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Met With Open Arms

The month of August has been nothing short of incredible, and a true sign that God is moving powerfully here at the college campus of UT Arlington.

At the beginning of the month, weeks before school began, the staff and student leaders of UTA FOCUS were able to go one a retreat in the hopes of forming bonds and sharing the vision of what we all are hoping to accomplish through Christ here on campus! It was a really sweet and wonderful experience where we as a group of individuals shared in the worship of God and conversations about his purpose for our lives as well just a bunch of played games! By the end of the week we had become a family, and it was apparent to me how God had orchestrated each one of our lives and had hand placed each one of us into a position as a minister on the UTA campus to reach students from every different walk of life. I was, and have been, so encouraged by these individuals as to how great of a job each one of them is doing at laying down their life to serve God and others.


On the 24th of August school finally started! As most of you know this is our first year as an official  student organization on campus at UTA, so making a good first impression with the faculty as well as making an impact and letting people know we are present on campus was important to us! Our first day on campus all of our staff and student leaders volunteered to assist with UTA's move in day! We were able to help hundreds of students move their way into the residence halls on campus and that  gave us an opportunity to be the first smiling face that those students see. In the move in day alone our staff and students met so many of their peers and were able to be a light to the campus just by serving! Many members of the faculty of UTA actually raved about FOCUS all day with how great of a job all of our student leaders were doing at helping! One of the faculty members even went so far as to introduce one of our campus pastors to the Head Director of the Housing Department and told them how blessed they had been by our presence!

After move in day came welcome week! There were so many different events going on on campus and we as a student ministry tried our best to be a presence at every single one of them as well as meet every student along the way! On our second night at UTA, FOCUS decided to host a board game night on campus and we all invited everyone that we had met! The board game night was such a huge success, we had one leader at every table, and made sure that every student that showed up felt welcomed and included!  This picture only shows 1/3 of the people who were there that evening but I think it's still such a great representation of how eagerly people are seeking out friendship here on campus as they move in to this next chapter of their lives!


Perhaps the thing that I have been most blown away by this week is the incredible outpouring of International students that we have met this week. UTA is a very diverse campus with people from all over the world coming here to study! I've been amazed by not only the amount of (specifically Indian) international students that I have met this week, but also by the quality of friendships that have already been established. Many of these young men I have developed a deep brotherly love for in just a short while. I have been blessed to already be able to have some personal conversations with many of them! Nearly all of these guys are so friendly and sweet in spirit. Because of the fact that this is their first year in America, many of these international students have been so verbally thankful for our immediacy to befriend them! Already I have both experienced, and heard stories of, many of these young men asking deep spiritual questions about our Christian faith simply because of the kindness that has been shown to them by people in FOCUS throughout their first few days here on campus. We start our bible study groups, called core's, next week and most of these young men from India have eagerly asked us if it would be alright for them to join. I would just love if all of you would pray for each one of these guys. Pray that God would reveal himself and his character to them. That as they study his word, their eagerness for him would only grow. And lastly, that both myself and the other members of FOCUS would continue to be a positive image of Christ to each one of them.

None of this would be possible without your support, prayers, and encouragement. I am so eternally grateful for each one of your contributions. God is moving powerfully here on UTA. We have been welcomed as an organization on campus with open arms, by both the faculty and the students. We still have another week of welcome back activities and fairs, please pray that God brings even more to his name every single day! Thank you again for all that you do!

In Christ, Austin.



Comments

  1. Austin I love hearing about everything that's going on at UTA! I pray that you and the rest of our team out there would befriend and love those international students you are meeting. They may think they are in the US to get a degree, but I think God brought some of them here to meet you and ultimately get to know Him!

    Keep up the good work!

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