Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Near Year, Same Mission

Happy 2020, everybody! I hope you all were able to find some time to rest in the midst of the chaos of the winter holidays. Between celebrating Christmas, ringing in the New Year, and going on our winter staff retreat, this past month has afforded me so many opportunities to reflect on the goodness of God, both in the incarnation of his Son and in his activity in our ministry over the past year, and I am so excited to bring this good news to new students as we enter into a new semester!

Christmas


Last month I showed you a video our core put together for the upcoming Christmas party, and even though I completely objectively believe it deserved first place in our contest, we'll make do with our second place award. 😉

Our Christmas party was such a meaningful celebration of God's goodness. We spent some time reflecting in our worship time over chapter 2 of Philip Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew, in which we see what God revealed about his character through his incarnation, namely his humility, approachability, "underdog-ness" (anyone know the adjectival form of underdog?), and courage. This chapter has ministered to me every Christmas for several years but has value for the disciple year-round. I encourage you to check out if you're looking for some devotional content this week!
A small subgroup of our core. Love these guys a lot!
It was also so cool to reflect on two groups of guys God has knit together over the past semester (see above and below). The guys in our core don't all have the same interests, are not all believers, and don't all have the same values, but we love each other and seek truth together. My roommates, on the other hand, are all believers and do have similar values, but get an even better chance to practice grace and intimacy in our daily interactions. I'm so thankful for all of them!

My roommates! Pictured from right to left: Cody, Bobby, Jesse, Bobby, Jalen, Bobby, Cole Bobby, Taylor, Bobby,  Bobby, Bobby,  Bobby, ... (The edits were not my doing!)

Our family was privileged to have my friend Sagar join us for Christmas this year! Sagar is not a Christian but has been earnestly seeking the truth about Jesus for about a year and a half now, and he finds Jesus very attractive. He was so touched by the message of hope at the Christmas service at my parents' church and by the Bible my family gave him for Christmas. He said he felt like part of our family and would use his new Bible for the rest of his life. Praise God that he uses campus missions to bring about spiritual friendships between people who have grown up on opposite sides of the world and then uses those friendships propagate the grace of Jesus in word and deed.


Staff Retreat

We just got back from our winter staff retreat and boy was it rejuvenating! I absolutely love the staff I get to work with. They're so fun and so intentional about pointing one another to Jesus.

Some of our staff at Buc-ee's on the way to our retreat!
At our retreat we got to hear from Brady Bobbink, who has spent almost 50 years in campus ministry with Chi Alpha/CCF at Western Washington University. Brady shared with us so much wisdom regarding what it means to be a pastor and how to fulfill that calling well.

Here's Brady with one of our pastors, Ronnie

Thank you guys so much for reading and for giving so generously to make this all possible! I would so appreciate your continued prayers this month as we launch into a new semester and strive to faithfully carry out the same good mission on our campuses.

With love and gratitude,
Jalen



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