Welcome Back!

The school year has begun! We moved UNT Freshman in, fed 200 people burgers and hotdogs at NCTC and had our first Friday Night Fellowship, plus much more!
First Friday Night Fellowship of the semester!

At NCTC this past week I met a student there who told me he had the choice to go to UNT or NCTC. He said he chose NCTC over UNT. I asked him why, my though was probably to save money. He told me ever since he started coming to NCTC last semester he has been talked to by so many students and he said the campus feels like a community. This was such an encouragement to hear! When we started reaching out to the NCTC Campus three summers ago, students did not want to hang out or participate in events on campus. They wanted to go to class, finish at NCTC and transfer to a university. Each year this dynamic changes more and more as we continue to be persistent in meeting students, hanging out with them, and building a community there. The Spirit really is working on this campus! I think there are big things in store for NCTC.

This was on our first day at NCTC this past week. Pedro, Eryka, and Kasey are students who attend NCTC and help me lead that campus. 
NCTC had an Organization Fair, which was a lot of fun! It was really cool to see the few different campus groups out on campus at the same time. Since NCTC's enrollment is up this year and they don't have classes on Fridays anymore, Mon-Thurs was packed! We had 30 students sign up for more info, which was really telling of these changes.

This was taken at the end of our cookout. It doesn't very well capture the amount of activity this event brought about, but we fed close to 200 people and were able to meet so many students! 

We played this game on campus that we call, "Fowling" which is football and bowling put together. the objective of the game is to knock down the bowling pins by throwing the football. Its a lot of fun and not as easy as you may think. It was a great way to meet students! 

At UNT we moved freshman in for two days! It was also a great opportunity to connect with parents as well and help them feel welcomed  before they leave their kiddo for the first time. Some even got the perk of getting to hold babies! These freshman look younger and younger every year ;)

Some of our UNT student leaders at Move-In Day

"When I came to UTD, I felt really lost. I didn't have many friends, and it seemed as if my life had no direction at the time. I had known for years that I wanted to study computer science but in the fall of 2016, I was doing little else and it felt painfully meaningless at times. I decided to come to Friday Night Fellowship one night and met Mark Merola. Even though we were complete strangers, Mark took a particular interest in me. After sitting with me during the service, he invited me to come to more FOCUS events and to join his Core. I started coming to Core regularly and became friends with everyone in the Core. With Mark and the rest of my Core, I gained a group of supportive peers that I could live life with and learn from. I grew significantly in my faith and also as a person. Through studying the Bible and discussing it with members of my Core, I learned more about who Jesus is and my relationship with him deepened. My relationship with Jesus also led me to examine who I was as a person and make changes to how I act. FOCUS added a lot of meaning into my life and helped me see who I want to be. I have become a Core facilitator for the 2017-2018 school year, and I now know that the path toward God is the path that I want to take my entire life."

Michael Murphey 
University of Texas at Dallas
Computer Science

Two of the guys I meet with this year are Seniors. They both help lead on our Worship Team this year and have been Corefas (small group leaders) in the past. While meeting this week we started talking about 'mission fields'. In some ways their mission fields are starting to change now that they aren't leading a Core group and will be graduating soon. The transition out of college proves to be a challenge for most students, even those who are active disciples as college students. For these students in our ministry it's hard to transition into the workforce and know how to implement the tools they were given for making disciples as college students. The tools can translate to the workforce but how you use them is different. The way of life of a college student is vastly different from a 9-5 lifestyle, you have to have a different strategy for meeting people and building deeper friendships. When I was talking with David and Nathan about this, it was such a great reminder, that no matter how many people we have attend our Core group or how many one-on-one studies we do, Jesus doesn't evaluate us by our abilities and the number of people we have impacted. He wants us to be obedient in whatever phase of life we are in and do our best to reach out to others. He wants us to reflect his love to those around us and we should  be diligent and hard working in doing so; not because we need to prove ourselves to Him, but because he loves us and we should want everyone to know the love of our Father. So, whatever phase of life you find yourself in, work hard to reflect the love of Jesus to those around you for the glory of God.


Pray for all the students we've met this past month. Pray that they see the love of God through our community and through the power of the Spirit that they would come to know Him more deeply. Pray for our staff and student leaders. Pray they would maintain motivation, would be encouraged by one another and would share in the challenges and joys of this season. Pray for UNT, TWU and NCTC, that the Spirit would continue to work on these campuses and go before us. 


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