Finding The One

 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 social events, but they have often turned out to be a whole lot of work for our students and staff with only one or two new students (if any!) showing up. One of my girls captured my own feelings well when she got a little teary sharing how sad she was for the freshman who were missing out on those pivotal new friendships that you build doing things like just sitting with someone new at the cafeteria table in the dorm. She, like our other student leaders, are working persistently with a lot of creativity to try to befriend new people, but figuring out where they are has been the challenge of the month.

In the midst of this, in my prayers for the efforts of our student leaders and staff alike, God has consistently brought me back to this truth that he does care about the one. Even if there is only one student out on campus that day, that is one who God cares about! And that is one who we will try to faithfully show love.

Peer Team

One of the main ways I spend my time as a campus missionary is mentoring 7 of our women student leaders, and we call this group "peer team." I meet with these girls 2-3 times a week and we talk through how they're approaching outreach, how core (small group) is going, we pray and read Scripture together, and just generally share life together. We've only met up a few times, but I am already so excited about the sweet relationships I've started with each of them! They have been so open and encouraging already! It has been 6 years since I was in their shoes, but I remember very clearly how exhausting and even overwhelming the first few weeks of school were as a leader trying to go out and meet people and build up a group of girls who were interested in being in my core while figuring out my new classes and homework schedule and working and whatever else was on my plate. But they're doing all that in the midst of a global pandemic! 

And yet, I have been so impressed with their positive attitudes and their faithfulness with the opportunities God has given them. They have invited old and new classmates, coworkers, friends' boyfriends' sisters, and even friends from back home who weren't going back to their own universities in different states. One thing about doing their small groups online is that it has opened doors for girls from far away to still be a part of the group they are building. More than usual, our student leaders are thinking about the one person they might already know who would want to come to core. Yes, the core groups are smaller this year than they usually are, and that could easily be something to be discouraged by. But I've been proud hearing my peer team talk about how they're feeling. They are so happy that the 2 or 3 or 4 girls who did come to their cores came! 
As their core groups are beginning to meet regularly and they are all figuring out the dynamic of building new friendships virtually, please be in prayer for all of the girls who participate. Please pray for them to be able to build deep, life-giving friendships with openness and engagement.

Here is a photo of us working through a question-writing activity as each of the girls is simultaneously on this Google Meet video call AND talking on the phone to their co-leader.
Most of my peer team working through a question-writing activity as each of the girls is simultaneously on this Google Meet video call AND talking on the phone to their co-leader. We got creative!

Thank you all for your part in making this work possible. I pray you are blessed hearing how God is working already!

Prayer Requests

In the last few weeks, the university has given (once again) more strict guidance for students and student organizations. It has left our staff and students alike struggling to navigate some murky waters. With that said, I'm asking again that you please pray fervently for a lot of discernment on how to balance respecting the university's intent while having the mind of Christ in looking out for not just the physical health, but also the social, emotional, and spiritual health of our students. 

Much love always,


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