Grace, Growth and Challenges
Wow, what a gushing fountain of experiences I've had so far. I thought that August was jam packed with excitement, but how much more it has been in September! It's funny, the more ministry I do, the more I'm learning not about just the Bible but about myself. I've learned how selfish I can be and how ungraceful I can be towards others. God has been patient with me for so long that I wonder if I could ever return the favor, of course not! It's grace that I get to do what I do and nothing else, praise God! Through taking many classes at our church, meeting with my pastoral supervisor, and meeting students on campus, I'm reminded that if I do all things right without love, then it's meaningless.
(1 Corinthians 13:2)
As one of our pastors told me, this year is to get me familiar with the tools I'll need to better minister in the years to come, so that means I need to hit the books more than I thought! Reading doesn't come naturally, so it's been a push for me for sure, but very rewarding. Here are some books I've been reading for our classes! You'll catch me many times of the week reading and learning the ins and outs of ministering to others and the rest of the time is spent putting it into practice!
What's neat is that my ministry opportunities don't need to be exclusively from campus! I've learned to reach out not just to new students, but friends from high school as well that would like to be in community. I think learning this now is helpful, because we won't always have an abundance of people to meet, so being faithful with the people that are already in our lives I think is equally if not more important. Here's one guy from high school that is now attending one of my small groups! We used to do cheerleading together and he's been nothing but an encouragement to me and our group of guys. Our groups are all meeting outside still and we are sure to wear masks if we are close to one another :)
In addition to leading small groups, I'm also leading guys in one on one bible studies! These studies are called Focus on Jesus and are meant to encourage students to read scripture on their own and learn more about Jesus! They are meant to be 10 week studies but area ultimately meant to lead to a life-long friendship. Below is one of the guys that I get to do this study with :)
This is Richard! He's a super sweet and silly guy so don't let the picture fool you haha. He's from California and loves playing sports with us! He's big into tennis and loves making new friends. We've been studying the Bible together now for a few weeks and I've already seen him enjoy doing it more and more.
Remember that pastoral supervisor guy I was talking about? Well here he is! his name is Pedro Paz and challenges me every week and encourages me a great deal, this year wouldn't be the same without him! I've known him since my freshman year at Collin and he has now become one of my closest friends through this intentionality and willingness to pursue me like Christ. Pedro helps me reflect ideas to me and is great at showing me a mirror of myself revealing the good, bad, and the ugly! I love and hate it hahah.
Pictured above is one of our teachers from the classes we take, Ronnie Worsham! He was an instrumental part in starting up the FOCUS ministry in the North Texas area. He offers much wisdom and isn't afraid to call you out, mostly because he thinks he's special and since he's old feels entitled to always being right. (He likes making fun of us so we make fun of him too, he's very humble!)
My prayer for this year is that students would have more opportunities to enter into friendship since it is increasingly difficult to spend time with people given the pandemic. Pray for our campus, that Jesus would change people's hearts to be more willing to enter into friendships and give them hope that He is the light of the world and through him we have nothing to fear.
Below is out monthly student testimony, at the end of each blog I will include a story of a student that has had their life impacted by Jesus! Hope you enjoy. Thank you all for your support!
With love :)