The Blog Begins
|FOCUS Staff and Apprentices 2017-2018|
My apprenticeship has officially begun!
As all of you know, I'll be spending this year learning as much as I can about how to be a minister. I'm apprenticing under men and women of God who have been ministering for years, some of them decades. I'll be taking classes on different topics in pastoring, and then putting that knowledge into practice as I meet and minister to the students on my campus.
This blog will serve to keep you updated on what all is happening in and around my life. My prayer is that you will read these blogs, be encouraged by what God is doing in my life and in the lives around me, and then praise God for being so good. He is, so good. I will put a great deal of thought and care into what I share with you in hopes of serving you well. Thank you all for supporting me through financial gifts, prayers, love, and kindness.
Who am I working with:
SO MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE. I am 1 of 6 apprentices this year. Rhett and I will be in Denton, while Caitlin, Jalen, Eddie, and Dawn will be on other campuses across the metroplex. Even though we just started working together, we are already friends.
This is a picture of 5 of us coming home from an all-staff retreat. We spent 3ish days with our team of around 30 staff members, playing games, connecting with each other, worshiping God, and preparing for the start of the fall semester on each of our campuses.
|The time Renee made Caitlin and I take a selfie at our ordination ceremony; and I ruined it with this cheesey smile.|
|The Denton team: me, Rhett Hayes, Brittany Tydlacka, Aaron Hollingsworth, Danielle Clark, Matt Clark, Miriam Freeman|
In addition to my very nerdy and very fun apprentice team, I'll be working with the Denton team who are pictured here. This is a special treat for me, given that most of them have been ministering to me in some capacity for the last four years.
Miriam was my peer team leader for two years while I was a student leader. She was a wonderful shepherd to me, sticking with me when I was difficult to love, and showing me the Truth when I didn't want to see it. Brittany was my peer team leader last year, and her perceptive and gentle spirit has done so much to help me grow into a more mature person. I could say so many things about the rest of them too. Aaron helps me to see myself rightly and cares for me like he would his little sister. Matt's consistent presence as my campus pastor has helped assure and steady me throughout the ups and downs of college. Kevin's* thoughtfulness, which often plays out behind the scenes, permeates throughout our entire community. Dani has discipled most of the people who have discipled me over the years; she's cared for me in more ways than I even know.
I am working with a great group of people, who are giving all they have to follow God and to serve his people.
*not pictured here
What's coming up and how you can be praying:
First flight week is about to begin for all of the incoming UNT freshman. (Our mascot is an Eagle, which is why "first flight" is such a cute name for welcome week.)
- It's scary for freshman to come to a university where they don't know anyone. Almost all of them will be dealing with some degree of social anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and homesickness. Pray for them! Ask God to lead them into a good community where they will find friendship and belonging!
- It's scary for our student leaders, who range in age from sophomores to graduate students, to go out onto campus and talk to people. They will be out on campus everyday meeting new people, and doing everything that they can to offer friendship to new and returning students. Pray for them! Ask God to give them discernment, to give them boldness, and to help them be kind.
- Pray for me, that God gives me wisdom to know how to guide students towards his kingdom and to love them well. Pray that he helps me be attentive to their needs, and pastoral in my direction.
I've officially been assigned a peer team! (This is the group of female student leaders who I will be meeting with every week and discipling directly.)
- One of my girls will be transferring to UNT from Collin College. Pray that her transition is a happy one! It's hard to leave home. I am so excited to have her here; I want her to feel valued and welcomed.
I'm 98% funded!!
- PRAISE GOD for getting me this far. He has blessed me with a team of partners who are willing to give so that I can do ministry full-time. This astounds me every time I think about it. I'm so grateful to you, and to God, for your generosity.
- If you've pledged to give, but haven't set up you're giving yet, you can find out how to do that by clicking this link!
I hope that you all have a wonderful month. Please call or text if you'd like to catch up or if you have any questions! Praying for you!
A million thank yous,
A million thank yous,