Wow, I can't believe it's already over. Genuinely, thank you so much for supporting me this year and making it possible for me to do the apprenticeship. You've been an incredible blessing in my life, and I look forward to seeing how God moves, both in FOCUS as I join the team as a regular staff member and also in your lives. Now that the apprenticeship is over, those of us staying have already started on our summer tasks, and I'm excited for what this summer can do for our students and community going into next year.
We had lots of people go to the leadership conference up in Washington that we take people to every year (with the exception of the last few year), and I'm already hearing how it had such a great impact on our guys. One of the guys in our small group got to go! His name is Ben, and he's been such a pleasure to have in our group, and I'm excited to see how God will use him this next year.
|Small Group Dinner at Eagle Landing Dining on Campus!|
Speaking of our small group, we had such a wonderful year and beautiful wrap up. For our last meeting, we all went to get dinner on campus together, and had an encouragement sharing time when we went around to share about each person what we all appreciated about them, and it was so touching and sweet to see how everyone was touched by the other people in the group.
One thing I didn't talk about as much throughout the year was my roommates! If you didn't know already, Cole (the other guy apprentice in Denton) and I lived with a few guys from the community. One of them, Connor, is in the picture below, but these guys have been a blast to live with. Something I very much value is getting to live in community with other believers who love and serve each other as well as help each other grow in living life with one another. One of the things people often say is living with your friends can be a real challenge, and that may be true, but I think it is a huge blessing when people are committed to being an example of Christ even at home. This is one of the ways I wanted to do ministry this year, to promote people opening their whole lives to each other and Jesus.
|Roommate Pic! In order: Cole, Aaron, me, and Isaac|
We had our end of year party on a beautiful Thursday evening at a park, and it was so much fun! Aside from having some great activities like volleyball and 9-square in the air, we had a wonderful final service with worship and praise, thanks to all of our student volunteers, and a bittersweet send-off of our graduating seniors. It was such a sweet time, and I'm gonna miss seeing them all every week.
|End of Year Party at South Lakes Park!|
One special thing we got to do at the end of the year was preach in front of the other apprentices and some of the other campus pastors on our biggest takeaways from the year. Everyone did such a great job, and it was such a great chance to practice preaching, not only for the practical side of getting comfortable in front of a crowd and speaking pastorally to people, but also in learning to make our preaching style and content our own, so that we're not just teaching ideas, but connecting things to ourselves to personalize the message and be real and vulnerable with our audience.
June's student testimony is from Erika who goes to Richland. I got to meet her at our all-campus winter camp, and the staff team tells us she's done a great job leading a small group this year! Anyways, thanks again for a great year, and please reach out if there's anything I can be praying for. Tell me your summer plans! I'd love to hear what you have going on. Please be praying for our students as they go home in the summer that they'd continue pursuing the Lord and staying disciplined in maintaining their spiritual health and friendships in the community.
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