Monday, February 1, 2016

Danielle's February Update

Entire group that attended Winter Camp 2016
Hello friends and supporters! Our biggest event of the year, Winter Camp 2016, was amazing, as it always is. Each year it gets better and better. We had around 500 students, alumni, and parents attend our 4 day long camp at Sky Ranch. This year we were blessed to have Rikk Watts (New Testament Scholar and professor at Regent College in Vancouver) as our speaker. Many of our staff and students have listened to his lectures on the New Testament before, including myself. I can honestly say that his teachings have changed the way I view God, Jesus and the Scriptures. If you're interested in hearing his lectures from Winter Camp, you can listen here.
Rikk Watts teaching his series "Who was Jesus?"
In addition to hearing Rikk speak, our students had plenty of time to build deeper friendships, play games, worship God, and grow together. We also use the opportunity of having our entire ministry, all 9 campuses, listen to a talk on Dating for Disciples (quite the hot topic in campus ministry!). We had an open-mic sharing night the week after Winter Camp for our students to share their biggest take-away from the weekend. So many of them raved about Rikk Watts and the wisdom that he shared about Jesus. Another handful of them talked about how many friends they made and how FOCUS has become their family. I met with two girls this past Saturday to start studying the Bible with them, all because they went to camp and were spurred on to know Jesus more.

Collin College students and alumni at camp
Back in my December update, I talked about how Collin College blessed our ministry by providing money for our students to attend camp, which reduced the cost from $150 to $50 per student. This made a huge difference in the number of students that were able to attend, and most of those students have been consistent in attending our large group meetings and cores since going to camp. Praise God for the way he works!

As you may remember, at the end of 2015 we launched the 2nd Annual Keep FOCUS Growing Initiative, our largest fundraiser of the year. The FOCUS staff promised the students that if we reached our goal of raising $45,000 that we would do a Polar Plunge (we would jump into freezing cold water because that's how much we love them). Well, to our surprise, we reached our goal of raising $45,000 to keep FOCUS growing!! If you were someone that donated to this initiative, I want to personally thank you for the investment that you've made. I can promise you that investing in campus ministry is worth it, to see lives changed for the glory of God. This is something that I get to witness every single day, which is all due to those of you who support us financially and through prayer. I am so grateful to you! Here is a video of the Collin FOCUS staff doing the Polar Plunge! Try not to be deafened by my screams ;)

Thanks for reading and supporting what we do! Much love to all of you!