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Preparing For The Return (Of College Students)

It's hard to believe, but in two weeks 40,000 students will begin classes at UT Arlington for the Fall 2019 school semester. That is 40,000 college students that need to know the good news of Jesus, or even if they know it, need to be reminded of God's word, and daily invitation to live their lives entirely for Him who is worthy. I can hardly wait to meet so many new faces, invite people to capture the flag, ultimate frisbee, and into a life transforming Christ centered community possibly for the first time in their adult life. I believe God has been reminding me this last month, how it is Him that will do the work to bring those students in, but that he wants to use me, a branch, deeply connected to the vine. He has been reminding me to prepare for this season of the college students return by praying more often, and tuning into his voice, so that when the opportunity arises to share Christ with one of those young men and women, I won't miss it. That's why I was so grateful for the weekend retreat I got to take with the rest of the UTA staff this last weekend.
 While we had a lot of fun, as one does when they work with a group of people that somehow relate well to college students, one of the sweetest things about the retreat to me was getting to read a devotional book called In The Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen. This book reminded me of the call to intimacy that the Lord hopes for from all of his children but that is certainly expected from those who will lead others. This quote in particular caught my attention.

"It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is, Are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate word, and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?"

We spent a lot of time that weekend just in prayer, listening to God, asking him to prepare our hearts to be like His so that we might really be ready for when the college students come flooding in to truly do His work. I'll leave this post with just a few pictures of the students already in the ministry, please pray for them, but also pray for those students that these students will be reaching out to, pray for the students that we've yet to meet, but that in just two weeks will enter into deep spiritual friendships with people dedicated to sharing Jesus with them and helping them to live as disciples of Him for the rest of their lives. And as always don't forget to check out the student testimony below! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for your generous support of college missions.
 In Christ, 
Austin.






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