been really special watching something grow from the ground up. I have been blown away at how much these students want to be in community. Ever since the fall festival, we have had consistent ten coming. We went from a consistent three to ten. That's huge. I am excited for what God is doing on that campus.
To close, I wanted to share about a resource I love during this season. I have been doing the Biola Advent Project for several years now. It has been such a joy to receive the daily emails they send out. Basically, the project is a collection of devotionals from the Biola University staff. They weave together scripture and art in each devotional as they reflect on Jesus, Christmas and all the themes surrounding this time of year. Check it out: (https://ccca.biola.edu/advent/2021/#)
The poems each year stretch me. I’m not naturally a poet or a person that appreciates that form of literature. Recently, there was a poem about God that I found meaningful. I thought I’d end with that. It captives how hard it is to adequately explain or even comprehend God and all his glory. He really is that good. I am praying for you and your holiday season. Thank you for your prayers for me this semester. Keep praying that the Lord will use us at UTA.
by Mechtild of Magdeburg
[translated by Jane Hirshfield]
Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,
Not more than a honey bee
Takes on his foot
From an overspilling jar.