Archive for February 8th, 2008

Ministry Update

I figured that I would give everyone a quick update on what I’ve been up to and will be up to since I’ve been near impossible to get ahold of for the last few months…

God has been so faithful to our ministry here in Austin, and it has been a pleasure to watch Him stir and move in the lives of our college friends!  At the beginning of January, we sent 23 students to the Dominican Republic where six of our student leaders were trained to lead mission trips to the nations this summer (you can find more about their trip here).  Overlapping the DR trip, one of our interns also led a ski trip of 50 students to Aspen, where the students were able to spend some quality time with our lead pastor and minister of care and counseling (a true blessing at a church of almost 4000), and I am told that the Lord cultivated some tremendous community through the experience (you can see photos here).  It gives me great joy to see students sacrificing portions of their time off during the holidays to commune with fellow believers and advance the kingdom of God, and I am so thankful for all God did during that time.

We launched our small group ministry again in third week of January, and followed with our semesterly event called Austin Stone on Campus on January 31st.  God was incredibly on display and powerfully worshipped by about 850 students in the heart of the UT campus at the Texas Student Union Ballroom.  Nothing can quite capture the energy of a room where that many students are so passionate about seeing God glorified on campus, and it gave me tremendous hope and eager anticipation of what God will do during this semester!  Matt Carter preached a challenging message on living with urgency based on Jonathan Edwards Resolutions #17 and the martrydom of Stephen in Acts 7, and specifically what that means for a college student.  Additionally, we rolled out our spring and summer mission opportunities (we’re mobilizing close to 75 students this summer to North Africa, Asia Minor, and Zambia!), and I am particulary excited about a group of our students beginning to engage an economically depressed neighborhood in Austin.

Finally, I’ve got a number of things upcoming that I would covet prayer for.  Next weekend (February 15-17) I am taking a group of 110 to Dallas for the Passion Regional Conference, and combining it with some retreat time.  Pray that God would continue to stoke a fire for the glory of God in both my and the student’s hearts, and the time would be well used to build community and birth new mission.  Secondly, I’ll be joining our student leaders on a spring break mission opportunity with 40 other students to Memphis, TN to work with an organization called Service Over Self doing urban development.  Pray that God would teach us His heart for the poor and oppressed, and that our hearts would be broken to be a people of mercy.

In addition to the variety of trips, another exciting development of the semester has been the birth of two new college-specific equipping classes.  We would really appreciate prayer for the classes:  one for our graduating and newly-graduated students, and one specifically for college men.  Both are taking a biblical perspective on practical issues faced by the respective demographics, and I am excited to see the how the Lord trains and prepares our students to pursue Him both immediately and into the future.

The last prayer point for our ministry is prayer itself.  Last semester, many of our students began gathering at the steps of the UT tower to pray, and we are continuing to do this on a monthly basis.  Pray that God would sustain the fervor for public, corporate prayer that would unite the body at UT and advance God’s kingdom. 

That’s the abbreviated version of the last month and the coming few months :).  God has been so faithful!

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