Sunday, November 1, 2015

Danielle's November Update

Hello friends! I'm always a little shocked at how quickly the semester flies. We have about 5 weeks left before the students have Winter Break (!) and we are about to start planning our Christmas party. October was a very busy month for our student leaders and I have quite a few updates to share.

At the beginning of October we had a Women's Retreat held by Wylie Northeast Church (the church that sponsors FOCUS). I was very encouraged by the number of college students that came for the entire weekend to connect with the women of the church. This was certainly a blessing to the older women as much as it was to the students. I'm always excited to see relationships being built among generations of Christ followers.

Wylie NE Women's Retreat
The weekend after Women's Retreat we had Fall Park Day for the Collin FOCUS students. Park Day is exactly what it sounds like: a day spent at a local park eating, playing, worshiping, and building friendships. This event is just another way that we heat up the value of getting students plugged into our ministry, beyond just showing up to a large group service on campus. My favorite part of Park Day is the relay race, mostly because that's when people get silly and have the most fun. We like to make them do some pretty funny things!

Relay Races

Collin FOCUS at Park Day
Another value we have tried to heat up this semester with our students is outreach. Every week we provide opportunities for students to ask spiritual questions to anyone and everyone on campus. Some questions include: What is your purpose in life? Who has had the most significant impact in history? Some of our goals behind outreach are (1) preparing students to be "fishers of men" (2) creating an open atmosphere on campus where spiritual things are regularly talked about and (3) actively spreading the name of Jesus to every corner of the campus. Even though some of our students are pretty nervous about this, we have had great participation where students are pushing past their comfort zones. Please be praying for these efforts!

Our last big event in October was the Leadership Conference. Every year our family of churches invites current and prospective leaders from all of our ministries to come together and be reminded of our mission and vision as a body. This year's topic was the reformation of friendship: we can't be like Jesus unless we have real and diverse spiritual friendships. Two questions that I've been pondering are "How would I treat my friends differently if I was planning on a lifetime of being friends?" and "What does it mean to be really committed to someone as a friend?" This is an event that we require our student leaders to attend, and we ask them to invite people in our community with leadership potential as well. A large majority of the people in attendance were college students. It's so encouraging to see how God uses these students to minister to our entire community.

Leadership Conference
I want to thank you all for your faithful support and prayers for this ministry. Your generosity is inspiring and it has built a foundation for what we do on the campus. I am so grateful! For those of you who are interested in another way to support our ministry, we're about to launch the 2nd Annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative. If you have a Facebook account (we will be using other social media as well), please "Like" our page at www.facebook.com/anyfocusministries to follow our videos and testimonies for this initiative. More details in December!

Much love! <3