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A New Beginning

This past week marked the beginning of what I'm expecting will become one of the greatest adventures of my life, and I'm ecstatic to see what's ahead. In these past few months I have been continually in the support raising process. The process has required me to depend on God and others for provision and I have been blown away by the generosity of both. It honestly has brought me so much peace and encouragement to have met with each one of my supporters for this year. Simply to have the opportunity to share with another individual the passion that the Lord has placed on my heart for the college students of UT Arlington and then to have that passion met with a genuine interest and combined excitement for all that God is accomplishing was enough to make my heart explode on multiple occasions.

This past week was spent at a retreat for all of the members of FOCUS staff. The purpose of the retreat was multi faceted but I'll just share a few of my favorite parts about it. One of the things that was most exciting was simply being with everyone for those few days, most of whom I've known personally for years, others I was spending time with for the first time. I was able to look around the room and just think about the fruit of God that I personally have seen in each one of their lives.


Whether that was a growth that I have noticed in them personally, or an impact that I have seen them have on my life or the life of another, I have witnessed God move in and through each one of them. Looking around the room I felt a sense of security in knowing that I was in the company of people who love the Lord and have every desire to be a faithful servant of His! Another exciting thing was when every staff member shared the story of how they came to be a part of FOCUS in the first place. To hear how God had brought to himself people from every walk of life, using always unique and different situations so that the story of how each one of us had gotten to where we are could never be attributed to any of our own works or to just one event, but rather only to the way that He had powerfully orchestrated the events of our lives so that we might come to know Him more intimately!

Along with the guidance of several of our pastors and staff members, we as interns have recently been working our way through the Old Testament. Although in my childhood I was exposed to bits and pieces of the story of Israel I have never been able to get a clearer picture of the way that God was moving through out each one of those books. I so far have only made my way up through Judges but one reoccurring theme has stuck out to me as I've been reading.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; 
he will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged"
Deuteronomy 31:8

I've been thinking a lot about this upcoming year. In just a few weeks students will be moving on to campus and I have no idea what sort of lives each one of those students are coming from and it will be difficult to discern how to best reach out to any of them. How can I show them all the Joy that comes out of a relationship with God? How can I convey to them the forgiveness of Christ or the redeeming nature of The Spirit? How can I do anything? Well, the answer is clear, I can't do a thing. 


Not unless God is going before me, and I believe that he is.

God moves powerfully whenever we give him the glory and trust that he is both capable of, and will be faithful to accomplish great things. I pray that as I move forward into this next year that I move with boldness and that I abandon all fear and discouragement because God is truly going before me! 

I can't wait to get started on the campus of UT Arlington. Imagining all of the students that I will meet and have the opportunity to interact with excites me to no end. I could not have gotten to this point without your support and I am eternally grateful for your prayers and all that you have given! Starting tomorrow I will be sending out all of my thank you letters but in the meantime I hope that you have found this blog enjoyable! I will be writing a new one at the beginning of every month so that I might share you the good news of all the God is doing here in Arlington!

I love you, I pray that you are doing well, and I look forward to talking to you again soon!
In Christ,
Austin Gage

Comments

  1. Truly God has gone before us to the UTA campus! He has been preparing UTA for FOCUS and FOCUS for UTA since before we even existed as an organization. From Ronnie visiting that campus when he first arrived in the DFW area to the fervent prayers of our staff and students over the past few years, I know that the Spirit is preparing the way for the Gospel to be preached there. I am so excited that you and our other ministers will be on that campus this fall to meet and befriend students who desperately need to hear the good news. I can't wait to hear how your Welcome Week goes! Thanks for sharing, Austin!

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