March Update

Hello beautiful friends!

March has been quite the month. Every time I sit down to write one of these updates I think through everything that has happened and I just wish you all could be here.

I can't begin to hope to express everything that is happening and all that God is doing. I often want to tell a big macro story and tell about how the ministry is booming and we are moving to a bigger building and everything is always on the up and up, world-shattering breakthroughs are happening, but there are two problems with that. First, God doesn't seem to work like that most of the time and that definitely doesn't seem to be how He's doing ministry here at Richland. Second, our God is personal and works in community and the development of hope and maturity on a person to person basis. In a lot of ways, this has been a hard month, we've had a corefa (small group leader) step down and had to work with the aftermath of that. Our Thursday nights have not been quite as big or boisterous, and we're trying to raise money for several things and making progress very slowly.

So it can be easy to look and get discouraged, but the wonder of it all is that God is working and He has His own work and when I look a little deeper, I have gotten even more excited about what God is actively doing at Richland this month. When we peel back the layers of things that so easily entangle, choosing to look to see where God is working, a light dawns brightly. This month we have had people come into Core and Focus who are very dedicated. We've seen an insurgence of people who are not just here for the friends and the fun groups but are looking to actively grow in their walk with Jesus and intentionally pour into the ministry.

Just a shot of a cool fellow at SICM

SICM helped me build a community that will last the rest of my life










I have had the privilege of getting to be a part of raising money for a few students to go to SICM, Student Institute of Campus Ministry in Bellingham Washington. This is a conference we send leaders to every year to help train them in leadership and in how to be a missionary on their campus. I got to help lead a worship night last week, which ended with a solid group of people with arms around each other praying for God's name to be glorified.

People who have just been attending core and showing up are moving into places where they are taking active roles, starting Bible studies, asking questions, and being a part of purposely growing their own faith and reaching out to the people around them.

In my core (small group), we've been having people who started the year as strangers or just starting a serious walk with Jesus lead core. They've been meeting up with me and Evan and asking questions and working to learn about God and put what they are learning into practical lessons for Core.

A couple of the people I've been studying the Bible with have gone out and found their own people to start teaching the same lessons to, furthering our mission of raising up disciples who raise up disciples who raise up disciples.

I met with a guy who is new to the ministry who wasn't bogged down by the culture of college that says you can't talk about religion and you must be very sure and argumentative about everything you believe. He showed up and we had a great conversation. He was open about his background and spent the whole time asking questions and working to get to know this man called Jesus.

One of the pieces I'll be selling at Spring Showcase, an event we put on for
Students raising funds to become campus missionaries.


Jesus doesn't just look into our world and watch what happens, He wades into it with us and works powerfully in the lives of individuals. I am so excited to get to be a part of this ministry and to get to see and experience firsthand the wonders He doing on college campuses. Be encouraged friends, God's light is dawning at Richland college. We have only to keep asking, keep praying, and this will become a beacon of God's hope for the world.


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In other news, I have decided to follow God's calling on my life into the workforce after May. So for all of you who so faithfully support me, thank you. Thank you so very much. We couldn't do what we are doing without you. God's message is free to roam the campuses because people like you support campus missionaries like us. I can't begin to describe how much it means to me to have such a loving and faithful team at my back. It's a pretty cool reminder that the Acts 2 kind of church is not dead, but actively thriving and changing the world. As I transition off of staff in the next couple months, I would love to ask you each to prayerfully consider continuing to support the ministry by supporting another campus missionary (I'd love to get you in contact with some), or just setting up monthly support for Focus in general! It has changed my life and the lives of countless young people!

Thank you all and I love you so much!!

Please feel free at any time to call, text, or email for updates, thoughts, prayer requests, or just to talk. It is a deep privilege to know each and every one of you.

Have a great day and I look forward to writing to you again next month!

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jesse! I feel the same way as you about looking for impressive things to report on my ministry: hundreds of people coming to meetings and big, visible successes. But you are so right that that is so often not how God works. Ministry happens in personal relationships, in lives changed through a slow, steady progress toward Jesus. Like a seed growing under the soil, we often can't see what's really going on! Praying for you to finish well as you wrap up your apprenticeship and move on to whatever God has in store for you.

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