December & January

 Hello Friends!

    An end and a new beginning! The end of the first semester snuck up on me and then before I knew it the next one was beginning! In all the transition there has been much reflection, challenge, and hope that I am very excited to share with you all.

    Near the end of last semester I met a student who, in appearance, looked like she had no interest in speaking to me but when I asked if I could sit with her she responded eagerly and we ended up talking for an hour about our lives and God. She is a freshman who came from a complicated family dynamic and is struggling to understand God's character in the midst of that. I believe that our friendship is a gift from God that can help heal old wounds, give new visions of hope to her family, and introduce her to the complex but consistent goodness of God. What a grace that God let me speak to her and that we are now friends! If you all would be praying over her and students like her who are on college campuses, willing to be apart of godly friendships if we will simply invite them.

(The photo below is not of the girl mentioned above. This is another student who has been such a sweet friend to me these past few months!)

    Not long after this, finals came and went, students went on winter break, and apprentices set to preparing our mid year sermons. Part of our training as pastors is learning how to share our story and how to give sermons. Our first assignment was titled "My Gospel" where we were charged to give a 3 point sermon that shared what the gospel, the good news of Jesus, looks like in our lives specifically. This seems simple but it was SO HARD. With the number of good things that Jesus has done in my life and the meaningful truths He has taught me, I could've easily been on that stage all day trying to share them! Lucky we were only given 20 minutes. Though we were all nervous, each
apprentice did an amazing job sharing their story. If any of you would like to listen to those sermons here is the link! (My sermon is the very last one.)

   December ended in a flurry of holiday celebrations and too much dessert eating and then 

January was upon us! Right before school started up again, FOCUS staff got to attend a retreat where we spent a few days casting a vision for what the next semester could look like for each campus and reflecting on what God might be calling each of us to grow in. Please continue praying that we would be the hands and feet of Jesus as we meet new students and tend to the needs of those around us.
The photo above is from our staff Christmas party if you'd like to see the faces of the people you are praying for! Thank you for your prayers so far, they enable us to do powerful, Spirit lead ministry!

    Right before school started, we hosted our biggest event of the year, Winter Retreat! This is a time where all of our students from every FOCUS campus come together and spend 3 days in community- listening to sermons, spending time in worship, and having fun! I got to watch my core grow closer to each other and I got to be alongside them as they deepened their awareness of God. It truly was a
privilege to see this happen for so many students at once. (Below is a photo of our core)

    Please continue in prayer and petition for the girls in my core, a few of them are not yet Christians but they seem to be curious and aware of something bigger than themselves. I want them each to know "... how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that [they] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:18-19).

With much love and hope and gratitude, Katherine Daggett


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