Ministry Blog for March

Another Month Gone!

I hope y'all have been doing great with the beautiful spring weather coming in (which, unfortunately for me, includes spring allergies). Thanks again for taking the time to read what God has been doing in my life during the month of March and for your consistent support through finances and prayer.

If you missed last month's blog, I wanted to let you know that I have officially committed to staying on staff with SMU FOCUS for three years!! I will be the head women's pastor next year, which means a pretty big jump in responsibility and leadership.

 I have been so thankful for your kindness and support this past year and am excited to start the conversation about how you can continue to partner alongside me in my missions at SMU. 



A Look Into Our Leader Team

Our staff has been blessed so much by our student leaders this year!! These girls and guys volunteer around 10 hours a week to lead our small groups and do real pastoral ministry with their peers, which makes them the cog in the machine that runs our ministry. They all have such sweet hearts for Christ and are so willing to grow and learn in their own faith and how to minister to others around them. 

I especially have been so grateful for our girl leaders and the friendships we have grown this year; through our weekly leader meetings, our large group gatherings, and our outreach events, I have seen these girls love each other and myself deeply and shape each other to look like Jesus. 

Our weekly leader meetings include a time of sharing where God has been working in our lives, a time of reflection and worship, and a time of one of the senior staff guiding the group to think pastorally in different areas of our lives. 

One of our leader meetings where we got to celebrate the March birthdays!


These leader meetings have given me life and joy throughout the year and fill me with the hope that when we all come together, we can truly make a difference on campus through the gospel of Jesus.



A Memorable Spring Break

This year for spring break, I was able to take a group of SMU girls to Austin for a trip!! Because of the generosity of my parents, we were able to afford renting an Airbnb for three days in West Austin to spend time exploring the city and building deeper friendships with one another. 

In our adventures, we got to see the peacocks at Mayfield Park, walk along the trails of Barton Creek greenbelt, and see a beautiful sunset over Lake Travis.


Some sweet photos from our trip!

Here are the more chaotic photos, including me trying to kill like five mosquito hawks that got into our house


I really wanted to do this trip because as a student, I got to take a trip with some student leaders and a staff woman from FOCUS at UT Dallas that changed the way I viewed those relationships. These people that I work with are not just co-workers and the students are not just people to be discipled, but we are all sisters in Christ, having a deeper bond with each other than even with our own families. 

This trip gave me and the girls that came the opportunity to live life together for a couple of days, which, in a way, mirrored the way Jesus did ministry with his disciples. These are my friends and sisters in Christ, not just the people who I work with at arm's length. 

What was so amazing is that I got to see the results of the life-giving community that had already been built on the women's side before I got there; Ruth, one of our leaders, was baptized by Amber, the senior women's staff who has been her mentor and friend. We got to get in the freezing water of Barton creek and all take part in such a special moment in Ruth and Amber's lives and relationship. 

These are the moments that give me the inspiration and motivation to continue to do the work of Christ amidst the darkness on University campuses. Thank you again for your financial and spiritual support that makes moments like this possible!


Campus Outreach Week

In late March, we launched a week-long outreach initiative to stir up spiritual conversations on campus and to make connections with people interested in learning about or growing in Biblical faith. 

The week of events:

Monday, we had a multi-hour prayer session where students who volunteered to help plan created 30-minute activities to engage in praying for our campus in various ways. Our students did an amazing job with leading their prayer activities and we all felt God's presence as we lifted up our campus to Him.

 

Tuesday through Thursday, we did Campus Conversations, which consisted of having boards with thoughtful spiritual questions on it for students to interact with and put up their own answers. The goal of this was to start conversations with students on their experience with faith and spirituality and get them connected to our small groups if interested. 

Some of the questions we used:

Where do you find meaning and purpose in life?

If you could ask God a question, what would it be?

How can we be praying for you?

From these questions, the staff and students helping out had such amazing conversations and interactions with people! I heard from multiple people that they had never thought about these kinds of things, and so I'm excited to see what God does with the seeds we planted in their minds. 

Friday, we played volleyball on Dallas Hall lawn and got to invite people to join and hang out with us! I got to know a group of girls on the side who brought their cat on a leash to hang out outside (I was internally screaming from excitement the whole time).

Top: Our group at our Monday prayer meeting | Left: Me talking to someone at our Campus Conversations | Right: The cute cat I got to meet at volleyball on Friday!


While it was an exhausting week, it was so amazing to see how God worked through all of us and how receptive people were to opening up about the deeper things of life.

We also have had two girls come to our small group from outreach, which was so encouraging!



Fun Memories from the Month

Here I wanted to include some funny and sweet experiences I had throughout this month. Hope you enjoy!



Top left: For one of our after events after our large group gathering, we had a nerf war!! My expectations were honestly not high, but I had soo much fun being competitive and trying to beat the guys we were against. Me and Ruth were prepared to bring the heat!

Top right: I got to go to dinner to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday! His mom took us and his brother out to dinner for a really nice meal. I'm thankful to be dating him!

Bottom left: This photo makes me laugh because I was waiting for people to stop talking so that I could do announcements. The deadness in my eyes combined with Laura and Lexi talking in front of me makes it perfect.

Bottom right: Those same girls, Laura, and Lexi, sumo wrestled each other at an SMU event! It was just as entertaining as it sounds. 




Prayer Requests

-I would love prayer for the people we connected with from outreach. Pray that they either get to encounter God for the first time or get to grow in the faith they already have through getting involved with our community.  

-Also, I would be so grateful for prayer as I enter fundraising season! It's a time for me to trust in God's provision more directly, but it is still easy to have anxiety about it. So. please pray for peace and for God to provide!


As always, I would love to hear from you for life updates and prayer requests. Hope you have a great rest of April!

In Christ,

Siena





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