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The Test of Our Work

Hello Friends,

I pray that this update finds you well. Ministry over the last month has certainly been encouraging. I'm excited to write to you the news of how I see God working in the lives of these students. I see God's kingdom breaking in to the world in exciting ways and I hope that this news serves as an encouragement to you as well.

In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul gives instructions to a young leader who was learning how to lead a church . This young leader was named Timothy. Paul himself had mentored Timothy and now Timothy was in a position to lead others. And this was the instruction Paul gave him. "You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. "
He told Timothy to take this good news, and the life that follows it, and share that same news and that same way of life with other reliable people, who would then take that same good news and way of life to others who would then do the same, again, and again, and again, until the whole world was won. Paul's wisdom is clear, as today, in 2020, on the college campus at UT Arlington, reliable men and women are taking what Jesus and Paul and the rest of the apostles have passed down, what it means to live for God, and they are sharing that news with others, who are then in turn sharing it with those around them, who also continue to take that life and good news and share it with others. This amazes me because although Christianity began as a small movement in a small town in a foreign occupied part of the world, after 2000 years of this strategy in the leadership of the church, there isn't a continent on earth that does not have people who profess and proclaim in their speech and action that Jesus Christ is Lord.

But the mission is not over, far from it, while the good news spreads so does the population of humanity and there are many who have yet to not only hear this good news, but also have not learned what it means to make Jesus Lord in their daily life and relationships. This is why I'm so encouraged by Tevon.

Tevon is a student in our ministry who I've gotten the pleasure of knowing for the last 2 years although more so over this last summer than I have at any point before. Tevon is only one of 6 guys who over the summer I have had the pleasure of reading a book with. The book is entitled "The Master Plan of Evangelism" and it is by Dr. Robert Coleman. The book is an analysis of Jesus life and mission with the central question explored being how did Jesus make disciples and how can we do the same? One quote from the book that I want to highlight is in the last chapter on the principle of reproducing disciples who will make disciples. "What really counts in the ultimate perpetuation of our work is the faithfulness with which our converts go and make leaders out of their converts, not simply more followers. The test of any work of evangelism thus is not what is seen at the moment, or in the conference report, but in the effectiveness with which the work continues in the next generation."

I have been encouraged by all of the young men that I have gotten to read through these chapters with but I only have the space to write about one and so I wanted to tell you about Tevon. Tevon for the last year has been mentored by a young man named Jordan Reeves. Jordan is an alumni of our ministry,but he is also someone that I had the pleasure of meeting with and discipling for 2 years before he graduated. Keep in mind 2 Timothy 2:2 and the genius of Jesus' and Paul's strategy.. From here I will let Tevon tell the story as I had asked him to write a brief testimony of his time with Jordan, studying the scripture, as well as how he wants to take what he's learning from the book that we've been reading it and apply it. This is what he wrote, 

"God used the faithful work of FOCUS to change my life completely. Jordan was my corefa the year before and we became really close friends. Jordan had asked me to do FOJ , a one on one bible study, when he was still in school but I wasn't ready to commit. I hit him up the fall after he graduated letting him know I was ready to commit to Christ whole heartedly no matter how much I hated reading. FOJ got me reading scripture consistently for the first time in my life. And just a few short months later I am seeing the fruit of it. Not even material possession but new heart and mind. Of course it's a process but going through FOJ with Jordan got me loving the process of simply walking along side Jesus Christ. I never even considered being a corefa until it began to get brought up by other FOCUS leaders. I just want to serve the Lord any way I can. Something I constantly speak over myself is that no task is too big or too small for me. I think being a corefa will help me develop as a leader and as a disciple but most importantly I want to spread the Good News that radically changed my life."

I know that this year Tevon will go and share that good news. But I also know that he will stay with the people who receive it as they grow into disciples. He will teach them what has been passed onto him and teach them to pass it on to someone else. Because of your investment, I was able to spend time with and read scripture with Jordan, who did the same with Tevon, who has now decided to go and do the same for others. Thank you so much for your investment in college ministry, because of you the work that Jesus started is being picked up and carried on by Tevon. I can't thank you enough for that.

In Christ,
Austin

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