Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Danielle's September Update

So many neat things have been happening at Collin College lately that I'm excited to share! School officially started on August 24th and our student leaders (we call them "corefas") were ready and pumped to reach out to as many new students as possible. About a week before school started, our leader team spent an entire day preparing for the coming year, what we call "Corefa Prep." We devoted that day to building a strong and united leader team that could catch a vision for campus ministry, as well as be fired up for the mission of making and maturing disciples. We also heavily prepared them for the first two weeks of school, which is when new students on campus are especially open to making friends and trying new things. For dinner we went to some shops nearby where there was live music and entertainment. To give you an idea of how energetic our students are, you can see the picture below of them dancing to the music! At the end of the day, each of the corefas shared their vision for the ministry and for Collin College as a whole. It was really encouraging to hear what God is envisioning for the campus through these students.

Our leaders enjoying the live music at Corefa Prep Day
We have a crazy bunch that loves to dance!
The Thursday after Corefa Prep was our first FOCUS of the semester, which is mainly aimed at getting our returning students excited about reaching out. Our staff was incredibly surprised to see that around 90 people showed up! We certainly didn't expect this, considering that school hadn't even started yet. A few days later, school did start and a ton of new people arrived on campus. You always know when school is starting at Collin College because the empty parking spaces are few and far between! Something unexpected happened that week when Collin College told us that we could no longer have events on campus the first week of classes. We were all slightly discouraged but saw it as an opportunity to step out of our comfort zones to reach out without having events to invite people to. However, the campus had planned some events of their own so we just invaded those!  FOCUS planned a few events that we were able to do the second week of classes, or off campus, including volleyball and everyone's favorite, the 2nd annual "Bad face-painting and tattoos."
Volleyball on campus
We had board games and chess games too!
This photo needs no caption

My specialty: painting cats on faces
Through these events and the intense efforts of our student leaders reaching out, we had around 130 students at our large group FOCUS kickoff meeting! We had to do some rearranging to fit all those people in the back of the cafeteria, and we may or may not have broken some fire codes in the process. Just kidding :)

Thursday Night Fellowship Kickoff
TNF Kickoff
One last group of people that I want to mention is my peer team. These are the female student leaders that I will be mentoring all year. As I may have shared before, mentoring leaders is one of my favorite things about campus ministry! I get to form some deep relationships with these ladies while teaching them how to minister to their peers. I am already so proud of the work they've done these past few weeks and am excited to see their personal and spiritual growth this year! Here is a picture so that you can be praying for them:
From left to right: Ashley, Erin, Leeann, Kerri, Tayte, and Lorena
I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and support this past month. I can't tell you how much it means to me and to our staff that we have so many prayer warriors behind us. Satan is not happy about what we're doing on campus but your prayers have power. The Spirit's presence on campus is distinguishable! Thank you for pouring into this ministry; we couldn't do what we do without you! 

One last bit of good news: one of our leaders told me a story of God's Spirit at work on campus that I want to share. 
"I was feeling discouraged last week because we didn't have our welcome week events and I was relying on only myself to reach out to people. I felt a little panicked. I went to my American Sign Language class, pumped up to talk to people, but we couldn't use our voices! We were only allowed to use sign language and I'm really rusty. I was annoyed and didn't want to pursue people in conversation at that point. I decided I would just talk to people after class in the cafeteria. When class ended, as I was walking out, there was a group of girls from the class that stopped me to talk. Somehow we started having a cool spiritual conversation about missions. I really connected with one girl in particular and I felt that the conversation was Spirit-led. Before I could ask her to lunch, she asked me! During lunch we shared our testimonies and talked about our involvement in church. I think at that time God reminded me that his kingdom work will happen regardless of how I feel or what I'm doing. I am excited to start a new friendship with her!"

Thanks for reading! Much love <3