Sunday, October 1, 2017

Our Biggest UTD Fall Camp Yet!

We've been back from Fall Camp for about a week, so I'm finally caught up on sleep. :)

Some students made cookies for everyone!
Last weekend, 208 of us from UTD, Richland, SMU, and TWU-Dallas took a day out of life to be together, worship together, share in God's word, and build deeper friendships. We had our biggest ever group from UTD! (Even though many of the students involved in FOCUS at SMU were busy with their parents for Family Weekend on that campus, we still had 8 come. We have around 25 students involved in core or one-on-ones there!) I think these higher numbers

The craft table was a big hit.

10 Students shared a part of their own story. 5 shared about how God has changed their view of what it means to be a Christian, and the other 5 shared about how the Lord brought them to the point where they were willing to say "Send me" to Him. ("Send me" is our theme for the year.)

I think most encouraging to me was watching how the students pursued one another in relationships and no one was being left out. During an open sharing time, student after student shared about how they have experienced the love of Christ in this community in a way they haven't experienced it before. We had a lot of international students and other non-Christians there, and I know they were impacted by the stories that were told.
We busted out the parachute we all remember from elementary school.
Spikeball is always popular, along with ultimate frisbee, flag football, giant kickball, speedball, and gaga ball.
Let's be praying that these new students will look beyond their experience of Christian community to see and experience Jesus, the one who made it possible and taught us how to love one another. I'm praying for many to call Him "Lord" for the first time this year.

We almost packed out this room for worship. But we've still got room to grow in the coming years!

Student Testimony

Jocelyn Payan (UT Arlington, Nursing, Sophomore)
"I grew up Catholic but never consistently went to church. I always admired the concept of community and was really saddened by the idea of not experiencing that within my faith because of my lack of involvement. When I came to UTA this desire to be involved in a Christian community only grew. After being greeted kindly at the FOCUS information table at orientation, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow. God is really working here and I want to be a part of it.” As classes started in the Fall, I was contacted by a girl named Kaylee who consistently invited me to events and had a deep-rooted desire to get to know me. Through people like Kaylee, I was really able to see how those in FOCUS loved the Lord which directly translated into how they interacted with and loved people. As the semester began I was asked to go deeper in my faith and study scripture in a one-on-one study, Focus on Jesus (FOJ) with Alexis. Alexis really encouraged me and wanted to walk with me in my journey of building a relationship with God. Through this community, I was challenged to give love like I had received it. Although I didn’t know it, God had been working and was faithful to answer a prayer I hadn’t even thought to ask for. He blessed me with this community and an opportunity to share that with others. "
Thanks for actively loving students and other young people. I'm excited to see how God uses our investments in the years to come!

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