April Update

Hello my beautiful friends and wonderful people! Before we begin, I just want to remind you all that God is with you and He loves you desperately. I've been seeing this more and more and I think it's easy to forget or make into a cliche. God loves you so much and He is there with you and your family.

Okay, on to the update for the month. This has been an eventful one!

First things first, thank you so much to all of you who have given to support students going to SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry)! We had spring showcase at the beginning of the month, which went so well! This is a fundraiser to help raise money for students from all of our campuses to get to go. It was a fun night of wonderful music and incredible performances. Some of our students from Richland College got to perform!

We have four students that are going to SICM and they are getting close to being fully funded, but they are still working hard to finish out about $200 each. If any of you would like to donate to their trips, let me know! SICM helped kickstart serious change in my life and taught me a lot about being a missionary on campus, and supporting these students supports spreading Jesus even further at Richland. I would definitely suggest it if you are looking to give somewhere worthwhile.

Our leader team had our last leader meeting this last Monday, which was so bittersweet. I am so excited to send these amazing people out into the world and to their new colleges, the world is not deserving of such people. But at the same time, it is sad to say goodbye. This year has been so sweet.

Core has been going well. We just had our last normal core before we celebrate the year next week and encourage each other before heading off for the summer. These guys have become great friends to me and I will miss them a lot after this year. Thankfully some of them will be staying close by for a little longer.

This has been such a wonderful and unique group of guys. Sometimes we have 20 people show up and sometimes it is a smaller but more intimate five. But they always come ready to open up and share their stories and grow closer to God together. I'm pretty sure I've learned much more from them this year than I could ever hope to give back. They are so kind and loving and serious about what they believe and about building up community. It is a privilege to do life with them.

Sometimes things get interesting and you have to recreate the creation of Adam. The man on the left is my good friend Evan, who has been my partner leading core this year.

I have learned so much from him. He is so gentle and kind and all the people in our core know that whatever happens, he will have their backs. On the right is Dayo. He has been a huge blessing both to me and to the ministry. He is a brand new Christian, but already God is using him in powerful ways on campus and I'm sure off campus as well. On a campus where a lot of people are pretty inconsistent and not very serious about pursuing spiritual things, he came in and started coming to everything we do, pouring into other students, and stepping up to fill the place God has prepared for him. I'm proud to call him my friend.

One of the guys I meet with every week (Bernard) also drew this picture of me and I just thought I would share it for your viewing pleasure.

Finally, people keep asking me what my plans are after the apprenticeship. This my friends, is a great question. I'm not entirely sure yet. God always has interesting jobs and new adventures in the air for me, so we'll see what's in store. The apprenticeship will end May 31st, so I'll be looking for jobs in media, video, photography, or manual labor in the next month. I hope to be working as soon as possible once June hits. I hope some of you will keep up with me on Facebook at that point! Also, be looking out for a special announcement in the near future.

Have a wonderful day and know that I am truly and deeply thankful for each and every one of you. You encourage and inspire me and I am proud to know people like you! Be praying that the people raising money to go to SICM will see God provide and be sure to contact me if that's something you'd like to be a part of! I love you guys so much! You are truly special and valuable to God!

Jesse Bales


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