All the Weeks of Welcome

Friday, September 20, 2019

WOW! The first month is over. It is so crazy to me that I have already completed a full month of the apprenticeship. It has been so sweet and fun! If I can be honest, I wasn't sure about being at UTD. When I was in High School and when people were choosing colleges, UTD was just a step up from Collin. It didn't have much student life. Of course it's so silly that I didn't think it would be different because Collin wasn't what I expected. Like Collin, UTD has been such a blessing. I've loved being there. The students are so great! Our student leaders are incredible, we really wouldn't be able to run as a ministry without them. I am so proud of them and all of their hard work!

I told Erin she should hop in the dance circle at the Big Howdy
event and then everyone started doing the dance she was doing. 
This is Kylie rolling down the hill in the giant bubble soccer 

Outside of the two weeks UTD plans for Welcome Week (or Weeks of Welcome at UTD), FOCUS has events the first week while students are moving in. We played many a board games and met TONS of Freshmen! I'm telling y'all, God has worked something in me because I used to HATE board games but since working with FOCUS, they've grown on me. My favorite event we had was Big Howdy, it's an event that all of the campus ministries put on for the international students. It felt like I talked to at least 2,391 international students that night (that is defiantly an exaggeration but we probably had 1,200 people at that event).
We also held a field night where we played a bunch of games kids typically play in PE or Recess. We had bubble soccer which was such a blast. It was more of a hit to get in them and run into people than to actually play soccer. Before the students got there, some of the apprentices got in them and rolled down the hill. All of the no sleep was so worth it by all of the incredible relationships we were able to make/ help facilitate amongst the students.

 During Labor Day weekend, we had a day at the lake in place of staff meeting. It was so nice to just get to spend time with my coworkers. Rhett, Brandon, Peter, and Kylie did all sorts of tricks on the tubs while I on the other hand held on for dear life.

Friday Night Focus, our large group meeting, has been such a blessing. One of my favorite things to do at FNF (Friday Night Fellowship) is just watching people interact. There's just something about watching deep friendships form right in front of your eyes that just gets me every time. FOCUS really does a good job of fostering relationships and building community. I also think about when I was a freshman/ Sophomore and how I had discovered Jesus in a really real way for the first time, I am so eager to watch that happen for the student's I've met. After every FOCUS, we have after events where we go and hang out with students. This is such a great way for us to build friendships.

Hanna and Kylie are also apprentices. We had an after event at Torchy's
which thankfully is right near campus so we get to eat there all the time:) 
This is Siena, we lead small group together.
She is so fun and kind. I've really enjoyed
becoming her friend. 

This picture came up on my memories during welcome week. This is from 2016 when my best friend/ first FOCUS friend was baptized before we had started our first year of being student leaders. 

- please pray for my core (small group) girls. That they would develop deep and lasting relationships with each other. Core can be an incredible place to be vulnerable and to be loved up on. 
- A lot of students at UTD have pretty difficult majors and a lot of pressure to only focus on school. While I want students to be good stewards of their school work, I also believe that doesn't mean they can check out on community and building a relationship with God. Please pray that they will no longer find their value is their grades/ accomplishments but in Jesus. 
- We have Fall Camp coming up. This is a 24 hour retreat for our students to get some away time, build community, and spend time with Jesus. Please pray that this retreat would be fruitful and fun for our students.
- I live with 7 sweet ladies who have very different schedules. Please pray that we will be able to build friendship and that our house would a place filled with the spirit where people can come and feel loved. 
- Please pray for my fundraising. I am still in the same spot. If you know anyone who might be interested in supporting me, please let me know.

Thank you! Please let me know how I can be praying for you.


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