January 2020

Happy new year! I hope you had a joyful time this Christmas season. God certainly smiled on me; I was able to celebrate with both my mom and dad at the same time, for the first time in a decade or so. It's amazing to me that God would answer a prayer I'd given up praying for a long time ago. He outdoes himself with kindness.

Over the holidays, I've gotten to think more than usual. After reflecting with the Lord, I think it could do some good to re-define our terms. I'll jump in.

You are not my supporter; you're my ministry partner

With many of you, I've used the word 'supporter' to describe your role on the team. You are certainly a support; but you are so much more than that. I don't think of you as a check that comes in every month to pay the bills, as the term 'supporter' might suggest. I don't see you as a financial means to an end. I don't feel the need to make my work seem important so that you'll stay on the team - groveling as if you're my boss in an unhealthy work environment.

Rather I see you as someone who wants to be a part of what God is doing on college campuses, but cannot give the same time and attention to this particular mission as I can. I see you as someone who recognizes the impact that college ministry has and can have on the world, as a strategic place that God's Spirit can move powerfully. So you give to FOCUS so that I can give everything I am to this mission, while you work alongside me striving for the kingdom in your own context. That's why I think 'ministry partner' more accurately depicts your role on the team. We are both building the kingdom. We are both ministers of reconciliation. We are Jesus people. Same vision, same hope. I'm not doing the work for you; I'm doing it with you.

That said, I don't think I've done a great job of utilizing you as a partner. I'm sorry for that. This year, I'm going to make some changes. In each of these letters, I'll be sending out ways that you can get involved; and I will do so more diligently and more creatively than I have in the past. I'll write down specific situations that I need you to pray for. I'll write down needs that need to be met for our students that you might be able to meet. I'll invite you to whatever I can, so that you can meet the young people whose lives are transforming under the sheer weight of God's glory.

I ask that you'd reflect on your ownership of the team just as I have. That you'd take stock of how seriously you've taken these letters, and commit to be diligent in the Spirit for God - since it's not really about either of us anyways, but about him. Likewise, I ask that you'd utilize me in whatever ways God might lead you to. I'm certainly no Graham or Lewis; but I am here for you. I'm here for your questions and prayer requests, for your moving days and hospital visits.

I'm eager to see what God does this year, both through your life and mine. I thank God for you, for your vision, generosity, and care.

Things to pray for: 
  1. We are going to Winter Camp the 17-20th. We need God's protection to get there and back safely, his grace to experience his presence over the weekend, and his wisdom to discern his voice through it all. Winter camp is always a huge turning point in many student's lives. God never fails to show up for them, but still we pray without presumption. Pray that the ones who need to repent, do so. And likewise for those who need to believe, and those who need to experience genuine Jesus-friendship. 
  2. There are 4 girls in my core I'd like you to lift up by name: Emily, Bridgett, Ashley, and Melissa. Each of them are at very different places with the Lord, and each of them are in need of God's word and revival (albeit in different ways). Ask God to speak to each of them at camp, and this semester. Ask God to pursue them, and for their hearts to be soft to his voice. 
Thank you for partnering with me in missions! 

Love and honor, 
Kristen Paz 

Bridgett, Emily, Becca, and Ashley at our Christmas fort-building party. Our fort didn't win, but at least it didn't fall apart! Haha. 

A group of students playing video games a the party. Yes, they brought their own extension cords and everything. 


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