Monday, December 1, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you all had a very happy Thanksgiving and are gearing up for the Christmas season! I was able to go down to Houston to spend Thanksgiving with my family which was such a blessing. I'm hoping to get back down there for Christmas as well. Our students are getting ready for finals which are already next week! I can't believe how quickly this semester has gone by.

This time of year is very busy for FOCUS: holiday parties, wrapping up the semester, finals, and getting people excited about Winter Camp are just a few of the big things we have going on. What I want to devote some time talking about this month is FOCUS 140, The First Annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative. If you haven't yet seen it all over Facebook and Twitter from our staff and students, please watch this video to learn more about it! 


God has used campus ministry, specifically FOCUS, to completely change my life. Through campus ministry God has taught me how to stop living for myself and start living for Him. I've learned who Jesus Christ really is. I've learned what love really is. I've gained real, meaningful, spiritual friendships and learned how to be that kind of friend to others. I've learned how to love and serve others, not just to be a "good person," but to fulfill God's will for his people. I'm asking you to please consider giving to the ministry that God has used to change my life and the lives of so many others. God has allowed FOCUS to reach beyond just college students, to entire families and generations that may not otherwise have known Jesus. 

FOCUS is currently on 6 campuses in the DFW Metroplex and our goal is to be at 2 more by Fall 2015. We believe that God has laid 2 specific campuses on our hearts and minds: The University of Texas at Arlington and North Central Texas College near Denton. With your help, this vision can be accomplished! Even if you cannot give financially, we ask that you would share this video with anyone and everyone you know that would possibly be interested in supporting campus ministry. Most of all, please pray for this initiative! We want what God wants in this endeavor. To share the video with others, copy and paste this link: http://youtu.be/Qq1ZSv-Wlu4. To make a donation, visit this website: anyfocus.org/focus140

Thank you so much for all that you've given and continue to give to me and to our ministry. I've said this before but it needs to be said again: We absolutely cannot do what we do without YOU! Thank you for your generosity, support, love, and prayers. You are the ones that have kept FOCUS growing so far, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I hope and pray that you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends! 

Much love! 


Monday, November 3, 2014

November News

I have a quick update about what's happening in our community! Every fall, Collin FOCUS gathers our students at the park for a day of fun and fellowship, known as Fall Park Day [we are very creative when it comes to naming events :)]. This time we had over 70 students attend, and thankfully the weather was perfect! We planned some activities throughout the day to help students build friendships and to welcome them into our community. In addition to lots of free time, we had a group scavenger hunt, walk and talks, small group discussions, and praise & worship. Here are some pictures from the day:

"Awkward Family Photo"
One of the items in the scavenger hunt was a group "selfie"
These are the sweet leaders that I mentor
Some of our group at Fall Park Day
Park Day was a lot of fun and a nice break from our busy school/work weeks. We have even better plans for next year! Another annual event that I look forward to is our church Leadership Conference. Leaders (and prospective leaders) from all 3 of our churches (Garland, Wylie, and Denton) as well as FOCUS corefas from all 6 campuses come together for a day of encouragement and vision casting. The reason I love this day so much is because it gives our church a vision and mission. It helps us see how far we've come but also where we want to go in the future. We get to hear testimonies from various members in the community that remind us of how God is working, and how we can join in that work. One of the highlights of the day for me was hearing Ronnie Worsham, senior pastor at Northeast Garland, read a poem that he wrote about the vision that God gave him to plant 20 churches in the DFW Metroplex. We call it the "2020 Vision" and have used that phrase as a reminder of how big God's vision is for our city and for His church. At the end of the day, each of us wrote out a prayer and prayed them out loud together. I want to share a part of my prayer with you so that you can know what is on my heart; hopefully this is a prayer that you can pray too!

Lord, please grant me your vision for my life
and the lives of those around me.
Plant a seed in my heart that will grow and bear much fruit. 
Rid me of my selfish desires and the things that keep me
 from doing your work.
I thank you and praise you for your awesome power to change lives!
Thank you for fixing broken things and broken people.
Show your mighty power in the community and in this city.
Take away any barriers that hinder us from achieving your vision. 
Make us a church body that is faithful with the mission of transforming lives, for your glory.
Amen. 

