Posts

Where Hope Is Found

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  My social distanced birthday party. These friends sat in the cold for HOURS to laugh and talk and celebrate with me. I'm so blessed to have them! (It was also the girl on the bottom right's birthday, so she got a birthday crown too. :)) I'm having a time trying to get these pictures to work, so since my blog really has nothing to do with them, I'll list captions here: Above, my birthday party Apprentice sermons held at our church on a very cold morning with all the doors open and fans blowing to create ventilation because of COVID. It was cold, but so good to hear God teaching through them! A Christmas photo with my handsome guy. Some Faberge egg matryoshka my grandmother got me for Christmas! I love Russian things, so I was thrilled! The first snow I've seen in almost 5 years! It was so beautiful! I also got a chiminea for Christmas so I can continue to meet with girls outside in the safety and warmth of our back patio. It has been really fun learning how to use

Giving Thanks, Celebrating Peace on Earth

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 November & December Update Happy holiday season to you all! My apologies for the long gap between updates. It has been a full two months of ministry! (Scroll past the picture gallery for the rest of this update!)  Holidays in the Park One of the most glaring differences in ministry pre-COVID and ministry now is the fun, relationship-building downtime student used to get with each other and with us when we were hosting weekly gatherings and service opportunities and parties. It has been an uphill battle for all of us this semester as we try to forge deep relationships that include that same mix of depth and daily minutia that somehow makes friendships so sweet. (And let me say, God has been really faithful here! We have been blown away again and again at just how many new students have joined cores and started 1-on-1 Bible studies and built real friendships even in a pandemic!) But with this reality in mind and (at the time) a consistent downward slope in new COVID cases in ou

Moving People onto God's Agenda

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Say it with me:  How is it already October?!?! As a teacher, I learned that October was the time of year when the  real  personalities came out of my students and I would have to buckle in for what I liked to think of as "the month of re-establishment." I.e., re-establishing classroom rules, re-establishing who is in charge, re-establishing the value in actually doing the work, re-establishing a vision for building relationships with  all  classmates (aka embracing new seating charts), and so on. It was a jarring--you could say awful--experience that first year, but honestly, I came to really value it in the later years because it was an opportunity for me to cast an even clearer vision for my students for what we were all really going to be about. In different ways, October in college ministry has this same "rubber meets the road" kind of feel. Students have gotten into the swing of their classes, they are settling into their friend groups for the semester, they ar

Finding The One

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  September Update One of the questions we ask our student leaders in their pre-year evaluations is "What repeated themes do you feel like you hear the Lord telling you at this point in your spiritual journey?" As I was sharing my own answers in our discussions, I told the girls I'm leading that I've felt this emphasis on the idea of the one. Finding the one.  No, not the fairytale "one" of love stories, but this concept of God going after just the one. I think of Jesus' parable of the one lost sheep and how that sheep is significant enough to go searching for. It strikes me that the God of all creation is not too big to care about the one sheep. And we, as his people, ought to care about the one, too. We haven't had nearly as many students on campus this year, so figuring out how  to meet new students has been an ongoing uphill battle. With so many limitations in our physical presence on campus, we have tried to put a lot of steam into our virtual s

Back into the Stream

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August 2020 Update If you read nothing else, I want to make sure you see THANK YOU! I am honored to get to do this job and for the support you've shown that makes it possible! Every month I'll send updates that capture a little of what we've been up to. I hope they encourage you as you see how God has used your generosity to bless students on the college campus! Returning to Campus Missions When I made the tough decision to leave vocational ministry in 2016 to go into teaching high school, though it was one of the hardest seasons of my life, I remember getting there and pretty immediately having the sensation of being a fish that had finally been put into water. So much of the school setting--its odd balance of regimented and completely chaotic, team-driven but very independent, crazy fun but still plenty goal-oriented--just fit.  I loved teaching at Heritage so much! So in looking ahead to this year's return to campus missions, as my excitement about the opportunity de