This weekend we took over sixty of our UTA students to Mt. Lebanon Retreat Center in Cedar Hill to worship God, hear about Jesus, and experience the sweetness of Christian fellowship for 24 hours. It was so encouraging to hear our students, Christian and non-Christian alike, reflect on stories of Jesus found in the gospels and share with each other how God had changed their lives through college ministry. By the end of Fall Camp, many students grew in their relationships with Jesus, some further explored the possibility of becoming disciples of Jesus, and one even expressed an interest in beginning to follow him. Praise God!
Despite our yearly attempts to wait until we have the resources necessary to comfortably start a new campus ministry, it seems like God consistently has other plans in mind. This year, it has become apparent that God is moving at Dallas Baptist University and we have said "yes" to joining him! We never planned to start a ministry on a predominantly Christian university with so many student ministries already, but for some reason, a substantial group of students has been leaving DBU's campus every Thursday for the past couple of months to drive to UTA, which is 25 minutes away, in order join us for our Thursday Night Fellowship gatherings. It seems that despite the Christian presence at DBU, these students are hungry for the type of relationship God has taught us to foster in our community. So we've started one men's and one women's core at DBU! I am fortunate enough to get to lead the men's core with my friend Joseph, who grew up in our family of churches but felt the Lord calling him to DBU rather than to one of our existing FOCUS campuses. It seems that this may be why! Please join in me in praying that our staff will remain attentive to the Lord's calling as we seek to reach students for Jesus at DBU while faithfully attending to our calling as ministers on UTA's campus.
(I am so bummed I didn't get any pictures of outreach this time around! I'll definitely be posting some in my next update.)
Our staff and students have been hard at work continuing to reach students at UTA every week. This month we've walked up to students in the social hubs of campus in order to engage them in spiritual conversation and set up displays asking students who they think Jesus is and what they value as their primary sources of truth. This last week, I was fortunate enough to speak to a young man and his girlfriend who had recently converted to Christ but had not yet found a Christian community in which to serve and learn. This young man expressed interest in coming to my core and his girlfriend will likely be coming around as well!
Thank you all for your role in changing lives for Christ at UTA. It's because of your partnership in bringing the Good News to the college campus that we get to bear such exciting fruit in the lives of students like the ones above and Veronica below!
With love and gratitude,