Annual Leadership Conference
Thank you for reading and for continuing to support our mission on college campuses. Without your prayers and support, we simply could not have quite as big an impact on students' lives. Please let me know how I can be praying for you as well. Send prayer requests to danielle@anyfocus.org.  

Much love! <3

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October News

Things have begun to settle down since the beginning of school, and we've been able to get into a groove at Collin FOCUS. Our Thursday Night Fellowship meetings are still pretty packed, and many new students that came at the beginning are sticking around. Our cores (small groups) are still attracting new people every week, and we have numerous Bible studies starting among the students. Our corefas (student leaders) are still working hard but have begun to adjust to their new roles. Overall, our ministry is in great shape!

Typical goofy guy core
One of the things I'm most excited about that started in September is Discipleship Class. This class meets once a week for 2 hours and is aimed at providing the students with an in-depth study of Scripture. It's taught by one of our campus pastors at Collin, Garrett Davis. We're in our third week and attendance has been consistently high (over 20 students each week). It is such a great sign that a good portion of the students in our ministry are interested in growing in their faith and knowledge of Christ--and they're not afraid to have their beliefs challenged. We are currently studying the book of Mark, chapter by chapter, to learn about who Jesus is and why he did what he did. In just the first two chapters we've had the opportunity to discuss topics such as discipleship, the Kingdom of God, miracles, healing, demons, Sabbath, and the authority of Jesus. Every week my mind is blown! Even though I've read these passages many times, there is always something more for me to learn. I think our students are discovering that The Word of God is living and active, and very relevant.

Student leader Kelleigh getting baptized!
We've also started outreach on campus every other week, similar to last year. The first-year interns have planned and done campus conversations, questions on display, and other events to reach out and evangelize.  Our goal is to teach our students to be more evangelistic in their everyday lives, not just for a few hours each week on campus. We also want to start conversations about spiritual things so that people on campus are more open to exploring their beliefs. These have been going very well and we've had lots of student participation!

Some of the sweet corefas that I mentor
In a few weeks we'll have Fall Park Day, which is a time for the students to build relationships with each other while participating in fun outdoor activities and sports. We're praying for great weather that day! I'll let you know how it goes in my next update.

Please continue to pray for the things I've mentioned, especially our 1-on-1 Bible studies and core groups. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in reaching students on campus for Jesus. We are so blessed to have such generous and godly people behind us.

Much love <3

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome Week

The first week of school has come to an end and Welcome Week at Collin College was incredibly successful! During the first week of school FOCUS plans events every day in order to meet as many new people as possible. Monday through Wednesday we had a booth in the main atrium inside of campus. We had students guess how many gumballs were in a jar, answer a spiritual question, and get ugly fake tattoos (yes, you read that right. It was Garrett's idea). It was a great way to meet new students and help cultivate some student life on campus! On Wednesday and Friday nights we had volleyball at the apartments on campus with an overwhelming number of new students. Thursday was our fellowship kickoff night and we had over 100 students attend! We barely had enough chairs for people to sit down! Our corefas (student leaders) worked tirelessly last week to meet new people and invite them into our community, and the number of new people on Thursday night was proof of their hard work. Here are some pictures from the week:

Student getting an "ugly" tattoo
My ugly tattoo, courtesy of Garrett Davis, campus pastor
Students answering a spiritual question
Students at Volleyball event
Thursday Night Fellowship with over 100 students!
Thursday Night Fellowship
Once the week was over we had a break on Saturday to rest and recharge. Then on Sunday we were back at work for the Corefa Retreat. Corefas (short for core-facilitators) are the student leaders of our community. They are the ones that are leading small groups, meeting with students one-on-one, and studying the Bible with people. They are really the backbone of our ministry! At the beginning of the year we take corefas on retreat to teach them how to be effective leaders in our community. I was honestly blown away at the number of students that have volunteered a year of their college lives to serve on their campuses. It is our biggest corefa team yet! There were 127 people at retreat, including FOCUS staff. Our theme for the retreat was Love in Ministry, based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

All the student leaders and staff at our Corefa Retreat
Cores will begin next week on each of the campuses. Collin College will have 8 cores total, 4 girl cores and 4 guy cores. This is also the biggest corefa group that Collin has ever had! I'm so excited for the start of this year and can't wait to see lives changed for The Lord!

