So many things have happened in the last month and a half that it seems like a blur! Early September was a welcome and needed break to the extremely high pace that always accompanies the start of the semester. Unite Game Night and Common Grounds Coffee House developed a good, strong rhythm, as did the small groups, early church prayer meditation sessions at the dojo, the lunches I cook for college students on Sunday, and many other facets of life. Then the late part of September and the early part of October hit! The campus club I instruct, the FHSU Aikido Club, hosted a national Aikido seminar with the director of the international association as our guest instructor for three days; it was a great chance to get to know new students and have fun with many who had come back. Right afterwards (two hours after the instructors had boarded their airplane) I was honored to speak at a multi-church healing service in preparation for the local ‘Festival of Faith’. Then it was a crazy week of preparations for Oktoberfest weekend and our Unite [alt] Game Night.
When Oktoberfest came around, we set up a table and sign at the event and gave out information about all of the available alternatives to the typical post-Oktoberfest partying that would be happening later in the evening. We also got permission to walk around and hand out flyers at one point in the day. As Oktoberfest wound down at the park we headed up and made final preparations for our big game night.
At the game night that evening, we served free pizza, gave out free Hostess products and ice cream, and had prizes from local businesses for the various competitions throughout the night. The first competition allowed students to form four-person bands to compete at ‘Rock Band,’ a game that has guitars, drums, and a microphone and that scores how well you play given songs. The picture on the lower left shows some of the six bands assembling for the competition. After that we had a Texas Hold’Em card tournament (picture on the lower right), a ‘Just Dance’ tournament (students hold a controller and dance to music; the game rates how well a person danced), and a card tournament again even later along with breakfast. Several individuals from different churches GREATLY helped make the evening a success—thanks to all of you who helped and who prayed for this event!
Oktoberfest evening at large this year involved at least one rape and two beatings that were so severe the individuals beaten were life-flighted to Wichita. On a night that can contain so much darkness, I am glad that we were able to offer a fun night of safe alternatives to college students. Though it was a VERY long night, I feel it was well worth it.
The last month-and-a-half has also contained good opportunities for connections at large. Some time ago a friend of mine, Pastor Jerod Brown, moved to WaKeeney with his family feeling led to Hays. Jerod currently is a part-time pastor for Red Line Church of God in Palco and helps at WaKeeney Church of God. Back when Jerod moved here, he asked me to show him parts of Hays that I felt could use outreach; it seems that Meadow Acres trailer park really stuck out to him. Now he and the Palco church and possibly some people from WaKeeney want to make this one of their outreach areas. They plan to come in and grill and then come back repeatedly to get to know people and find out what the needs are. Knowing the needs they then plan to come out and help. I happen to also know an individual from North Oak who is very interested in outreach into this sector and that the new pastor of the Hispanic church at First Baptist in Hays also may be interested. I was blessed to be able to facilitate an exciting meeting between Jerod and the man from North Oak, and I hope soon to be able to have the same meeting with the pastor from First Baptist. Though I am not sure where all this may go, it is exciting to see God bring people together like this to do outreach, and I look forward to watching and assisting at times as it develops.
Beyond that connection area, I am also excited to be facilitating a meeting between most of the ministries that work with international students along with some of the FHSU offices that help internationals and some private individuals who do. That meeting will be this upcoming Sunday, October 21st. Please keep in in your prayers as there are some important things that we hope to discuss. I believe that God can greatly use such a meeting.
I also have a meeting with some university officials soon over a recent presentation on campus. The presentation ‘Sex Ed Boot Camp’ gave out some good information about contraceptives and protection. It also encouraged students to experiment with members of the same sex, to have sex with strangers at parties after getting to know their names and a little basic information, and to participate in a variety of other activities that I find equally dangerous to a person’s well-being. I am unsure what to expect at this meeting—I just request prayer that God help me to represent Him and the truth well; this includes being an active peace-maker.
For prayer requests—I would also request that people pray for our men’s small group. It is very small right now, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that everyone feels very open sharing what is really going on in their lives. It also means that with busy schedules it often ends up just being me and one other praying and talking. While this can also be good, I feel like we need to have a Sunday in which everyone who comes shows up so we can have a good time diving deep into the Bible study portion of the group with varied perspectives. I also would personally request prayer for my upcoming visit to SonRise Methodist Church in Pueblo West, Colorado. My aunt and uncle have invited me to come speak at their church; I will be both sharing a message and sharing information about opportunities to pray for and financially support me as a missionary back here. I would love prayer for both parts. God has used a similar version of this message powerfully before, and I would love to see Him speak through it again. I also would love to have more people praying for and financially supporting me as a missionary and the ministry itself here in Hays.
As always, I want to thank all of YOU who read through this newsletter, support us, and pray!