December Delights


December's Gifts  

Hello! Welcome to another monthly ministry update! I hope you and your loved ones had a very Merry Christmas! 

This December has been filled with many more moments of slowing down and reflecting on the year and semester that has passed. In the process, I have been deeply moved by the many kind gifts God has provided. Your support has been such a gift this semester and I am deeply thankful for your partnership in ministry! 

While entering into December, my small group and I got to do a joint reading plan on Advent. It was so neat getting to study about the deeper meaning and implications of God's incarnation with students! Here are a few of there takeaways from different days:

"It is through the strength of Christ that I can share his glory and story." - Briana 

"I can't find peace in anything other than the Lord. When I put God at the forefront of my life and make Him my first priority, I will experience a peace that surpasses any other temporary peace that the world offers." - Elaina 

"I feel like a way for me to have more peace in my life is to simply follow what God calls me to be as a child of God."  - Maddison 

Because of Emmanuel, we have the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. The invitation for us to follow the way of Christ and pass these gifts to others. 

December Celebrations 

With the end of the semester - this called for ample celebrations for how God sustained us through it all. Here are some scenes from these different celebrations. 

The Apprentices

This group has been such a gift this semester! They have been a great source of encouragement! My heart overflows with thankfulness for the ways they show me the heart of God. 

Elaina and I have been studying the Bible this semester and our friendship has blossomed. We got to walk around downtown Plano and celebrate the end of a semester! 

Our Collin crew hosted a Christmas party where each small group decorated a member as a human Christmas tree! It was such a blast to do so! 

To celebrate with our student leaders, we hosted a white elephant party with things brought from home. There was lots of laughter. I am super thankful for these students who have worked so hard to show the love of Christ to their classmates. 

What's Next 

In January, our staff is heading to a retreat to spend a few days together preparing for the semester. I am filled with joyful anticipation at all the Lord is going to do this semester and am thrilled to start off by bonding with our team and centering around God. 

On January 7th, we are putting on a student leader prep day to get our feet on a solid foundation when the semester begins. Again, I am so grateful for the students God has brought to our Collin team that desire to serve their neighbors. 

Next up is our annual Winter Retreat! This is a big source of joy for our FOCUS community each year. It is a time where all the campuses gather for four days (January 12- 15). For many students, this is the weekend where they capture more fully God's vision for their life - that they would receive His love for them and go forth to share that love with those around them. Please be praying for the students who come to be encouraged and built up in hope. 

Lastly, please pray for the start of a new semester that they would walk in the plans that God has for them and serve Him wholeheartedly. 

Thank you again for all of your generosity and your prayers! May the Lord's blessing abound over you in the New Year! 


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