Thank you again for your prayers this month and for your financial support. One of the reasons that our ministry is growing so much is because we have people like you who love college students! We so greatly appreciate your partnership with us. Let me know if you have any specific or personal prayer requests! danielle@anyfocus.org
Much love!


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New Year, New Campus!

Welcome to my blog! Many of you have been reading along for a year, but some of you are reading for the first time. I'm so excited to have you all on my team as I continue my second year internship with FOCUS! Students at Collin College won't be starting school for another couple of weeks but the FOCUS staff has been hard at work throughout the summer. One of the most exciting things that has happened already this month is that our brand new batch of first-year interns have joined our team. We just returned from a 3-day staff retreat in Oklahoma (which is the reason why my post is several days into August). During our retreat we spent time getting to know the new interns and praying/planning for the upcoming school year. Here is a picture of our staff at retreat:

Can you believe our staff is this big?!
I want to say a big THANK YOU to those of you that are supporting our staff financially and with prayer. We would not be able to do what we do without you! I am so excited that you have chosen to partner with us in advancing God's kingdom on college campuses.

This year I'll be working on staff at Collin College in Plano. Collin is the only public community college in Collin County, with students of all different ages and backgrounds. FOCUS has been at Collin College for nine years now and the ministry has grown significantly. Many of the students that I worked with last year at UNT started their academic careers at Collin. Collin is a great place to reach out to students right at their freshman and sophomore years before they transfer to universities. We hope to reach students early on so that they can make good decisions and live life for Christ during their college years. Here is a picture of the campus: 


We have a lot happening in August that we are gearing up for. On August 16th we will have a Corefa Prep Day (Corefas are the student leaders of our "cores"--smaller communities that meet throughout the week to share life, learn about Jesus, and serve together). Corefa Prep is designed to help the leaders prepare for leading their groups and to help them get to know each other. At the end of August we will have an All-Corefa Retreat where the corefas from all 6 of our campuses come together. I'll be updating you on those events in my next post in September. The last week of August is Welcome Week and one of the busiest weeks of the year for our community. This is our first opportunity to meet as many students as possible on campus and invite them to our community. Please be praying for our student leaders as they work hard to make friends and make new students feel welcome!

Please also pray for me as I am starting a new part-time Speech Therapy job next week! I'm a little nervous :) Let me know how I can be praying for you! Email prayer requests to danielle@anyfocus.org

Much love! <3



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer News

This summer is a time of transition for me. I'll be working on the FOCUS staff at Collin College starting in August and transitioning from my position at UNT. In a couple of weeks I'll be moving from Denton to Plano, and I'm about to start a new Speech Therapy job in mid July. Summer has been a lot busier than I initially thought it would be! A lot of my friends who have recently graduated are having trouble finding jobs and it reminds me to be thankful for the work that God has provided for me. Support raising has also kept me pretty busy and I'm thankful for those of you that are continuing to partner with me in my vocation.

We also have Summer FOCUS happening every Thursday night in Plano with all 6 of our campuses. I was surprised at the number of students that have stayed in town for the summer and are continuing to meet up. Our theme for the summer is Experiencing God, which goes along with the study that some of the students are participating in. If you haven't gone through the Experiencing God study by Henry Blackaby, I encourage you to do so! It has been a challenging and refreshing study for me. I am constantly being reminded that everything is all about God, and not at all about me! Some of the questions that stood out to me that I've been pondering include: Where do I see God working around me? What do I still need to change to go with God? Why do I not realize that it is always best to do things God's way? If I knew that all I had was a relationship with God, would I be totally and completely satisfied? Am I investing my life, time, and resources in things that will last or in things that will pass away? That is just a sample of the types of penetrating questions that this study has me reflecting on.

