Long Time, No Read?
September has flown by and God has done so much over the last month! I cannot wait to share an update with you about this past month, but I wanted to make sure I said thank you first! Your support and prayers mean so much to me!
The end of August was especially sweet! As a staff, we spent many hours doing outreach with our students on campus, handing out free coffee and water on an especially hot week! It was incredible to see how many people are excited about Jesus and what He is doing at UTD. We also launched Friday Night Fellowship (FNF) and cores (small groups), both of which have evidence of God’s hand in them! Us apprentices also started our regular schedule of classes- Old Testament, Financial Stewardship, Ministry Essentials, Spiritual Leadership, Body Stewardship, Maturing, and Preaching- which have been such a blessing.
Core is one of my favorite things that we do! This year, I am leading a Co-Ed core with Laurence Glenesk and it has been so fun! We have consistently had 8 students join us each week and each of them have taught me something new about the heart of God! Would you join me in praying for their school year? Specifically, that God would be present, that they would seek community, and that they grow closer in friendship with one another. Right now, we are going through the book of Galatians and it has been awesome to see how each of them interact with God and challenge each other to think deeply about His word. My core this year has been such a gift from God and makes me incredibly grateful for His presence on campus!
Like I mentioned before, us apprentices started our normal routine of classes at the end of August and wow, am I amazed by all of the thoughtfulness that goes into it! When entering the apprenticeship, we hear all the time how it is for us and not simply an internship where we run and make copies/get coffee. Through the classes that we are taking, we all have been so blessed by the intentionality of our teachers and how they have shaped our classes to really benefit us. One of my favorite classes that I am taking right now is my Old Testament class. So far this semester, we have read 27 books of the Old Testament and have listened to lectures from Old Testament Scholar, Iain Provan. I have learned so much about Jewish law and history and look forward to this class each week! This past week, we talked more about doctrine and how we must take a step back from scripture to ask who the author is speaking to and what was their purpose for telling them what they are telling them. I have found this concept to be really helpful in reading all scripture!
Fall Camp (Retreat)
This past weekend, UTD hosted its annual Fall Camp and it was so awesome! We spend 22 hours with our students out at Mount Lebanon in Cedar Hill and it really is such a blessing to take a retreat from our normally busy lives. Each year a handful of students are asked to share about decisions they have made to deepen their relationship with God or relationships with friends. These talks are some of my favorites that we have each year and it is so cool to be able to reflect on all that God has done. A few takeaways that I had from these times are that God wants us to go to Him in times of pain and despair, even if it means telling Him that it is hard to be grateful amongst dealing with loss, friendship is often a choice that we hope gets made, but should be an active choice in our lives because we are made for community, and it’s an everyday choice to follow what Jesus is calling us to, not a one time deal. We also have a ton of time to just hang out with students which reminds me how fun my job is and all the joy that God brings to campus ministry!
Thanks again for joining me in ministry this year and for being so supportive of all that God is doing at UTD! Your prayers and support have allowed me to get to be part of the mission to meet college students on campus and to show them all that Jesus has to offer them!
Until next time
Can you find Waldo? He's hiding somewhere amongst the pictures!