Halfway through the year!


Hello Friends, Family, Fans, and Supporters!! 

    It is so crazy to me that the apprenticeship and this year of ministry is halfway through. It feels like so much has happened so far. From reading the Old Testament, to settling into Denton, building friendships, and giving my first sermon. The Work that God has done in my life over the last five months has been incredible and makes me excited to jump into this next semester. Thank you so much for your support in ministry through prayer and finances! The things that I am learning through scripture, classes, and people are irreplaceable and have already made a large impact on the way I think about God, the church, scripture, and being a disciple. I can't thank you enough for your support. 

 Praise God for His faithfulness and the ways that he works!

    Our God is a very personal and relational God. He consistently meets people where they are at so that they can experience relationship with him and life to the full. God knew we were incapable of changing ourselves to be like him so he sent his son to be like us, extend us grace, and offer us a way to relationship with him. This has been proven over and over to me this school year through my and other peoples experiences as well as throughout the entire old testament and through all nineteen apprentice sermons that I listened to around this time last month. 

Alex and I with friends at the Christmas party (Alex is wearing the Santa hat :])


     One way that I have seen this play out this last semester is through my co-leader Alex. At the beginning of the year he received the number of a guy that was interested in FOCUS but quickly changed his mind about coming to anything. Alex got some one on one time with this guy over lunch during one of the first few weeks of classes and he told Alex that "he was the first person that talked to him since he moved here around a month ago. Alex shared in our small group about how he was meeting up with this guy but couldn't tell if the guy was enjoying it because he didn't seem to participate in the conversation very much. Even though Alex was unsure of this guys interest in the conversation and he didn't seem to want to come around to any FOCUS things he kept meeting up with him and being his friend. Alex would invite him to our small group, his roommate nights, and keep meeting with him one on one. Eventually late into the semester Alex's faithfulness and relational energy made such an impact on his friend that he came to UNT Focus' Christmas party. It was so encouraging to see him there. Alex met this guy where he was at, continually showed him patience and love, and was a great friend to someone who needed it. Now, this friend is wanting to get involved in our small group next semester and is another excellent example of God meeting people where they are and using relationship to bring people to him. Praise God for the work he is doing in this guys life!!




The apprentices getting breakfast together on the first day of our break!


    With students being on break the apprentices have had a lot more time together. We had an entire week of giving and listening to each other giver sermons on the topic of 'This is my Gospel.' It was so encouraging to see all the ways that God has been faithful to, blessed, and taken care of so many different people with different experiences. After these sermons I can tell we feel even closer than we did! I know that I have a friend and brother or sister in Christ in all of the other apprentices and that they will be there for me anytime I need them. 



    Looking back now I can remember that my greatest fear with doing the apprenticeship one day was the idea of giving a sermon. I am so in awe to say that God has used this community and the Spirit to heal me of so much anxiety and to able to boldly claim his work in me. If you want to hear more about my story the sermons were recorded and here is a link to mine, its about 28 minutes long. I have had some trouble with the audio but hopefully you won't!



    Lastly, FOCUS is having it's annual winter camp retreat at Sky Ranch this weekend, the 14th and we could use any and all prayer over that. With Covid getting around easier than ever before many students are getting sick and aren't going to be able to come. Would you please be in prayer that our students would stay healthy, be able to come to camp, and for their hearts and minds to be impacted by God while we are there. Winter camp has been such a transformative time for many students in the past and the hope is it will be again! Please pray for God to move in people's lives at camp and for the students to come back energized and ready for this next semester!



You are loved,

Cole




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