November

Hello fellow friends and partners in Christ!

Fall is here! And so is my blog. Welcome to my October updates! October was quite the month, let me tell ya.  God has provided new friends and women in our small group, lots of interesting and unexpected conversations, and amidst it all; hope. I've grown a lot in my reading of Scripture, learning to be vulnerable, having better conversations, and developing better relationships with the people around me. This month has given me so much more direction in my personal growth and relationship with God, as well as more insight into how He's impacting the lives of the women I get to love on while they're at Collin.



God in Community

After having access to a community like FOCUS for around four years, it's easy for me to forget how ground-breaking it can be to a person who doesn't know Jesus, or has never encountered real, Jesus-like love through people. I wish I could tell you about all of the people I've already watched grow and develop by the love of God through His people. It's beautiful to me to hear women in our small group talk about how this community has given them hope and friendship, a place to share their lives and be met with compassion, and comfort in the wake of suffering. 

The change has only just begun, but it is so visible. I can name a number of women in our small group who were scared to share their life story who began to share because they felt prompted by the Holy Spirit, only to be received with unexpected love and the realization that they are not alone. It has already amazed me how God works through those moments of vulnerability. We're only three months into the apprenticeship, and though leading small group has brought its fair share of ups and downs, God continues to change the hearts and minds of the women around me despite my own weaknesses.

Jenna is a gift and such a joy to have in small group. She is adventurous, creative, and always willing to try something fun. This is us right after she convinced me to play bubble soccer on campus; a sport that is not for the faint of heart.

Cody, one of our pastors, came up with a creative idea for outreach a couple weeks ago. We gathered students to watch a video game generator and guess who would in. It brought in a good size crowd of students we got to interact with. 

Growing in Biblical Literacy

Lately, as our apprentice class dug into the Bible, I started to wonder how much more could we make Scripture a priority with our students. A lot of our students struggle to read the Bible or get the motivation to do so (me included many days) so our staff started asking questions like "Why is this the case? How can we communicate God's heart for His Word? What can we do to change this?" and it seems like our family of churches and FOCUS across the metroplex were thinking along the same lines. 3/4 of our churches are running through a series focuses on one book of the Bible, we have a theology session on the story of Scripture coming up (Pizza Theology), we had a conference over biblical literacy, and we're starting to read through Phillipians in our small groups. God is on the move. Please join me in praying for this heart for the word to grow among our community!

This is me rockin' my red rainboots at a local coffee shop. I spend a good chunk of time each week studying Scripture, planning small group, and planning one-on-ones. God is so good to give me work like this. I love it!

Good News!

Also, I couldn't write this blog post without telling you about two of the biggest things that happened this month, and possibly this year!

First, my brother had a baby girl last week! I was so nervous to hold her for the first time, but when I did, I couldn't let go. One might even say I'm in love. She's so sweet. Watching my brother raise a little girl is going to be a treat. 

Sweet baby Lyanna, aka Baby Dragon (her parents love Game of Thrones). Look at that yawn!

And secondly, Daniel and I got engaged on October 7th! It was such a sweet day filled with love, some tears, and lots of hugs. He gathered a bunch of my friends and both of our immediate families together to eat, celebrate, and speak words of truth over me and our life together. I'm so thankful for this boy. I can't help but praise God when I think of the journey we've had together. We graduated, did pre-engagement counseling, sought the Lord, and somehow, we have ended up engaged. What a world. Here's some photos of us goofin' together.



Happy Halloween! 

And last but not least, we had a student host a small Halloween party at his church last Saturday. Our small group ladies went all out and came with some pretty fun costumes. Bet ya can't guess which one I am.


From left to right, we have a boxer, Rachel from Friends, Wacky Inflatable Tube (Wo)Man, a mermaid, Rachel again, and a safari explorer. Love these wacky ladies. 

Thank you again for all of your support throughout the past few months. Ministry like this is impossible without you and it's only going to get better from here. Here are some ways you can help pray with me this coming month!
  • For our students to grow a deep love for God's Word
  • Pray against anxiety and depression among our student body
  • Safe travels for the holidays
  • Continued growth in vulnerability and community. 
How can I be praying for you?

With love, 

- Sam

Comments

  1. Hey Sam! LOL @ that costume. At first I thought it was a lumpy Gumby. I have been so encouraged by our students' increased engagement with the Bible and the big story it tells. The Leadership Conference was a great motivator to commit to read and study scripture, and Pizza Theology should be an exciting time to help people synthesize what they're learning. I think God is going to use that to grow and bless our people! Yay!

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