Hello friends and supporters!
Before I start, let me encourage you to consider giving to our annual campaign to keep Focus growing. This campaign allows us to start Focus at new campuses, support new initiatives to bring students to Christ, and covers costs for student events and other things! Theres more info at https://anyfocus.org/donate/next20/ if you want to check it out!
As the semester draws to an end (finals are next week for our students), I've been considering what God has done this fall semester and I'm amazed. The way he's worked through our students and campus has been nothing short of miraculous, and I'd like to share some of the ways I've seen that.
Our corefa team (student leaders) has bonded and grown tremendously. When you're a college student with all the demands of work, school, family, etc., and you are also learning how to do ministry, life can be very difficult. Trying to minister to your peers is a daunting task when faced with the numerous and complex issues they have. Considering how their college peers need to grow and being bold enough to encourage them in that way is challenging. This corefa team has had to face some difficult challenges within the core groups they lead and with the people they spend weekly one-on-one time with, and they've done a great job. I'm proud of them. I once watched a Planet Earth episode in which a bird called the Barnacle Goose had to watch its offspring jump off cliffs as tall as 400 feet to the ground below. They cannot begin life as goslings without leaving the cliffs. The reason they have nests so high is to avoid predation, and the goslings must jump down because the parents can't carry them safely to the ground waiting below. The episode shows the dramatic and often deadly falls of these little ones as they try to begin life and leave infancy. This stark image is often what I think of when I think of our corefas. The difficulties they face in assuming the role of servant leaders in community are beyond their abilities to safely navigate. We guide them as best we can, as many of their parents have done. We tell them about the best way to jump, and the dangers of jumping. But ultimately they are protected by the Lord they rely on, and despite bumps and bruises they often walk away ready to live as disciples, on the road to maturity in Christ. It always renews my trust in God to see these inexperienced and often brittle beginners develop real depth and determination in the faith all on their own before God. It has been an ultimate encouragement to see these students accept the call of Christ, jump from their nests, and begin to lead God's people. How good of a God we serve!
Another blessing I've been reflecting on is the new staff team at Collin. I remember asking you to pray back in August and September about that and that God would grow and develop our new team as we served our students. Prayer answered. Our apprentices have done a phenomenal job. They've worked hard to serve the ministry and grow personally. They've dealt with numerous obstacles and discovered some of the difficulties of being a campus pastor, all with grace and faith. Their mid year evaluations were all this past month (these evaluations are very in depth and take a ton of time, but are well worth the effort), and as I reflected on each apprentice I became acutely aware of their contribution to our team. I'm so thankful for them and love getting to work with them on a day in, day out basis.
On a more current note, we're wrapping up core groups and our main Thursday night meeting for the semester this week. The break offers us the chance to get to spend more relational time with students and staff that we normally wouldn't, and gives us an opportunity to hit the reset button before next semester. As we wrap up we're beginning to assess students' leadership potential as well as their opportunities for growth. These are the beginning stages of deciding who we should be investing in as leaders. I ask that you pray for this process and that God would give us his eyes and discernment for people he wants leading at Collin next year.
Finally, I just want to thank you for your involvement in making all this possible. Seriously meaningful kingdom work is going on at Collin Focus because of your prayers, your financial support, and your partnership. Please continue to pray for us as we undertake this work on campus!