The main thing I believe God is teaching me this summer is that somehow, God has counted me worthy to partner with Him in the work He's doing in changing people's lives; and I want to give that work the time, energy, and resources that God deserves.  I think this statement from the study is a good summary: "God delights in using ordinary people to accomplish His purposes. Paul said God deliberately seeks the weak things and the despised things because from them He receives the greatest glory (1 Cor 1:26-31). Then everyone knows only God could have done something through them. If you feel weak, limited, or ordinary, you are the best material through which God works." Amen! Praise God that He still works through someone like me. I hope that encourages you as well. God wants you to join Him in his work. Look around this next month at where God is working around you and jump in! Don't forget to share your stories with me :)

Thanks for reading and for your prayers and support. I truly believe that your investment in campus ministry is something that will last. Let me know how I can be praying for you! Send prayer requests to danielle@anyfocus.org

Much Love! .

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June Update

As I write this post I am filled with joy but also with a bit of sadness. Yesterday marked the last official day of my internship. What a journey it has been! This has been my most life-changing year so far. To say that I've learned a lot would be an understatement. One of the most significant lessons I've learned this year is that God is incredibly trustworthy. I know, that seems pretty simple, but for me it was a profound lesson. One of the very first ways I experienced that was through my partnership with you, my supporters. God provided me a way to fulfill his call to campus ministry through YOU! I was nervous at the beginning of last summer when it came time to find people that were as passionate about campus ministry as I am, but I was so thrilled to see that all of you care deeply about God's vision for college campuses! I want to thank each of you for the amazing support that you provided to me throughout this year. I simply could not have done any of this without you.

The great news is that God, in His kindness, has opened the door for me to work another year on staff with FOCUS! I suppose my second-year internship doesn't officially start until August, but I'm learning that a minister's work is never really done. This summer I will be busy gathering support for the next year, as well as getting to know many of the students I'll be working with soon. As you know, I have been working with the students at UNT and TWU in Denton this past year. However, this Fall I will be joining the staff at Collin College in Plano. I am so excited for this new set of experiences and challenges! I hope that you will consider continuing to partner with me and the FOCUS staff to reach students on this campus! 

As I mentioned in my previous post, two weeks ago our staff was able to send 69 students to Washington for SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry). This is another area that I have seen how trustworthy God is: in building up student leaders who have a heart for God and for serving in ministry during their college years. The major teaching thrust of SICM is Jesus style discipleship. They also learn about evangelism, how to lead a small group, how to minister to people one-on-one, and much more. It's safe to say our SICM students are now well equipped to lead next year, whether they're on our leader team or supporting their small group leaders. 

Silly FOCUS staff at SICM

All the SICM students and CCF staff

Collin College students (and me!)

Please be in prayer for these students as God is preparing their hearts for an intense year of reaching out on their campuses. I am also in prayer that all the students in our ministry can have a fruitful summer, and not forget all the ways they have grown this year. Thankfully we have some opportunities to continue studying through the summer in what we call School of Ministry. FOCUS is offering a weekly class on Genesis as well as an "Experiencing God" Bible study. 

Thank you again for reading and for investing so much in our community! Please let me know any way that I can pray for you and serve you. Email prayer requests to danielle@anyfocus.org

Much love! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rejoice in the Lord

