January 2023 Ministry Life!

 The beginning of this semester has been a whirlwind for sure! January is probably one of my favorite months. For starters, my birthday is in January 😉,  but it's also such a refreshing start to a new semester of ministry! FOCUS puts on an annual retreat where all 13 campuses drive to a campsite and stay there for 4 days worshipping, listening to sermons, meeting old and new friends, and having a grand ole time. I personally have always found Winter Retreat to be one of my favorite things that this ministry does. I constantly see people break out of their shells, cores grow closer together, and we get to live in the country for a moment together. It's a great kickstart to the new year. Here's the Arlington Crew! From all the campuses, there were around 500 people. CRAZY

I hope everyone was okay in the freeze! Most of my girls were calling that a snow break, which I find funny since we were definitely in the middle of a storm. It was nice staying in and getting work done from home though, and honestly, I was able to do most everything I needed to get done online. So, that was great. But here's a picture of me trying to go visit my friends who live in my apartment complex. I didn't last 10 minutes outside before having to retreat. I'm convinced we didn't get any snow; it was only solid ice out there. 

And finally, I mentioned earlier that I had my birthday this month (Thank you for all the happy wishes!). I haven't had a "Birthday party" in years, and I thought it would be fun to spend time with both family and friends. I invited a ton of people from this ministry and some out of it too, and everyone drive out to Azle to my parents house. I got to show some of them the property, and then everyone stayed awhile and played games, ate food, and shared sweet memories with one another. It really was so heart warming to see so many people I care for in one place, and I felt so loved that these students, coworkers, and friends came out here. Here's a picture my roommate, Bailey, snagged while we were about to start a big game of Nertz. 

There have been so many good things to say about this month. I've seen girls start to be more vulnerable with one another, be open to godly advice, and really strive to look more like Jesus in their lives. I'm really proud of all of them, and I'm excited to continue on into February! 


Things you can be praying for

  • There is a girl I've befriended who is very adverse to God, and yet she likes spending time with me. We talk about all sorts of things, including spiritual; however, I'm also trying to show her that she can trust me as someone who cares about her. Could you be praying for her? That there's healing from the hurt she's had from Christians, and that she starts to see who Jesus actually is?
  • It's become evident that so many people in our ministry are not happy being single. I've thought about singleness so much lately, and I truly believe that it's a gift and there can be real joy while being single. I've seen there be pressure to be in a relationship/married in order to have a full life, and I don't believe that's true. Jesus says that He offers true, real, good life. Please be praying that as I minister to these women, that they start to see that a relationship doesn't mean that they have "succeeded." I'm not sure if any of you have thoughts on this topic, but I'd love to talk to you about it if you'd like:)
  • Our UTA Focus team started an sermon series for our students that's going to last the entire semester. We're preaching on the books of the Old Testament because, more and more, we've seen students afraid to read the Old Testament out of fear, boredom, or wrong assumptions of what it teaches. Could you be praying that our pastoral team will be able to preach in a way that accurately shows the truth and necessity of the Old Testament?

Thank you for everything!
-Emily Turner


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