Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Camp is this Weekend!

We're gearing up for our biggest event of the year. We have around 550 people registered already and they're still signing up. Please be praying that the Spirit would move powerfully this weekend. We have a lot of students coming who are still investigating Jesus and a lot more who are Christians but are on the fringes of discipleship and Christian community. Winter Camp can be catalytic for spiritual growth and decision making. We're looking forward to seeing what God does--He always shows up in a big way!

And if you'd like to come out to visit our camp this weekend in Van, TX, just let me know and I'll get you the details.

Student Testimony
I love our student testimony this month. Not only is Chiazo one of our amazing student leaders, she's a senior who has served our community on two campuses. When I think about how the Church in America is losing over 75% of our young people as they move through college, I rejoice at every story like this where a young person's faith flourishes and becomes about impacting others in the crucial college years and beyond. And we have so many stories like this that we could tell!

Chiazo Akagha (Senior, University of North Texas, Choral Music Education)
"Before college, I spent a vast majority of my time at church, from volunteering to mission trips. After graduating, I was nervous about what Christian community would look like now that I had to find it for myself. I prayed for a group of friends who cared about me. I was at the gym six weeks into my freshman year and while I was working out on the treadmill, something made me turn around (while running 80% speed) and I saw a banner for FOCUS. I visited that Friday night and stayed because people sought out His Word, ways to practice His teachings and made Christ-likeness a lifestyle- specifically, Autumn Priestley, a senior at the time I joined FOCUS. I constantly asked myself 'why would someone who’s about to leave college want to spend time with me?' She spent time with me because of the lessons she learned through FOCUS. As I make my transition into the 'real world' and becoming a teacher, I will remember to seek to understand and then be understood when working with students, parents, and other teachers. I will look at my students and love them. I will consider their needs and provide for them, whether that means that I attend their sporting events or support them through tough times. I will show them who Jesus is through my teaching, patience, and discipline on and off the podium. It’s because of my involvement in FOCUS that I am able to know what it looks like to be a disciple in the 'real world.'"

Thanks for partnering with me and the other FOCUS pastors so we can invest in students like Chiazo. That investment will pay off in so many ways, on and off campus, in the years to come.

Update on the Keep FOCUS Growing Fund: We've reached about $46,000 of our $55,000 goal! Amazing! We still have some donations coming in and you are still welcome to invest in our #next20 years if you'd like.

Developing Our Pastoral Team

We are back in August and ramping up for the school year! We have an amazing pastoral staff, and an outstanding group of student leaders. At...