Wow, I can't believe that the school year is coming to a close already. Our students have final exams next week and then will be out for the summer. I am in disbelief that there is only one month left of my first year internship! May is going to fly by. This past weekend we had a Spring Formal for our students in FOCUS. We honored the graduating seniors and the student leaders that have worked hard all year. It was a nice time of reflection and thanksgiving for what God has done in our community this year. We have so much to celebrate! This year, our ministry grew significantly: our leader team consisted of 40 students; and we planted FOCUS at Texas Woman's University. We had more evangelistic efforts on our campuses than in years past which allowed me to meet and study the Bible with some non-Christian students. I hope and pray that God is pleased with our efforts for advancing the kingdom on these campuses. With that being said, I really want to take some time to thank YOU for allowing this work to happen! We wouldn't be able to do what we do if it wasn't for your generosity and commitment to furthering the kingdom. Thank you for investing in campus ministry, which we believe is the most strategic mission field out there today. Here is a little video of appreciation, made for you:





 I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) in Bellingham, Washington next month, for a second time. The first time I attended this week-long conference was several years ago after I had been a student leader in FOCUS. This time I will be going as a staff member to help with our large group of students attending (69 of them!). The FOCUS interns recently put on a fundraiser to help our students pay for the cost of SICM. Thankfully, all of the students that participated in the fundraiser will have their trips fully paid for! Thanks to those of you that participated and gave financially for this event! Please be in prayer for the students and staff as we fly up to Washington for a week (we are leaving May 17th). Pray that we are able to arrive safely and that we don't have any unexpected illnesses or injuries while we're there. Also pray that the students attending will have open minds to learn new skills that will prepare them to lead on our campuses next year. I'll be posting pictures and a summary of our trip on my next blog post!

As always, thanks for reading and for caring about what I'm doing up here in Denton. In one of our intern classes we have been studying the book of Philippians, and what it means to rejoice in the Lord. I truly rejoice in the Lord for your partnership with us! Please let me know if there is anything that I can be praying about for you. Email prayer requests and updates to danielle@anyfocus.org.

Much love!

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:3-6

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Good News!

For those of you that I haven't told, I would like to take this opportunity to share some great news! As my internship year is coming to a close I have had to prayerfully consider what my next step will be. Thankfully the FOCUS staff has offered me the opportunity to continue in college ministry as a second year intern! I will be completing my second year internship at Collin College, one of the community colleges where FOCUS is working. That means at the end of the summer I will be moving back to the Plano area. I will be sad to leave Denton but I am so thankful for the time I have had to do ministry here. This summer I will be working hard at fundraising again for the coming year. I hope that you will also prayerfully consider continuing your support and partnership with me as I continue in ministry. I will have more details as the summer gets closer!

SSI Week
As I mentioned in my last post, we had SSI week (Student Spring Impact) March 24th through the 29th. SSI happens once a year when students from Campus Christian Fellowship at Western Washington University come to Texas for their Spring Break to do evangelism at our campuses. We had 18 students and 3 interns come to stay with us last week, some of whom had never even been to Texas before! They were able to visit all 6 of the campuses where FOCUS is, which meant a lot of traveling throughout the week. At the UNT campus our theme was "Questioning God." I know at first that topic seems a little unusual, but we really wanted to attract all kinds of people to participate in spiritual conversations with us. It turned out to be a great success! All week long we paired our Washington student visitors up with our UNT students to do conversational evangelism around our displays. We had two whiteboards available for people to write down questions that they had about God or for God. We also had some quotes from famous Christians and atheists displayed, as well as some deep and puzzling questions as examples. Many Christians on campus were a little confused by our approach...some of them thought that we were members of an atheist organization.





The non-Christians on campus were intrigued by our willingness to ask questions and admit that we didn't have all the answers. I was able to have several conversations with non-Christians who were open to the possibility of God. I had one hour-long conversation with a non-Christian UNT student who said that our conversation helped change her mind about Christians and their ability to engage in spiritual conversation without judgment or forcing their beliefs. I had another conversation with a Christian student who said he has been afraid to evangelize on campus. I encouraged him that he could do the same thing with God's power behind him! I also spoke with Christians who encouraged our efforts and said they were so glad we were spreading God's word on campus.

The week was very challenging but also really fun! I was able to learn a lot from the conversations I had. Having the Washington students out there with us was incredibly encouraging. I learned a lot from their boldness and their service to our campus. Praise God for an awesome experience!

