Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saying Goodbye and Prepping for the Year

Summer is always a major transition time for us in campus ministry. Some years, in addition to saying "goodbye" to graduating students and interns, we also have key staff people transition to other things. This year is particularly sad for me (though I'm very glad for this in the Lord!) because my sister and brother-in-law are transitioning off staff to lead the youth ministry at Wylie Northeast Church. Tyler and Brianna have been a major part of our mission for years.
Tyler and Brianna with their daughter Reese at the Collin End of Year Banquet a couple months back.
Tyler is our longest serving staff member except for me. He has worked at 3 of our campuses, including as one of our founding members at Collin College. All of his years on staff, he has worked full-time as a firefighter/paramedic and has never taken a salary from FOCUS! He is the consummate servant and a man of deep character and wisdom. Brianna has led the women at Collin these past few years, and I've loved every second of working with her. She has so much "ministry sense," as Mandy and I like to say. She loves deeply and has a passion for the kingdom transforming the lives of young people.

I'm so excited about this next chapter of their life and ministry. They are already developing an exciting vision for that youth ministry--one with a consistent record of feeding leaders into FOCUS, I might add. We have great people coming on board to fill their shoes at Collin next year, but they definitely have big shoes to fill!

We are also saying goodbye to Glenn, who has worked with our admin team for the past year. He was the mastermind behind the #FOCUS140 fundraiser that made it possible for us to launch new ministries on new campuses this year. And he drove the new website project (as well as lots of other behind the scenes work too). He has a great job at the Richards Group now, but plans to continue to volunteer some of his time with FOCUS as needed. We are so thankful for his year of service.
My buddy, Glenn
A few other things of note:

1. We have 3 young women who are going to be starting a small group at the TWU Dallas Nursing Campus this fall! Amber, who has been going to school there this past year, said "There's nothing down there at all," when asked about Christian outreach to that campus. Well, there will be soon! Please pray for this exciting new outreach.

2. Two of the students from UTD who we took to SICM this year were exchange students from Brazil, here for a special one-year program. They head back to their home country soon with a new vision for ministry and new skills to serve and bless their peers. Lucas wrote this letter, and I wanted to share it with you. Your influence is crossing borders!

3. Lastly, we are starting to plan for a big 20-year FOCUS Reunion in Fall 2016! The exact beginnings of FOCUS are a little murky, so the 1996 date is a little arbitrary, but we think it will capture every generation of FOCUS alumni. So if you are one of many past or present FOCUS members or advisors, stay tuned for more information!

Thank you for your prayer support, your emotional support, your financial support, and your friendship. I'm truly one of the most blessed men on earth.

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