Fall Camp is a weekend retreat we do once a year to help our students get to know each other and feel connected to the ministry. We do this at the beginning of the school year as a way to help our students get to know know each other more and feel more connected to our ministry. We play lots of games, listen to messages from our student leaders and guest speakers and spend time in worship.
This year at Fall Camp we talked about being sent into the world. We asked our students the following questions: How God has sent you? How is God wanting to send you right now? Who specifically is God sending you to?
Drew said he was too nervous at first and felt like he didn't have the skills needed to be a student leader. Our student leaders (Corefas) lead our small groups (Core) and meet with students one-on-one and study the bible with them. Last year I asked Drew to be a corefa again and he said yes! At fall camp Drew explained to everyone that he felt like God wanted him to trust that he would work though Drew even when he doesn't feel confident in his own abilities. Drew was a such a positive and encouraging student to have on our leader team. I loved getting to meet with him and help disciple him in this process last year. Unfortunately, he didn't have the best experience with being a corefa. We pair our corefas with another person so that they have someone share the responsibility. Halfway through the year last year, his core partner decided to quit. This really doesn't happen very often. It left Drew nervous and feeling like maybe he didn't do a good job of leading his group and working with his partner. We had another student, Sergio, step in and lead with Drew during the second half of the year. At Fall camp Drew said that Sergio was a huge encouragement to him. He said most importantly Sergio was a really good friend to him and would ask him questions about his life and assured him that he was doing a good job at leading their group. Drew said that he learned to trust God through this and that sometimes when God sends us to do things it's not always how we expect. Drew is one of our student leaders again this year. When I called him this summer to ask him to be a corefa, without hesitation he said yes! I want to be more like that! So often my default is to move on if something doesn't go how I want it. Drew saw God working through the tough year. Drew shared at camp that Sergio's willingness to step in and be a good friend motivated him to continue leading this year. He said he wants to offer that same type of friendship and support to other people. Drew's story really moved our community to ask: Do you limit God's vision for how He will use you? Do you expect it to be spectacular or impressive? Sometimes God sending us can be really tough and sometimes it can be just as simple as asking a co-worker out to lunch or talking to that person behind you in line at the grocery store. Praise God that he doesn't expect us to be impressive or have it all together in order for him to use us.
This is Devin's second year to lead a Core group and its Garvin's first. They've been so much fun to meet with each week. They've both befriended so many guys on campus this year and have worked hard. I like hearing them talk about the guys who are coming to their group and the different personalities of each person. Devin and Garvin really care about these guys and also have a great time with them. By the second week of their core meeting they already had nicknames for everyone! I'm thankful that God has sent them to our campus to reflect his love and joy to others.
I grew up Catholic but never consistently went to church. I always admired the concept of community and was really saddened by the idea of not experiencing that within my faith because of my lack of involvement. When I came to UTA this desire to be involved in a Christian community only grew. After being greeted kindly at the FOCUS information table at orientation, I remember thinking to myself, “Wow. God is really working here and I want to be a part of it.” As classes started in the Fall, I was contacted by a girl named Kaylee who consistently invited me to events and had a deep-rooted desire to get to know me. Through people like Kaylee, I was really able to see how those in FOCUS loved the Lord which directly translated into how they interacted with and loved people. As the semester began I was asked to go deeper in my faith and study scripture in a one-on-one study, Focus on Jesus (FOJ) with Alexis. Alexis really encouraged me and wanted to walk with me in my journey of building a relationship with God. Through this community, I was challenged to give love like I had received it. Although I didn’t know it, God had been working and was faithful to answer a prayer I hadn’t even thought to ask for. He blessed me with this community and an opportunity to share that with others. "