Pizza and Turkey

     Hi everyone, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! It's crazy how fast this semester has gone by! This will be my last newsletter update for this year. Thank you all for being so faithful and supportive of me and what FOCUS is doing in Denton! Our small group is going well; our guys love hanging out with each other. As for the whole Denton community, people are always having a great time worshipping together and hanging out at our large group fellowship nights.

    We had our first in-person Pizza Theology in over a year! This is our semi-annual event where we either invite a guest speaker or have some of our own staff give a talk focusing on deeper study of scriptures and topical themes. This is one of the ways we provide students with intellectually challenging ideas and content. This year, our campus directors at Collin College and UT Dallas, Garrett and Brandon, gave the talk on How to Think Like a Christian. It was great! They focused, not on telling us what to think and do, but how we can be wise about seeking diverse resources to develop our thoughts. Our world, lives, and relationships are often very complicated, and we want to equip our students to seek wise guidance and tools as they navigate being God's people.

    The week before Thanksgiving, we had a bunch of Thanksgiving celebrations happening throughout the week! Our small group joined with two others for a Wednesday night "Friendsgiving" where we got together for a potluck style dinner. We got to know people from the other small groups, and we all played some fun board games/party games. I got to invite a friend who's an international student, Neeraj, who I met through a connection in FOCUS. This was his first Thanksgiving celebration, and he loved being there! Getting to experience American holidays was something he was really excited to do when he first came to the United States this semester, and it was cool getting to show him a part of that.


    Thank you very much to everyone who prayed for the person I mentioned last month, who I shall call "C" again. He's been coming around a lot more! He's actually very consistent to small group and our weekly fellowship event, and he's been enjoying FOCUS and Christian community, which is an amazing answered prayer. He said he'd be willing to study the Bible with either me or my co-leader too! Please continue to pray that he'd come with an open mind and open heart and that God would lead him to Jesus.

    The last thing I wanted to shared was an update for the Keep Focus Growing (KFG) fundraiser I posted about last month and on Facebook. We hit our goal with our matching funds with both the student's giving and Giving Tuesday's donations! This is my 5th year in FOCUS and I'm always blown away by how faithful God is to our community through generous people; I think we've reached our target every one of those 5 years. Thank you all for your continued support and for being willing to invest in us and in the lives of college students.

    Please be praying for our students as they go into the break. It's easy to fall back into old bad habits, be lazy, and neglect spiritual and relational health; I've found myself in that position many times when I lose the routine of a school or work schedule. Pray that they'll stay connected to God and others in our community, and also that they'll be ready and excited for Winter Camp! Winter Camp is our big kick start back into the Spring semester where students get to spend a whole weekend together having fun, listening to speakers, and worshipping God right before school starts again in January. We've seen it really makes a big difference on students' spiritual health and connection to the community, so please pray that all of our students would be willing and able to go.

    I wish you all a fantastic Christmas season. Let me know what fun Christmas plans you and your families are doing! Again, let me know if there's any way I could be praying for you. I can't believe this year's about to be over; here's to a new year soon!
    This month's student testimony is from one of my friend's from UTD!

Merry Christmas!