November Update

     Good morning beautiful people! This month has been incredible. This was the last full month before the students go on their Christmas breaks, so there is a lot of thinking through what has gone well and what we want to work on for next semester. Focus is still trying to gain ground and grow at Richland, which definitely presents difficulties. We have limited funding, the students sometimes struggle to buy into the vision all the way, the culture is filled with a lot of worldly ideas and people struggling to find themselves. These are all ways to be praying for the ministry at Richland, but this month I want to focus on the wonder.

So first off, Alex and I hosted a Friendsgiving over Thanksgiving break, which was a cool opportunity to invite people who might not have a place to go for Thanksgiving and get to speak life into people from all over the place. We made a ton of food, and surprisingly, people ate almost all of it. There were about 30 people that came over, which sent us scrambling for tables and chairs.





Towards the end of the month, I saw something truly amazing. A little glimpse through God's eyes of what His kingdom coming at Richland might look like. After one of our Wednesday morning services, a couple of our students went to the cafeteria area for an open mic event. Let me paint the picture for a bit.

The cafeteria is filled with sound. The raucous scraping of tables and chairs, the dull hum of conversation, ebbing and flowing like a tide of humanity filled with classes, professors,  romance, and pokemon cards. Looking around, there are all kinds of people. Bits and pieces from Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, India, North Dakota, Dallas, suburbs, ghettos, and mansions, all sit together in one place. Off to one side in a covered eating area, there is a stage. Static crackles over the speakers as people get set up.  A couple of unassuming students step on stage and the whole back row erupts in applause. These are all students that go to focus together and learn about Jesus together, but they are just a small part of the crowd. On the stage, the students start singing a worship song and instead of being met with indifference or jeers, the whole room fills with silence. Listening to words that glorify the true king, waiving their arms together in response. When the song ends, another Focus student gets up and tells everyone that Jesus loves them. The people cheer and the event moves on.

This is the leader team at Richland. Top Left to Right: Reece, Josh, Javiera, Sandra, Claire, me
Bottom Left to Right: Ann, Valentin, Catherine, Evan, Kiden, and Sirak.


This wasn't a revolutionary thing. This one event didn't convert the whole campus. This isn't a situation that will have a movie made about it, but it is a place where God is working. He doesn't often work in spectacular displays, which can sometimes allow us to miss what He is doing. But here I saw God being worshiped on a secular campus, with students who don't know Jesus cheering them on. I saw a vision for a time when that becomes normal. When Richland college knows the places on campus where there are always people worshiping God. Guys that means something. That is beautiful. It is hard to express to all of you how powerful it is to get to interact with these students one on one, every single week. To get to see the sparks of God going off inside them. It's hard to let you in to see the sparkle light up in one student's eyes as he gets a new idea about this God he has legitimately never heard about in his country. Or the subtle but profound release of stubbornness in a student who has decided to let God take control of his life and find peace in following Him.

A few people from my and Evan's Core, or small group

Basically, this has been a very encouraging month.

On another note and for those of you that are keeping up with the car situation, God has again shown Himself more than faithful. I had been saving funds to help pay for taxes on money I got for school. I was able to tap into this to get myself another car and let Buttons go. I was a bit worried because I still needed the money for taxes, but God came through. A wonderful man at my church was able to send the insurance company a letter and they decided to settle, so I got back almost all that I lost. I now have a car that will hopefully last a good while. There are still a few details to get worked out, so be praying for that, but God's got it and everything will work out as it always does.


When I first got my car over a year ago and now letting it go.

In conclusion, I just want to say thank you again. Few people know what it's like to have a whole team of people supporting them and on their team. You guys mean the world to me and none of this would be possible without you. I was going through my list of donors, trying to think about each of you and pray for you earlier and I was moved to the point of tears realizing how much I am loved and I need you to know I love you so much and I definitely don't take your support lightly.

God bless and keep you, friends, always. Peace and Love.

Comments

  1. Wow Jesse, what a neat story about students praising God on campus at Richland! I am so encouraged by what God is doing at that campus. Most community college campuses have little for students to do outside of going class, and the students who show up are often only there for a short time on the way to something else. But what you and the rest of the Richland FOCUS team are providing is unique and important! Keep it up and God will make it grow!

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