More Retreats!

     Thanks for praying for our Fall Camp retreat, it went super well! Our students who went had such a good time and I've heard from so many of them that it was an experience that really encouraged them to make a stronger commitment to being a part of community or taking their faith more seriously. We had some meaningful sermons, worship, and student testimonies; designated 1-on-1 conversations; and a solid amount of time just playing games and having fun with one another!

    And then, surprise, we had another retreat! This time it was organized by Denton North Church (DNC), the church our staff goes to and encourage our students to go to if they don't already have churches in the area they attend. It is a part of the family of churches that started FOCUS, and many are past FOCUS students, so their model for the fall retreat was a lot like Fall Camp. For the students who go to DNC and our staff, it was like a part 2! But also, it was a very cool experience to be a part of a larger community, one who has stayed together after college and throughout their lives, giving the students a model of how we can be good disciples in our workplaces and in a time when are lives become exceedingly more busy and complicated with things like spouses and children, home ownership, and things like that.

Our Worship Night at Fall Camp!

    Our small group has been having so much fun together! We have a consistent group who are starting to get a fuller picture of what life in community with other believers can look like. We have dinner together once a week, they're starting to serve one another, and they're hanging out with each other outside of our weekly meeting. The guys I'm studying the Bible with 1 on 1 are coming interested and seem to really value getting consistent time to meet and discuss faith. 

Some of our small group (and another) getting some late night pizza!

    Another cool thing we did this month was a Pumpkin Painting outreach. I, along with the other apprentices in Denton, planned, organized, and put on this event as part of our Evangelism class's assignment. We held one at UNT as well as TWU, and they were both huge successes! We had over 150 pumpkins in total between the two and they ran out before our event was over. People seemed to really enjoy painting, particularly international students from India, surprisingly, and it gave us a chance to talk with them and tell them about what we do as a ministry and invite them into it. One thing I was really encouraged by was how much our existing students were involved with it. We told our community at the previous fellowship night that we wanted their help to meet the students and be a disciple who values spreading the good news, and a good amount of them came to be a part of it!

On the left is our table at TWU, and on the right is the one at UNT!

    The last thing I wanted to mention is a guy my co-leader and I have been ministering to, who I'll call C. He's a friend of one of the guys in our small group, and he finally gave FOCUS a chance and came to our small group as well as the large group fellowship night this week! A few of us have been inviting him throughout the semester, and I thought he was just uninterested, but there was more behind it. After small group ended when we were just hanging out, C opened up to us about having grown up in the church, but sort of left the faith. He faced some troubles throughout his childhood and was met with some unsatisfactory answers when he tried to reach out to church people about it. Please be praying for healing in his life, as well as a heart change that lets him go back to God and be a part of loving, Jesus following community again.

    2 more things: this month's student testimony is from Olivia at TWU!

    Also, this month we have our Keep FOCUS Growing (KFG) fundraiser! It will be on Giving Tuesday, and we have lots of generous supporters who pledged to match the first $52,000 donated to FOCUS on that day! This is something we do every year and God has always been so faithful and blessed us tremendously through it. The funds raised from this goes to all of our various ministry operation costs, such as printed Bible study materials, events and outreach, and administrative costs. Our staff this year also pledged over $8000 to match the giving that our students give during KFG. If you feel led to give, this is a great opportunity! 

    You can find more details on our website at or give on our Facebook fundraiser which will become available soon! Facebook covers the transaction fees of donations given through their platform for Giving Tuesday.

    I appreciate you for taking the time to read through all of this. Again, tell me how I can be praying for you! Thank you all for supporting me and FOCUS, and I hope you had a fun Halloween and that you will have a great Thanksgiving.
Love you all!