Some FOCUS staff with SSI students
 (I'm on the bottom left)
I wish I had room for all the neat stories from last week! If you want to read more, please visit the other FOCUS staff blogs. Thanks for reading! I greatly appreciate your continued support and prayers! Please email me with any prayer requests you have. 

Much love! <3

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring has arrived! I think...

The weather has been crazy in North Texas this year! We have had some close-to-record-breaking cold temperatures mixed in with some warm days. God keeps reminding me of His awesome power when every day is drastically different. Thankfully we have had a few days of beautiful weather this week and I hope it stays this way! February was filled with events for the FOCUS community:

Pizza Theology
Just like last semester we offered a four hour teaching session for our students interested in going deeper into Biblical topics. Our topic this semester was the book of Exodus. I really enjoyed this opportunity to dive deeper into Exodus, especially after reading and studying the Old Testament for our intern class. Five members of the FOCUS staff researched and taught us how to look at Exodus, with the main goal of discovering what it tells us about the heart of God. In many conversations with students on campus a common misconception I hear is that God was a moral monster in the Old Testament. In studying Exodus though, we see how good God is. Time and time again God remembers, sees, and hears his people! We also see the connections between the story of Moses and the story of Jesus, an awesome promise of what was to come. If you are interested in listening to this seminar, click here.


Parent Night
Every year we have an Open House for parents and families to come and see what FOCUS is all about. This year we packed the room with families that attended! I was lucky enough to have my parents and aunt & uncle attend as well. Parent Night was so encouraging to me, not only because I got to meet so many amazing families, but because I could see how proud these parents were of their students. Several parents got up to share about how they were so grateful to the FOCUS community for providing a place for their children to learn and grow in discipleship. I wish that you all could have been there to hear the stories from parents and students about how lives have been changed. This is all part of why I love campus ministry and am so thankful to those of you that pray and support what we do on the campuses. You were in my thoughts that night!

Evangelism
Our evangelism events have continued each week with more exciting conversations! The main questions we were asking this month were, "What has shaped your view of God?" and  "What would it take to fix our broken world?" I was able to have a conversation with a Muslim student named Najah. I asked her what has shaped her view of God and she began to tell me about her Muslim background. An interesting thing about Najah is that she has actually done some research on her religion as well as Christianity, which is uncommon for most Muslims. She told me about the similarities that she has discovered in the Bible and the Quran. After a brief conversation about her beliefs I asked if she would be interested in learning more about Christianity while also teaching me about Islam. We exchanged phone numbers and met for lunch later that week. I am excited to share that we have now begun a Bible study that focuses on Jesus. Please be in prayer for this study and that God would reveal His truth to Najah as she continues to seek Him.

Coming in March
The students will be off for a week for Spring Break while the FOCUS interns continue our studies. After Spring Break we will have SSI Week, March 24-29. SSI = Student Spring Impact. Students from Campus Christian Fellowship at Western Washington University come down to Texas during their Spring Break for a week of evangelism on our campuses. This is one of our most exciting events of the year! The interns have planned some thought-provoking questions and displays to engage students in spiritual conversation. Please be in prayer for this week as the students from Washington, along with our students, walk the campuses daily to bring people closer to Christ!

Thank you immensely for the support that you provide to me and to our staff. We couldn't do this work without you. Please email me with any comments or prayer requests at danielle@anyfocus.org.

Much love!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February News

I have lots of great news to share with you this month! The students have been back in school for a few weeks now, and to kick off our semester we had one of our biggest events of the year: Winter Camp! We invite students from all the FOCUS ministries to retreat for a weekend to learn about God and to fellowship with each other. We had about 430 students attend. Our theme this year was "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, There is Freedom." We invited Brady Bobbink, the campus pastor from Campus Christian Fellowship at Western Washington University, to speak about the Holy Spirit. FOCUS has developed a partnership with CCF over the years, as we send our prospective student leaders to their leadership conference called Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM). I can't even begin to tell you how awesome Winter Camp was. God's Spirit really moved among our community that weekend! I'm not sure if you recall, but in November I wrote about a student at TWU that I met doing conversational evangelism. His name is Patrick and he identifies himself as agnostic. After that one conversation with Patrick on campus, I invited him to our Denton North Church meeting and he came! Since then he has been actively involved in a FOCUS small group at TWU and he was able to attend Winter Camp! I was so excited to have him there and to watch our students surround him with love. There were so many other stories like this from camp! Experiences like this make everything that we do worth it. We would not be able to have these wonderful opportunities without your prayers and support, so thank you immensely for that!


