Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Grateful (cont.)

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone, but as I sat down to reflect on what God has done in our ministry this month, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming urge to tell you some stories about more experiences and even some specific people through which and in whom I have seen God so clearly at work!

UTA Friend

Every week I have the privilege of studying Scripture with a friend of mine from India. This friend came to the UTA for grad school with no intentions of learning about Jesus and even was reluctant to come to core at first. However, over the course of the semester, this friend has become more and more interested in Jesus. A couple weeks ago, we read John 13 and Philippians 2 (if you don't know which passages these are, I encourage you to read them. They're insane.), and I asked my friend to compare Jesus to the "gods" of his Hindu faith. He responded by saying something along the lines of "no such humility is displayed by any of the gods of Hinduism. Jesus is pretty cool." Understatement of the century. Please pray with me that God will use this community and our time in Scripture to bring my friend into a relationship with him!

Another UTA Friend

I also get to meet each week with this good-looking guy.

FOJ and Fudge

In spite of some experience with church in his childhood, Bobby here spent all of college as the lord of his own life. This summer, right before starting grad school at UTA, and right before the Lord brought him into our community, Bobby decided to follow Jesus. This semester alone, I've seen Bobby cut sin out of his life, step out of his comfort zone to reach others for Christ, and thoughtfully search for truth without settling for easy answers. Praise God for working in him "to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13) and to bring me fudge.

DBU Friends

A couple of weeks ago at our DBU core, during a time of confessing sin, a student confessed that he finds it hard to desire to put sin behind him because he doesn't fully trust that God is good in light of the pain he sees around him. As I internally celebrated his vulnerability in front of this relatively new group and considered how I might respond, the other guys in core jumped right into the conversation, counseling him with Scripture and with love. It was so stinking encouraging to see young students value each other and God's word enough to play an active role in making and maturing disciples in our little group, one that exists on a campus where there are many Christians but few disciples.
This is Joseph. I lead DBU core with him!

This is Elliot. He's a rockstar!


KFG

Thank you to everyone who supported our ministry through prayer and finances during Keep FOCUS Growing. God provided upwards of $70,000 to our family to invest in students like my UTA and DBU buddies. Praise him and thank you!!



Finally, with Christmas around the corner (am I the only one who feels like 2018 lasted five minutes?), I wanted to leave you with a piece on Jesus' birth that has ministered to me over the last couple of years. Enjoy!

With love and gratitude,
Jalen