Geeze, another month has come and gone! Hope all of you are doing well. Here are some things that happened in February!
I've explained this in prior posts but just as a refresher: here are some definitions from the FOCUS "dictionary":
Core(s)- Gender-specific small groups that meet throughout the week and talk about Jesus/do life together.
Corefa(s)- Our core facilitators. There are two corefas per core that plan the lesson and lead the discussion every week.
Peer Team- Smaller teams of corefas that meet up with a staff person for mentorship and friendship. So I am leading a peer team, and have 4 pairs of corefas (8 girls) that make up my peer team for the school year. These are the girls I pour into and do ministry with the most!
FOJ- Our bible study called, "Focus on Jesus". FOJ is a 10-week study that students can do with each other that takes them through the general story of the Bible, from beginning to end. There are pre-made questions and passages that correlate to the topic for that week, and we also use the Bible Project Ministry videos as an extra resource.
Now that we are refreshed on these terms, it will make following this story a little easier! One of the girls that was in my peer team ended up moving to Kansas City over the Christmas break. She got an incredible job offer that was too good to pass up. I am SO proud of her, even though I will miss her so much! Because she moved home, we needed someone to take her spot to help her co-facilitator lead their core. It ended up being that I had the time in my schedule to step in and take her place, so I am now leading core as well as peer team! I led core as a student for three years, and for my apprenticeship last year as well. It feels like I'm going back to my roots, and it's neat to get to do more ministry on campus with the girls who are in my core.
One encouraging story from core: One of the girls had her car broken into a couple of weeks ago. Her laptop with all of her artwork was stolen :( She posted on her social media account to let her followers know that she wouldn't be taking inquiries for new art because she couldn't afford a new computer right off the bat. Immediately, strangers were telling her to set up a GoFundMe type page that is specifically for the art community. She did, and within a few days had earned enough money for a new laptop! She was blown away by the generosity of a community of strangers. Coincidentally the next week, we were talking about generosity in core. Because that experience had happened, she had a new perspective of what being generous could look like, and I think God used that to reshape her view of it and encourage us. So anyways, God works in funny and sometimes unconventional ways, but regardless is still working. :)
I am also starting an FOJ study with a girl in my core who is really seeking God and trying to figure out what she believes. Please be praying that the study is fruitful and that God would use me as we have conversations about faith!
I gave my first sermon of the year in early February. It was a really challenging experience. I was given the topic of the idolatry of beauty, and combatting what society says with what God says. All throughout writing it, God really convicted me of ways that I have been thinking of beauty, and the standards that I let the world tell me are true. I feel that the Spirit really spoke through me and taught me a lot. The sermon is actually recorded on twitch.tv/utdfocus if you're interested in watching any of it! (You can skip the first little part to get to where it starts!)
Those are some of the primary things that happened in regards to ministry this month. Here are some more neat things that I was able to get some pictures of!
|Meet Hannah and Elaine! They are in my peer team and lead core together. We all have doggies so we took a pic during our meeting with our dogs together! |
|Lindsey, Andrea, and I at Deep Dive. Love that I get to work with these sweet friends!|
|Snowpocalypse 2021. View from my street! Thankfully we didn't lose power and were able to host some local students that did.|
|This was the first day of snow when you could still see grass poking through. Moose loved it! Although, he wasn't too sure of it once he couldn't see grass. :)|
|My friend Jacob got to preach at our FOCUS ministry at SMU. He is pursuing a master's there and is a student leader in their ministry. Super proud!|