It's remarkable the difference a year makes. There have been few seasons of ministry up to this point in my life that I've served in the same setting for more than a year. Being a person who thrives through relationship and connectedness, it's been a blessing to return to campuses where there are established relationships with students. The Lord has been providing abundance in this season.
In August, I had the privilege to staff the annual Templeton Honors College freshman camping trip. I was in my element with students in the wilderness. When I transferred to Eastern, this trip was my first introduction to the learning community in which I would learn and grow in over the next three years. Watching friendships form between freshman before they enter the (sometimes grueling) discussions in the classroom was beautiful to behold. The relationships that were built on that trip create a family for students as they journey through the next four years. It was a gift to be welcomed into that family to journey with them in various capacities. Would you pray for freshman as they transition into their first semester?
Last fall in a meeting with the campus ministry director at Immaculata, I suggested having a church fair for students so they are aware of the different worshipping communities around Immaculata. She liked the idea, the semester went on, and in my mind, the fair was put on the back burner. I got an email from her earlier this fall announcing that there would be a faith and service fair for students to explore different worship and service opportunities off campus! On the day of, I met dozens of new students who were interested in Family Dinner at Good Sam and had the opportunity to care for and encourage my small group leaders to connect with underclassmen. It is striking to me how God is opening doors and showering favor on the CCO and local churches through this event. Would you pray for continued favor at Immaculata and Eastern?
Family Dinner this semester is continuing to grow into a space where students from many different social circles come together in community. Last week, my students ran the show at Family Dinner when I was out of town with family for my grandfather’s funeral. I had no hesitation that they were equipped to do so and they rose to the challenge. It was a beautiful testament to the fruit God is growing in their lives. They extended such love to me in my time of grief and also to each other through guiding the conversation and cooking a meal for their friends at Family Dinner. The week before, we had several new faces because my students leaders invited freshman from their dorms. It’s been so encouraging to see my students embody gospel hospitality. I was sitting with a freshman this morning who reflected, "It felt like what I imagine the early church was like--sharing a meal and discussing scripture with one another." Would you pray that the core group of students would continue to gain eyes for those on the margins?
God is continuing to guide me into submission, teaching me to relinquish the tight grip of control, and softening and tenderizing my heart by reminding me that the call is to submit to the good shepherd, the bread of life, the Almighty God who calls me beloved.
May God bless you and keep you,