Our entire group at Winter Camp

My biggest takeaway from Winter Camp was allowing and acknowledging the Spirit's work in my life and in the lives of those around me. Praying to the Spirit is not something that I ever did or knew that I was supposed to do. However, the more I have asked the Spirit to guide and direct my life, the more that I am aware of His presence. It is amazing to see the Spirit working in ways that I completely missed before. I am experiencing Him in a new way! One of the intern classes we are taking this semester is all about the Holy Spirit. I will keep you updated on the things I'm learning and the way that the Spirit is working on our campuses. 

One of the ways I have seen the Spirit work is at the TWU campus. This past week I attended a TWU FOCUS meeting. They have been meeting once a month apart from UNT FOCUS as they were not an official organization on campus yet. However, they are continuing to grow at a very fast rate! My roommate and fellow intern, Sarah King, is heading up the TWU ministry. She asked us on Tuesday night to share our vision for the TWU campus. I felt the Spirit giving me a vision for that campus that I was able to share with the students. My vision is that TWU would be a place where people are excited to attend because the Spirit of God is there; that the atmosphere of the campus would change to a lively and friendly place; that students would not be depressed or lonely but would have spiritual friendships and community; and that the Christian ministries on campus would work together to win as many as possible. This vision has already begun: as of this week, FOCUS was accepted as an official, registered organization on campus! Praise God! We are so excited to be part of God's plan for the campuses! 

Please continue to pray that students' lives will be changed and their hearts turned to God! Thank you for reading, and as always, thanks for all your support! Please let me know if there is anything I can pray about for you. Email prayer requests to danielle@anyfocus.org

Much love! 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 15:13

Saturday, January 4, 2014

January News

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. This past month was a little unusual, but busy nonetheless! In my last post I mentioned that we would be having a Christmas party for our students once the semester ended. As it turns out, and some of you may have heard, a big winter storm changed our plans. The week before finals began, students in Denton were trapped in their dorms and apartments, unable to leave because of the ice! This caused the schools to close and postpone final exams for several days. We had to cancel our Christmas party and reschedule it for a week later. Thankfully, the students were safe and bundled up, but we all started to get a little cabin fever. We were also supposed to have our Denton North Church meeting that weekend which had to be canceled as well. However, those of us that lived close to each other were able to walk to Whataburger that Sunday and share a meal together.

Church at Whataburger

Even though our Christmas party was postponed, many of the students stayed in town and were able to make it to the party. Our theme for the party was "The Night Before Christmas" so we encouraged students to dress up cozy and warm. We served hot chocolate and cider, and spent time singing Christmas songs and in fellowship. We also had stations for the students to rotate through that would get them thinking more about the meaning of Christmas and what Christ's birth symbolizes for us.

After we wrapped up the semester I was able to spend two weeks at home in Houston with my family. It was so nice to go home and relax for a bit to recharge for the new year and new semester. This week the FOCUS interns have been at the church building reading the entire New Testament in preparation for our classes this next semester. Tomorrow we leave for our FOCUS staff retreat to prepare for the new year, and very soon the students will be coming back to Denton for school. Our big event in January is Winter Camp where we invite students from all the campuses to retreat for a weekend. Please be in prayer for this event, that students would be able to attend and that hearts would be changed and turned to God!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. I want you to know how grateful I am to have you as partners in this work that we do on campus. I hope that this new year brings you many blessings, just as you have blessed our ministry.

Much love!