We're in the homestretch of the summer at this point and I cannot wait for the school year to start. In just a few weeks, tens of thousands of students will pour onto our campuses ready to encounter new perspectives, have their worldviews challenged, and make lifelong friends. What a perfect opportunity we have as Christ's ambassadors to point people to Jesus! This month we have been hard at work preparing to do just that.
After all the hard work we put into discipling students during the school year, it can be tempting to take an off-season during the summer. But there are still plenty of students on campus who God wants to reach! That's why over the past couple of months, our staff and students have made sure to be on campus each week engaging summer school students in spiritual conversation.
This picture was taken during one of my favorite outreach displays of the summer. We invited students to read five stories from the Bible, accompanied by artists' depictions of the scenes, and talk with us about the character from the stories with which they most identified. God used our time that week not only to bring new friends into our community, but to communicate to these students powerful truths about how he views them. Isn't it crazy what God will communicate when we step aside and let Him do the talking?
We've also finally put together our team of student leaders for the 2018-19 school year. These dedicated young men and women have volunteered to spend 15-20 hours a week investing in their peers this year by leading cores (small groups) and Focus on Jesus studies (one-one-one Bible studies), and I am so proud of them. Many of them have never assumed positions of leadership before but are faithfully responding to God's call to make and mature disciples, despite their perceived weaknesses and discomfort! Would you join me for praying that God would use these brave students to bear fruit on campus this year?
Men's Leaders: Austin, Brady, Cameron, Cody, Cole, Garrett, Jeff, Jordan, Josh, Matt C, Matt D, Ryan, Stephen, Taylor, and Ulises
Women's Leaders: Ashlyn, Christine, Emily, Esther, Hayli, Jocelyn, Lauren, Megan, and Taylor
Our staff is wrapping up this season of support-raising so that we can be fully focused on our students when they arrive on campus. I am currently looking for four partners to join my support team at $100/mo to reach my goal for the year, so if you would pray for that and consider passing this along to anyone else who may want to help build God's Kingdom at UTA, I would greatly appreciate it!
Thank you all so so so much for deciding to invest in what God is doing at UTA!!! He was so faithful to bear more fruit than I could have ever imagined during my apprentice year (just look at the leader team above, the student testimony below, and my previous blog posts as proof!), and I'm beyond excited to see what He wants to do this year!
With love and gratitude,