Skip to main content

Reason For The Season

Hello Everyone! This December moved by quickly! Between Finals and students going home for the holiday's we had much less student interaction than usual, but despite all of that, it was still an incredible month full of personal growth and the excitement of being able to see God continue to do great things on this campus!

From top left to bottom right: Interns- Danni Howard, Krysten Williams, JD Pearson, Nicki Escutia, Albert Rodriguez, Katelyn Hoffman, April Ashton and Victoria Milian preaching their sermons.

The Interns Give Their Sermons Over "This Is My Gospel"

This month the Interns were given an assignment for one of our classes, Topics in Pastoring. The assignment was called "This Is My Gospel" and for it we were instructed to prepare a 20-30 minute sermon outlaying the way that the message of the Gospel has specifically impacted our lives and affected the way that we live today. Students told stories of overcoming obstacles that vary in a wide range. Some came from broken homes where love was not present, others came from other countries and experienced great loneliness when arriving in America. A few struggled with self-righteousness and pride for the majority of their life. I personally spoke about heartbreak and depression. But the truly amazing part of each one of these stories was the moment that God showed up. Each one of these peers, friends, and co-laborers of mine shared on how God had radically changed each one of their lives, given them peace, rest, and healed their broken wounds. And all this through the revealing of the message of the gospel. The Gospel is truly powerful. It has changed and is changing countless lives and turning people to Christ! Thank God!

I would really encourage each one of you to reflect on that question! "What Is Your Gospel"? To ponder over the ways that God has shaped your life, simply by reminding you of what he has done through his son on the cross! For me it was a fairly difficult, but truly rewarding reminder, of all that God has done for me. And how powerful and faithful he is to continue to do that for all peoples from all places.

Christmas Party!

UTA Christmas Gift Exchange "Thrifty Gifty"

This month we had the first ever annual UTA FOCUS Christmas Party and it was an absolute blast! Everyone that came was dressed in pajamas to similate Christmas Morning! Breakfast food was served and the students gathered around the Christmas tree to exchange gifts from the thrift store that they had selected for one another earlier in the week! Nearly our whole community came out! We ate together, played together, sang hymns together, and reflected on what it meant that God would send his son to Earth for us. It was a very sweet time, loaded with laughs, but also with praise to God for everything that he has done and is doing to win the world back to Him. I am so thankful to have been blessed in knowing this community. There are so many student's that you can visibly see God shaping their hearts and I'm so excited to see what the next semester has in store for them!
 







Reflections Over This Past Semester

Wow. It's been an incredible semester. It's hard to believe that 5 months have already gone by. There are so many people that I have met and things that I have gotten to experience that I never could have imagined that I would. God is really good and has blessed me, through you, immensely. In my faith, I have been challenged and encouraged by my staff and peers, always pushed further towards spiritual maturity. In my thinking, I have grown intellectually as I have increasingly been exposed to books, theological or otherwise. I have learned the value of learning and have been so grateful to my teacher's who have invested the time to walk through those books with me as I ask questions and try to learn further. In my relationships, I have been blessed, I have made so many new friends and have deepened friendships I already possessed. God has surrounded me with truly incredible people whom I can only hope I will one day be able to bless as much as they have me. In my ministry, I have had an innumerable amount of opportunities to share the love of Jesus with people. Being able to watch and hear people's response to the message of the Gospel for the first time has been an incredible experience! But beyond that I have also started disciplining  several students and being able to push them into further maturity in the Lord as I myself am also growing has been a seriously gratifying experience. I hope and pray that I get to see those young men specifically grow to be leaders within this ministry and disciple the students that they will be lucky enough to meet in the following years to come. I am so thankful for the experiences that I have had and the relationships that I have gotten to form. As always, I will never be able to thank you enough for your support on this mission to spread Christ's Kingdom on this college campus. Your gift has already had an immeasurable impact. 


Prayers For The Following Semester

1. Please pray that the student's that I'm currently studying scripture with will be impacted by the spirit as they read and process God's word. For those who don't know Jesus, that they will have their hearts opened, and to those that do, that they will begin to seriously consider what the life of a disciple truly looks like, especially within the context of their classrooms and friendships and family during the course of their college career.

