It’s been a very interesting month. Our leadership team is meeting every other week now, and it appears that the team may be growing stronger as a listening community. I am excited about some of the subjects that have come up and may be in the works later this semester. Please be in prayer for us that we can listen and discern what the Spirit has for us.
I am also excited for the potentials with Common Grounds coffee house. We are now working with the United Methodist Student Center board and Allegro to broker a deal so that we can officially begin running. It appears that God may have provided enough money to get us at least started.
Regardless, the game night communities already meet during the times we would be serving coffee, and the communities are growing well. A number of very important conversations have begun to occur between believers and non-believers during game night. Several young women have met with some of our ladies in leadership to share about relationship issues and other things. Our leadership is praying and seeking to be more aware of opportunities to develop the relationships that God has for us to develop and to listen to be used by God to love others. Also, a number of new individuals from many different walks of life have recently begun coming to game night. Pray that God help us move with Him as we interact with them and develop relationships.
Our semester officially started off with a prayer retreat at the First Presbyterian church in Hays. Six individuals showed up, and we spent six hours in prayer and reflection.
At the beginning of the event we had a general prayer, and then we separated out to spend some individual time with God in prayer and meditation. We each went through a number of questions and scripture passages designed to give us opportunities to pray with God and listen. After a couple such sessions, we began practicing some prayer meditation techniques that have been used in the church for centuries as a group. These included centering prayer and lectio divina (a pattern of reading and meditating on scripture while listening to God). We also separately practiced a soul-baring type of spiritual journaling. The prayer retreat was powerful for everyone whom God enabled to listen. I thank Him greatly for what He taught.
In early January we also had a collaborative game night with North Oak’s Outreach Team, the Tippy family, and Community Connections. We actually had lower attendance than at previous collaborative events, but the combination of people was very healthy. The Tippy family came with one of the international students who lives in their house, a few from North Oak showed up with some international friends, and about 16 of the standard game night attenders arrived. At least one of the people from North Oak and at least one of the college ladies very much enjoyed playing with the Tippy’s daughter, and I personally enjoyed getting to know the Tippy’s and three international students better.
As is typical each semester, we again hosted ‘Get plugged In’ on campus in the Union and invited all local churches and college ministries to attend. Due largely to an ice storm that hit the day we held the event, attendance was low from churches and college students. A few churches did make it, however, along with several college ministries, and we had some pretty in-depth conversations with students who came looking for a place to connect to.
Next semester we hope to work with a large number of youth groups in Northwest Kansas to promote ‘Get Plugged In’ to Fort-Hays bound students who are still in high school. We also hope to use the second semester event as a ‘preview day’ so that high school youth pastors can bring their students to ‘Get Plugged In’ to give them an idea of what to look for when they look for a church/college ministry wherever they go. Please pray about ‘Get Plugged In’ as it relates to youth in high school finding a connection to the Body of Christ in college. Also please pray for a group of college ministers and youth pastors I have been meeting with who seek to pull in an international speaker for campus and the surrounding school districts and who also seek to help coordinate [alt] next year.
For those interested, I will be preaching both sermons February 20th at WaKeeney Church of God in WaKeeney, Kansas. If you would like a chance to meet with me in person or listen to some of what God has taught me over the last several months as a missionary/college ministry leader, PLEASE feel free to attend! First service is at 9:00 a.m., and second service is at 11:15 a.m. The address for the church is 1300 Easter Avenue, WaKeeney, KS 67672.
Thank you again for your prayers and support. God is definitely moving in Hays, and we are excited to see what He has yet in store for us!