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Showing posts from 2016

Keep Focus Growing

Hey Everyone!

It is so weird to even stop and think that in just two weeks the semester will be coming to a close. What an amazing past couple of months it has been. God has answered numerous prayers and I have gotten to meet and have some really amazing conversations about Jesus with students from all sorts of backgrounds. I wanted to write you this blog to update you on what I have been up to in the last month and all the ways I see God moving here at UT Arlington.

The number one thing that I've gotten to do is spend a lot of time with new guys in our ministry. In the first several months of college ministry it is difficult to tell who will actually be sticking around and so as a campus pastor it becomes one of my main roles to get to know all of them that I can and let them know that they are cared about and are wanted. Last year what seemed as an initial setback was the small amount of male leaders that we had at the end of the year. For whatever reason when it came to prayerf…

Watch This and Be Encouraged

Jared, the same student who I wrote to you about just a week ago is also a film student and he recently made a short video documenting his and others experience in Focus. I just found it so encouraging that I wanted to share it with all of you. Your investment is making a huge impact. I'm so thankful for all that you do. Please watch this video! I think the student did an incredible job capturing our community.
https://youtu.be/Neo02WPHNFc
In Christ,
Austin

Student Sharing

Last week I sent out a blog that I wanted to include some student sharing in, but the student that I asked couldn't get their thoughts to me on time. However he eventually sent it and I thought it was so powerful that I wanted to share it with all of you here. This is Jared, a freshman student at UTA studying film. This is his first semester in college and in Focus. I will let him speak for his self.

Thank you for having an impact in Jared's life by providing a place where he can come and learn about God and make friends and a family at the same time.

In Christ,
Austin

Fall Is Here!

Hello Everybody! I'm really glad once again to be able to update you on what God has been doing here at UTA this month. October is always a really exciting time in college ministry. It is typicall yby this point that students decide just how much they want to "buy in" to being a part of a college ministry. Many students begin to catch the vision for what God wants to do in their lives and in the lives of their peers. Every student that wants to in our ministry is being met with one on one by our student leaders and every week going through scripture together with them. The Christ centered community that develops out of that is very clearly seen in one of my favorite times of the year, Fall Camp. Fall Camp is a time in which the students from our campus take a 24 hour retreat in which they will spend time, playing games together, making connections with new friends, and connecting with God by spending time together in worship and prayer all for the glory of Him who is wo…

A Busy Month, A Mind At Rest

I apologize for the late post, it has been difficult for me to find the time to write recently. But I have been itching to share with you. Thank you for your patience and thank you for your support. God is doing some really neat things through your support of Focus. And He has been teaching me a lot in the process!

There certainly has been a lot going on in the month of September, but one of the things that I am most excited about is our commuter core!
Just as a refresher, core groups are smaller, intentional, Christ centered communities that serve together, learn together, pray together, and worship together. We call them core groups because we consider them to be the core of our ministry. It is where the deepest friendships are formed and students really get to know each other better as we learn more about God's word together. However core groups are usually gender specific (all guys group or an all girls group) and they also typically happen in the evenings, when most college s…

A New Year

This whole past month has absolutely rushed by as each one of the different campuses that Focus is on prepared for their schools upcoming welcome week where incoming freshmen, transfer students, and international students flock to campus for the first time, often knowing no one at all. Being fully aware of this our ministry makes every effort to be present at the University's events as well as host some our own in the hopes that some of these students might also attend and we might be there to begin a friendship with them and welcome them not only to college, but also in to Christ centered community.
Our students did an amazing job with this! At one point during the events I was talking to several students for the first time and when they heard that I was a part of Focus they each began to list the amount of Focus people that had reached out to them in the past week. Considering we only have around 15 leaders this year the fact that each one of them had not only been met, but con…

Thankfulness and Excitement

The month of July has been in large part a reminder of God's provision which has continued to develop in me an even further ingrained thankfulness and appreciation for the ways that God blesses us daily and for the people that he has used in my life to bring those blessings about.  Many of you are the stewards and administer of those blessings. I'm happy to report that as of currently I have reached 90 percent of my support raising goal for the year and that's simply because of you and the ways that God has opened your hearts to be a people of generosity. I have been incredibly blown away by not only the willingness that each of you have shown in contributing to my financial needs, but also by your shared excitement in what God is doing on these college campuses. The conversations that I have gotten to have with each of you this month have been in large part one of the main reasons that I have been so recently encouraged. Thank you for your gift. It really means the world …

June Ministry Update!

Hello Everyone!

I'm pretty excited to be writing to you today as I have quite a bit on my mind. June has been a really incredible month. A plethora of events have occurred in the past month ranging from moving in to a new house with new roommates to a death in the family.

At the start of this month our various campuses came together for the beginning of summer focus! Summer Focus is a time where all of the students who remain in the DFW area for the summer can come and continue to be a part of Christ centered community!
During summer focus students get to catch a vision that God is doing really incredible things all over DFW. They form friendships with not only the people that they already know from their campus but students from different college campuses and different walks of life! The staff during this time also continues to deliver sermons that the students can spiritually chew on and be shaped by as they go through summer. All of that is on top of the fact that the students …

A New Chapter

I will be contacting you later this week to discuss our partnership in the coming school year! I would love a chance to catch up with you this summer, and I would also like to invite you at this time to prayerfully consider staying on my support team for this coming school year.  I look forward to calling you soon and hearing about what God is doing in your life! I pray that you are doing well!
I hope that you find my update this month to be encouraging!
In Christ, Austin Gage

The first thing that I want to write about is our SICM trip. For those of you who don't already know SICM stands for Student Institute of Campus Ministry, 5 years ago I had the honor of being invited to attend SICM as a student and this year I had the pleasure of returning as a staff member. SICM is a time and place in which the students within our body who have demonstrated a real heart for God and for people over the school year can attend. It is a week long training seminar in which those students earn a ple…

All Glory Be To Christ

I was asked recently by a student how much of these blogs are fluff? How much of them are the whole truth and how much of them are only the bright things that a supporter may want to hear? I desire to be honest with each one of you, and in all honesty I have to say that as the internship comes to a close I am not the same man that I was 9 months ago. I have many of the same weaknesses as I did back then. But although I am far from perfect, through this internship, and by the Spirit, God has graciously refined me to be more like Him. In my pride, God has brought me to a deeper place of humility. In my selfishness, God has taught me to share in the mindset of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5-11). In my sloth, God has given me a spirit of Fervor. In my impatience God  has taught me to depend on his timing. And in my lack of Grace the Lord has poured out upon me grace upon grace and left me with no room for excuse. I hope to not say any of that as a point of pride. Really and truly, all of that fr…