2. Please pray for Winter Camp! Two weeks from now, the entire FOCUS community from all 9 campuses will be meeting in Van, Texas for a 4 day retreat the week before school starts again. At winter camp, student's will learn more about Christ and the life of a disciple, they will experience friendships in a way that perhaps they never have before, and they will make memories that could last a lifetime! Memories of a time when they were truly blessed by those who loved them and loved God!

3. Please pray for Me! I have recognized as the semester has gone on that I have so much more to give for the kingdom. Pray that I will remain in the word, that I will seek out opportuinties to both serve and lead in this ministry, and that I will be a light of Christ to my coworkers and every student that I come in to contact with.

I will be praying for each one of you, as always please message me if there is ever anything specifically that you would like prayer for. I am consistently blown away by your support and generosity. Specifically I have been reading through the Epistle's again recently and have been meditating on how thankful Paul is in his letters to the churches that support him. They are his co laborers in the building of the kingdom and he truly loves them! I want you to know that my thoughts for each of you are very similar! Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for me! I thank God for you always as I remember you in my prayers! Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Years!

In Christ,
Austin Gage


P.S Video of me Lip Syncing to Mariah Carry's "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
video


Comments

  1. Wow Austin, what a great video! It looks like the UTA team has a special talent for Christmas-themed pajama-clad dancing! I hope the students had a great time celebrating the birth of Jesus with their brothers and sisters in the faith.

    Thank you for sharing your vision for the guys you have been meeting with. Studying the Bible with another person always presents unique challenges related to that person's culture, family, personal history, and preexisting beliefs, but the overarching goal is always the same: to guide that person into life as a disciple of Jesus. And when someone chooses that life, he or she will naturally start doing the same for others. It's amazing to see how your interactions with one student can multiply into many lives being changed by the call to follow Jesus.

    I also wanted to say your "My Gospel" sermon was fantastic! You really shared how God has come to aid and comfort you in the darkest times of your life, and I know that those experiences motivate you so much in reaching out to students now.

    Love you Austin!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting on Another Year

Just about a month ago I got to attend, along with our students, a ministry training opportunity in Bellingham, Washington. That week of ministry training is called Student Institute of Campus Ministry or SICM for short. This was my third time having been able to attend SICM. Once 5 years ago as a student, once last year as an intern, and once this year after having completed my first year on staff. I would say that each time I've gone I've come away with something different, each lesson important in its own right. When I was a student my biggest takeaway was that I was no longer going to be a passive Christian. I wanted to take part in bringing God's kingdom to earth. I was going to bring Christ to my peers and be a visible light to the world around me. That really was such a trans-formative time in my faith, and I hope and pray that the same was true for some of the students that we got to send this year. My year as an intern one of my biggest takeaways was just the shee…

Back At It!

Midway through January Winter Break was over and our students returned! I had been thankful for the time that I had got to experience with my family and with some old friends over the break but I was so beyond ready to get together once again with the students that God has placed in our care and just glorify Him again together in our songs, and in our friendships, and in our lives. Which is why I was so glad when Winter Camp rolled around!
It is difficult to make out faces but that is over 600 college students gathered together in one place to learn more about being the people of God. About being adopted into the family of God, being temples of the Holy Spirit, and being ambassadors of Christ. Winter Camp is a 4 day event when all of the different campuses of focus go together out to a retreat center called Sky Ranch in Van, Texas. We spend 4 days eating meals together, playing games together, worshiping together and learning together. The end result is often the same. Hundreds of col…

Rejoice in the Lord always! I will say it again; Rejoice!

A lot has been happening this month, in the ministry, in the lives of our students, and in my own heart as I continue to learn what it means to be a missionary and a minister of the Lord. I can't wait to share all of it with you. I pray that you find it encouraging and ultimately that God is praised and exalted because of it. Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
These are just a few of the guys in my core group that I get to lead every week! Peter, Jacob, and Saurav. I love each one of these guys dearly and I so enjoy getting to meet with them every week and hearing their heart. I meet one on one every week with Jacob, we've been reading through a book called "Experiencing God" this semester recently and it has been very helpful in aligning our heart…