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Fall Camp and Other Encouragements

This last month has been really special and encouraging in so many ways. In my last post I wrote about how school was starting and we were meeting a ton of students, but back then we had no idea who of those students would be sticking around. We definitely didn't know which of those students would be interested in learning more about Jesus. But this month is always an opportunity for us to begin to see the fruit of all the effort that was put in during maverick stampede. Because in this month we have had students not only join our small groups called core, but also we have seen around 100 students say yes to reading and studying scripture one on one with one of our student leader. And even beyond that, we have a great number of students offering to serve in our community at our Thursday Night Fellowships. And recently at fall camp, we had 90 students attend and we have been hearing so many testimonies from students that have been sharing how grateful they are that God used someone from Focus to invite them into Christian community. All of this has seriously been so encouraging to my heart and I hope that it is encouraging to yours as well. Thank you for all that you do to provide a place for college students to come and know Jesus better.
This is a picture of our group from fall camp this last weekend. At Fall Camp students gathered to worship together, play games, share meals, and hear from each other ways that God has been working in and through each others lives. It really was so encouraging to hear stories of how God was leading people away from sin or broken aspects of our character, into being a people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. One young man shared about how God has been leading him to read scripture every morning and how doing so has absolutely been changing his heart and how frequently he is using scripture to encourage others. Another young man shared about how grateful he was that he had this community when doubts about his faith seemed overwhelming. He was grateful that he had friends and mentors that came alongside him and lovingly walked through and helped him to address those doubts, and how his faith is stronger now as a result. Others shared about how they have had to trust God in the midst of family death, financial difficulties, or mental health issues, but how God is worth trusting, and how he is bringing healing to every area of who we are. To hear college students express the faithfulness of God, and encourage their peers to know Him more, was so special. Often times hearing from their peers causes college students to want to grow in their relationship with God way more than anything their pastor could tell them. I'm grateful to be just one part of a body that is aimed after following Jesus.
If you would like to come and check out the community that God has blessed us with, and that you help to support than boy do I have an opportunity for you! UTA FOCUS is having their open house event at UT Arlington on October 19th at 4:00pm in room SEIR 194. That evening you will have an opportunity to meet the students, and hear from several of them encouraging testimonies of how grateful they are that God brought them into this ministry. Afterwards we will go out to dinner and you will have the opportunity to spend more relational time with many young students in the ministry. If that sounds like something you would be interested in than you are definitely invited. Hope to see you there! Thanks for all your support of college ministry. It really is making a difference. 
In Christ, 
Austin


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