Hello friends! It's been a great second month of the school year. I continue to see God at work as all of the new students that first became interested in checking out focus a month ago have already begun to join cores, build friendships, and even consider this community to be their own as we all seek God together.
This semester we changed how we do our Thursday Night gatherings. We used to do 30 minute sermons and include worship and community sharing every time we got together as a large group. But we decided with the unique situation that COVID is that we should limit praise through song and make more room for teaching. So we changed our name for what we do on Thursday's from "Thursday Night Fellowship" to "Deep Dive" and all semester we've been going through the gospel of Mark in hour long teaching times. I got to preach through the first 5 weeks. If you want to take a listen to one of those you can do so here! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/751120497
After our deep dives we will host an after event that our students can attend to get to know each other. Some of those are online games, some of those are going to a restaurant, but recently we hosted an outdoor worship night. About half of our ministry was there in attendance praising God together! I know so many students who have expressed immense gratitude for the opportunity to worship and sing together in a community. And praise God that we not only get to sing to Jesus together, but that we get to do so right in the middle of campus!
I've recently gotten to visit some of our core groups, some meet in person in back yards, some meet inside with masks on, this week I visited one of our online cores. This one in particular is facilitated by Nathan and Matt pictured up top. These guys have prayed for God to bring a core together of spiritual brothers and then faithfully went out to meet their peers on campus and invite them into a christian small group. It was so great to hear these guys share their lives, their stories, and their faith with one another. As the group read through and discussed how in Genesis 1 God speaks life, light, and order into chaos, one of the young men shared how much that gives him peace because he knows that life feels like chaos right now, and knowing that God is in control makes him confident that he can go to God for solace even in the most difficult situations! 3 years ago that same young man told me he had no interest in joining focus because he wasn't interested in religion. Wow! Look at what God does through the small amount of time that is our college experience.
And I could go on, I met another young man this semester who told me how grateful he is for the friendships, love, and faith community that God has given him through FOCUS. And he's only been here for two months. I can't thank you enough for your investment in this mission. God is at work! And I'm so grateful for how you partner with me so I can join Him at UTA.
As always, don't forget to read the student testimony below. This month's is from one of our UTA Male Corefas and a good friend of mine, Ulises Solis.
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