This summer I'm planning the BSM 2019-2020 school year & I'm excited about what God will do in the lives of local college students this coming year! Please begin praying NOW for opportunities for BSM staff & student leaders to walk beside students as they take their first step or next step on their faith journey.
In December, John sent me a message to tell me that he started the Fall as a Universalist, not believing there was a god. But because of our FREE FOOD he came and listened to our conversations about spirituals / faith questions. It was through those conversations over lunch that he decided to believe in God. He further told me that he was unable to attend lunch in the spring and would be transferring in the fall of 2019. But he wanted me to know that he was on the journey of getting to know WHO this God was.
Allie is a deaf student who reads lips. She regularly attended to BSM Free Lunch during 2018-2019. She often struggled to connect because she won't respond verbally. When I've engaged her in conversation she usually types her responses on her phone (which can take a while) or respond to yes/no questions. Near the end of the spring semester she hung around after lunch, approached me, and handed me her phone to read with tears in her eyes. Her message read "my little brother was killed." Through a series of yes/no questions I learned that he was killed accidentally earlier that week. Although I was never really sure how he was killed I was confident that Allie was in pain and needed comfort. So I asked if I could hug her and offer a prayer for her and her family.
Both stories reminded me of two words that keep coming up for me this year - REMAIN FAITHFUL. Faithful because: 1) on a community college campus our investment into a life can often only be for a few months. 2) "each person (in your ministry) sits next to their own pool of tears." Sometimes, God "pulls back the curtain" allowing a glimpse of what He has been up to but most of the time he expects FAITHFUL SERVICE to the journey and ministry to which he has called.
What an honor it is to have a front row seat to all that God does in the lives of local college students. What a fantastic year! Thank you to all our volunteers and our local church partners. Looking forward to 2019-2020!
It dawned on me that Spring '19 will be over in a few weeks! The Spring has gone so fast partly because I've been on campus twice as much each week (see related prayer request below), which mean I've had less time to devote to updating you but let me assure you that Yahweh has been at work on our local campus. As I reflect on our Spring allow me to hit the highlights for you:
1) our Ask the Pastor event when we had a panel of three local pastors and a wonderful conversation with local college students regarding their personal faith questions.
2) the Free Lunch about "What Really Matters: Weakness over Strength" where we talked about the paradox of a life of faith is that we often experience His strength only in our times of greatest weakness. Only to have Rose (a self proclaimed skeptic and seeker of faith related things) remark that that sounds like we were happy to be depressed. Which sparked a great conversation and discussion of the Gospel.
3) when I met Cody after the Free Lunch topic about How to manage our money in the way that would please God (& practical tips). Cody revealed he did not grow up with faith but is interested in spiritual things and adding faith to his life.
4) praying with Allie after lunch because her brother was recently killed accidentally. A great conversation - outside her comfort zone as she communicates through typing due to a speech impediment.
5) our last leaders meeting of 18-19 when our student leaders realized that it was almost over. They typically rush away after our planning meeting but on April 4th they just sat and enjoyed each others company. Laughing and telling stories about our year together. An answer to our pray from summer 2018 - for students to bond together into a group and become leaders.
6) our student leaders wanting to take the next step on their faith journey who came up with the idea for our "How To" series on the Third Thursday's of each month - How do I: share my faith, study scripture, pray.
7) the students that took the BSM Bible Challenge to read scripture together during the February (John) & March (Romans). Many students reading scripture on their own for the very first time, failing, finding out how difficult it can be, and encouraging one another to continue.
There's many more moments and student stories... but you get the idea, it was a great Spring to be on campus and part of what God is doing in the lives of local college students.
1) for students mentioned above - that God will draw them close to himself as well as work in their lives and situations.
2) for BSM 2019-2020 and as our staff pray for and plan..
3) for our wonderful volunteers that make so much of what we do possible & allows Tamara to focus on what she does well.
4) for student leaders for 2019-2020 to rise up, bond, and lead in creative ways next year.
5) for financial provision for Tamara, who has been moved to spend more time on campus and less time trying to "make up" her salary with odd jobs. If you feel led to support her ministry on campus, please know what your donation will be tax deductible through Texas Baptists.
We are grateful to ALL our BSM church partners! Without our partners local ministry would not be possible. How can YOU eencourage your church members to pray for, engage, even financially support the ministry to local college students? (Please keep in mind BSM staff raises 100% of their salary to be on campus).
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Jonathan, Tamara, Joshua, & Micah
(Picture courtesy of Tamara's Camera.)
I met "Jay" @ the BSM Welcome Week event this fall & he never missed a Free Lunch. He Snapchatted me a few moments ago to tell me, "I started the fall as an existentialist and last week I chose to believe in God." From his comments it's obvious that he's still trying to figure out WHO that God is. Would you please PRAY for Jay:
WOW! It's hard to believe that the BSM fall 2018 semester has come to a close! This semester far exceeded my own plans:
Please continue to PRAY for BSM, our staff, & our students.
Below are a few pictures from the Fall 2018 semester!
The last student planned event on campus this Fall was a simple event that included coffee, engaging Spiritual conversations through Soularium, and offering prayer. It was a BIG HIT! Lots of great spiritual conversations and new friends!
A few weeks ago a Sunday School Class @ my church gave the BSM funding to purchase Bibles to give way on campus. Today @ BSM FREE LUNCH we discussed “What’s so important about the Bible?” with 51 of our closest friends while enjoying pizza brought by our dear friends @ Alana Lane Baptist Church. Our friends James & Kara was back. After a great conversation about what Scripture says about itself, Tamara’s Tips on reading Scripture regularly, & what to ask yourself as you’re reading Scripture I ended with “If you don’t have a Bible of your own, come find me after lunch … I had the pleasure of giving TWO Bibles to two students. One who said, “I just told my husband that I wanted to buy a Bible but didn’t know where to buy one or what kind to buy.” These two ladies are friends and said they were going to call each other & hold each other accountable to reading Scripture. I also gave them my cell # & told them to text me if they have questions as they read through John together.
PRAY that God uses His Word to deep the spiritual journey of each of these ladies.
is a Texas Baptist Missionary, raising 100% of her salary to serve on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. This blog is an effort to keep you posted with what's happening on campus monthly. Please consider becoming one of Tamara's financial partners (of course it's tax deductible).