The last few weeks have been very good, and I feel like God has helped me to be at the right place at the right time several times. Besides some very important conversations and prayer-times with college-aged students, multiple other opportunities have arisen. In terms of people connections, I have reconnected with old friends from WaKeeney and Hays, and through that several new people to the area.
Also, I have met with ministry leaders in multiple churches and college ministries to begin cooperative efforts for the upcoming semester. Besides initiating contacts to help find community members for our studies and get the word out about Unite, several of the meetings have yielded potential new relationship opportunities with people who would like to work on and possibly help fund the coffee house initiative. Additionally, things are coming together for two training opportunities that several of the students in Unite and I can attend to help learn about relational ministries and how to run a coffee house. There is also a potential training for some of us in relational ministries and how to reach non-Christians on campus.
We have rented the Union for our ‘Get Plugged In’ event and contacted all of the other Christian college ministries about co-sponsoring the event. [For those who are not familiar with the event, we invite all Christian churches and Christian college ministries to attend a four-hour open house on campus in which student can come and talk with the churches and ministries. This helps students more readily find a church and/or ministry (the only other current existing option to find a church is to find a phone book, look up addresses, and start visiting)]. Three out of the five campus Christian ministries have agreed to co-sponsor the event. The other two may well agree to co-sponsor it, but the deadline to have them listed as co-sponsors in the university brochure has already passed. If they do decide to co-sponsor, we’ll work with them to help get out the word about ‘Get Plugged In’ to students and will list them as co-sponsors on all other materials.
Unite’s Summer small group on Sunday at Coffee Rules has been going well. We had a new college student and a new high school graduate come last Sunday and share as we prayed for and encouraged each other. Also, our game night on Friday night at the United Methodist Student Center had better attendance. I am hopeful that we’ll see more come this Friday and that it will continue to grow over the Summer.
Four student leaders have been meeting with me to pray for and discuss upcoming directions with Unite. I have also been chatting with several older people to get some wise counsel. Interestingly enough, all four students in Unite are the four attending the Mexico Mission Trip that I direct through North Oak. I hope in future years to possibly make the Mexico Trip a Unite trip and that we can invite all congregation members and students from the small groups along with North Oak and a few other Churches at large.
Finally, on a personal note, I have activated my contract with Allegro, the non-profit ministry that helps with legal and tax accountability. I may now legally receive tax-deductible charitable donations for my living expenses as a missions worker to campus. Additionally, Unite will be able to receive donations through a second account for use in upcoming ventures. I plan to begin sending out support letters tomorrow and am currently databasing and addressing envelopes. (If you have an interest in supporting me or Unite prayerfully or financially, please email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The rest of this week for me will be spent organizing and prayerfully preparing. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of meetings with ministry leaders and committees and students, and I have also moved in with three college men so that I may lower my living expenses. I have yet to fully unpack, and I am selling much of what I own both for the money and to conserve space in my smaller living arrangements. I need to separate my items and list the ones I’ll be selling. I also need to complete my databasing for ministry supporters and send out my support letters. Then I need to compile all the notes from all of my meetings and organize all of my files and scheduled appointments (this includes transferring all of my virtual files into a new organized file system and backing them up on an external drive). Organizing will help me on Saturday (my Sabbath) when I sit down and really pray over all that has happened to better discern God’s direction. There are also at least two meetings with college-age students and one meeting with a local ministry leader this week (and a phone call with an area ministry leader to discuss cross-cultural training for the congregation members as they may well work with international students). Friday night is game night, and Sunday afternoon is the small group meeting (I may also be meeting with the student leaders as schedule permits).
Next week I will begin going to Churches in earnest (there are 28 in Hays) to invite them to participate in ‘Get Plugged In’ and to send congregation members to our small groups, if they wish. I will also invite them to participate in the coffee house endeavor.
We will also begin re-vamping our study and sending out the first wave of edits to those who have agreed to help recompile it. [For any who may be interested in forming the study lessons, please email email@example.com.] Additionally, I need to follow up with several ministry leaders about possible commitments of time, money, and/or people to both the small groups and the coffee shop. Then there will still be the continued small group meetings, Mexico planning meetings, Unite leadership meetings, and Friday night game nights, and I will also be continuing to send out my support letters over the week. Until the next update!