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March Update

 Hello Again!

A student and I were just reflecting how quick this month has passed. I cannot believe how close we are to spring break. This past month we had several exciting events. The first event was Pizza Theology.  The topic was on the Bible and how it came to be. Two of my favorite talks were on translations of the Bible and how to do exegesis. Exegesis is a fancy word meaning the careful, critical study of biblical passages. It often means looking back at the original languages and thoughtfully considering what it meant for the original readers. Our students were given time to practically explore common passages that get used out of content. My favorite verse they explored was Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Together, we were able to talk through the original audience and how knowing that changes this message. 

The second event I wanted to highlight was put on in honor of Black History month. Over at UTD's FOCUS, one of our staff members, Lailah,  has spearheaded a ministry within their ministry called B.L.I.S.S (Black Lives in Soulful Solidarity). Lailah and students from across our ministries came together to host a night of black church. This service was an invitation to the styles of worship and preaching our students of color have grown up with. We were encouraged to wear our Sunday's best or come as you are. ( I, personally, was in the "come as you are" category). Two of our UTA students were featured in the service: one of our ladies led a song and one of our guys preached. I left with songs stuck in my head.  I was so glad I was able to come out and support all the hard work put into that event. 

Lastly, we have begun the process of inviting students to our annual leadership conference SICM. This is an exciting time for the students who are invited. Graham and I are actually working together to help our students get fundraised. This trip is something we both are very passionate about. We love what lessons get taught and the experiences our students will have up in Washington. Be praying for that process. Pray for students to be bold in fundraising.  Pray for the Lord's provision. 

Here is photo from the night of Black church. It does not do justice to how well attended this event was. 

The photo above is a shot of everyone worshiping at one of our students' baptisms. This past month has been special; we had a baptism a week after church. Several of the women in our community made the decision to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Each baptism had people sharing on how they've seen God move. On two occasions, parents came and were able to see very tangibly how Christ has used this community in their student's life. It isn't alway like this, so we celebrate when baptisms happen and lives change. Pray for these ladies. Pray for protection and for the maturing of their faith. 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20


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