Friday, August 4, 2017

It Begins--Danielle's August Update

I've been waiting all summer and August is finally here! I am so excited to get things started and meet all the new students that will be flooding the campuses in just 2 weeks. This past week our FOCUS staff retreated together to strengthen our team bond, reflect on what God has done, and prepare for what God is going to do this year. One of my biggest takeaways from the retreat is the idea that relationships matter more than content and/or skill when it comes to studying the Bible with people. Looking back on my experience of studying the Bible for the first time, about 10 years ago, I can hardly remember the things that I learned; however, I will never forget the relationship that I developed with the person who discipled me, my mentor Tana. She was patient, kind, loving, and above all, she showed me Jesus by allowing me into her life as a friend. We are still close friends today! I am encouraged by this because it gives me confidence in our student leaders. They may not have amazing pastoral skills yet, but they can be peoples' best friends. This is such great news! 

2017-2018 FOCUS Staff

Denton Staff Team
(L to R: Kristen, Rhett, Brittany, Aaron, me, Matt, Miriam)

Our 2017-2018 Apprentices
(L to R: Eddie, Kristen, Caitlin, Dawn, Jalen, Rhett)
Our latest student testimony is from one of my TWU student leaders! I am so excited to have Morgan on our corefa team this year. Here is her story: 

“I grew up in the Methodist church surrounded by various spiritual mentors. Though I had a good church upbringing, I don’t think I really knew how to truly seek God. My spiritual growth was consequently very slow, with many stops and dead ends. I knew God was there, but for too many years I believed that I could find Him by myself.
            It was not until I began dealing with crippling anxiety and depression that I began truly seeking God. The support from my church during my time in a psychiatric hospital gave me a new thirst for God and community.
            I found FOCUS late into my first semester of college in 2015. Since joining, the ministry continuously shows me the importance of community in growing our relationship with God. FOCUS has challenged my beliefs, encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone, and even helped me to be more confident in my own skin. This year, I have been asked to be a student leader. Despite my fears of inadequacy, I know that I have been equipped with a community that will continue to guide and shape me into a better disciple, so I may go and make new disciples for God’s Kingdom.”

Morgan Chappell (Senior, Texas Woman’s University, Communication Sciences and Disorders)

Thank you for reading! Next month I will have lots of news about our first week of school, Welcome Week, and all of the excitement from the month of August. Thank you so much for your partnership in ministry and your love for students! 

<3 Danielle