Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gratitude

This is Adriana, another apprentice at Collin College this year. Here she was having the time of her life at our staff retreat and I was wondering when I would ever be able to get off of the tube.
I can't believe it's already September. It feels like I was sitting in orientation for the apprenticeship just yesterday. School has officially started and the apprenticeship is in full swing. Adriana and I both moved from Denton to do the apprenticeship, so she's been a comforting, familiar friend. She's been our team hype woman over these last few weeks with reminders to follow through and work hard.

This is the majority of our corefa team in the final portion of our preparation day. We sang a few worship songs together and everyone shared a personal vision for the ministry this year.
We call our leaders "corefas" because they facilitate our small groups, also known as cores. All of our corefas commit to about 15 hours of ministry on top of classes and jobs. FOCUS wouldn't really work or exist without them, so we are incredibly thankful for their commitment.

On the final Saturday of summer, we had a preparation day for our leaders. They sacrificed the entire day to get to know one another, discuss our mission and vision for the year, and explore ways to welcome students to campus. We ended the night in hopeful expectation of what the Lord will do this next year. I pray that none of us would forget why we decided to do this in the first place and that we would let the Lord shape our upcoming year.

The girls at Collin are fun-loving and inclusive. I've loved getting to know them in my time here so far!
Here are a few messing around with a kid's meal toy after Thursday Night Fellowship.
From left to right: Adriana, Shannon, and Jessica. 

Collin College started classes on August 26th, so we spent the entire first week (Welcome Week) hosting events to meet and connect students. We had students and staff members at all three campuses throughout the week - Spring Creek, Central Park, and Preston Ridge. I'll be a corefa on the Preston Ridge campus in Frisco, so I spent time there every day. The community at Preston Ridge is growing and I'm eager to be part of it in this season.

We set up a giant canvas and paint to invite students to paint with us. It was so cool to see people interact and ask questions about their personal art. I think this canvas encompasses the diverse personalities at Preston Ridge and in FOCUS.

One of our events was "Bad Tattoos" where we had body crayons and temporary tattoos to apply for free. Our creative students took it to the next level by combining multiple tattoos like this rocket flying by a dinosaur that's walking on the moon!

New and returning Preston Ridge students at a Welcome Week event!

Welcome Week came with challenges and exhaustion, but God reminded me over and over again of His faithfulness through people I met, our students who showed up to outreach, and scripture. As I look back on my own life, I wouldn't be where I am today if there weren't people persistently inviting me into friendship and showing up when they said they would. I'm reminded of Psalm 126:6, "Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them."

Here we are at our first Thursday Night Fellowship (TNF) of the school year!
At the end of the week, we gathered with all of our new friends and, indeed, sang songs of joy! God showed up and showed out during Welcome Week and brought us new students who are longing for Him. Cody, one of my teammates and friend, kicked off our sermon series: Do You Know the Man Jesus? He pointed the students to God, who we hope in, and shared with them why we do what we do as disciples.

All I feel is gratitude as I reflect on the last month. My role as an apprentice is opening my eyes to new sides of ministry I wasn't fully aware of before. I'm thankful for the hard work people have done before me, the patience of our team as all of us new apprentices learn the ropes, student leaders who show up and meet people when we're setting up for events or TNF, God for teaching me even through the most mundane tasks. As we settle in to more routine and build our cores, I'm excited to continue to learn what goes into campus ministry.

I'm thankful for every one of you. I couldn't do this without your support and prayers. Please let me know how I can be praying for you!

Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for healthy relationships to come from our cores. Pray for our corefas to be able to discern the needs of their core members.
  • Pray for our staff team to seek God's agenda for the ministry.
  • Pray for Preston Ridge - we are starting our own Thursday Night Fellowship once a month apart from the rest of Collin College as the community grows there.

With love,
Jacy Garcia



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