"Thanks For Accepting Me In Your Family"

"Thanks for accepting me in your family"

At the end of every school year, I have my core group reflect on how God has grown them and the others in the group this year. Then we go around and encourage one another with how we have been blessed or impressed by them. Well this year, I shifted to writing letters of encouragement to one another. You could either thank them for how they have blessed you, or you could spur them on and challenge them to look more Christ like. 

The title of this post is a line one of my core guys wrote to me and it really caught my attention. 

"Thanks for accepting me in your family"

It is a powerful statement, and I realized it sums up a lot of what I get to do, and what I encourage our students to do as well.

So thank you for your continued support through prayer, encouragements, and finances. I can't do what God has me doing without faithful friends and family like you all.  In fact, many of you are people who "accepted me in your family", and showed me Christ.  Anytime you find yourself excited about what I am writing here, thank God that you have gotten to be a part of it.


Vincent is about to move back to Nigeria for the Summer and I am devastated. Pray he can grow in Christlike maturity.

Many of the Bible studies I have been doing with young men are coming to a close. Specifically my friends, Mauricio, Vincent, and Jean-Michel. We have worked through the Focus on Jesus study, and by no means are we done learning. But hopefully for each of these young men, the learning will take new shape. As we have finished the studies, I have commissioned each one with the very same commission Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 28.  And I think we all remember how great that commission was! 

These three are in a transition from being led to being leaders. I truly believe that for these young men, their next season of Spiritual growth will come from a place of serving rather than being served. They are no longer being accepted into the family, they are the ones inviting others in.

Jean-Michel is so kind and gentle. Pray that he may be bold in faith.

I am beyond blessed to call these guys friends, and hopefully soon, coworkers in Christ. Pray for each of them to take up their cross and be ready this Fall to be leaders on campus. I see so much of Christ in them, and just know that if they can partner with the Spirit in confidence, there will be much fruit from their faithfulness.

Mauricio is like the Ronaldo of being a good friend. Pray he responds to the Spirit's promptings

Michael, Hailey, and I looking like fools for Jesus

We had our last outreach event of the year. Traditionally we make these events ways to engage student life with thought provoking questions, or we make it highly social, encouraging people we meet to exchange numbers and plan lunches together. Well Sophie and I brainstormed the idea of Wash Your J's. Since most people would be adverse to getting their feet washed by a stranger, we offered to clean people's shoes, as a way to resemble Jesus washing the disciples feet. 

Sophie and I washing some peoples shoes

Sophie cleaning some shoes

I would be lying if I said I was looking forward to this event. Sophie and I both had second guesses and generally, just fearful attitudes towards this awkward service opportunity. But we felt compelled to commit to our idea, and honestly, I think God really surprised both of us. Many students were thankful for our service, even those who couldn't stop would say they thought it was really nice to offer. When people did get their shoes cleaned, we got to chat with them, and share about how Jesus did the same thing for his friends. It was neat to serve people without a huge expectation of them coming to FOCUS.  This is just another way we get to "accept people into the family". We get to treat them as if we have known them. Serve them, even though they haven't served us. They get to "belong before they believe", an idea from the book, More Ready Than You Realize, that I have been reading with Eldrian

TCC core made a timeline of the Bible from memory

Speaking of belonging before believing, I have been trying to reach out to more of my neighbors at my apt complex. Recently, that has included, my friend Kevin, his wife,  and an Afghan family of 5. I met Kevin at the dog park, and we have taken the dogs out together a couple of times. We're trying to invite them out to dinner or church, but they have had a crazy schedule.  Along with that, I just met Mir and his wife Nessima, who have 3 kids. They have moved all over the States, and are currently here in Arlington. Please be praying for these friends, and for Emily and I to open our homes to them.

Kevin and Waldo out on an evening walk

My friend Kyle Hanson is someone I got to study the Bible with years ago, and is now an active Christian and member of our church. He is also a wonderful artist. He had a show recently, and I got to chat with some nice art crowd people and some of his friends. I chatted with his roommate a bit and am hoping to make more connections with him in the future. Pray that Kyle and I can be reflections of Christ to Kyle's roommate, that we might be true friends to him.

Kyle, his flowers, and his ducks

I hope that you can go out and invite people into your family. Let those around you belong with you, so they might believe with you.

Thank you again for your love, support, and prayers. 


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