The past two weeks can only be explained as a God thing. I've had staff & faculty express how happy they are to see a BSM come to LoneStar (cause they've experienced a BSM elsewhere). I've met so many students how seem hungry for a Christian student organization like BSM on our local campus. Doors & relationship seem open & ready! I feel like God is up to something on our campuses... & I'm excited to see what He does!
WELCOME WEEK TOTALS (August 30-Sept.8th):
1) BSM gave out 450 (out of 451) Survival Kits (provided by a local church partner).
2) BSM yielded 133 names & contact info from students interested in BSM.
3) 48 students expressed interest in being involved in an on campus (student led) weekly Bible Study.
4) 29 students asked for an opportunity to sit down with someone & talk about their spiritual/faith questions,
5) 12 students asked for help finding a local church.
6) Monty the Maverick stopped by BSM events TWICE! He seems to be a BSM fan & we'll take his endorsement!
BSM Montgomery DOES NOT EXIST WITHOUT YOUR FUNDING so YOUR PARTNERSHIP is greatly appreciate!
Not a partner of BSM yet? Consider becoming one today!
I want to share with you some of the things God has been doing that has given me confirmation that I'm right where he wants me. I mean you may be saying, "Come on, Tamara, with your 20 experience working with college students, your education, your love to see college students know God deeper, your personality, & your giftings... it's a no brainer! YOU are supposed to do THIS!" I get that, but personally, I needed convincing.
I'm a person who despises CHANGE! So during May I was not excited about an obvious job change headed my way. I told my hubby that I could just get a "real" job... but in the back of my head I heard that annoying whisper from the Holy Spirit saying, "Um, No. I have plans for you."
FEELING DRAGGED ALONG...
You might have heard me say that "I've felt dragged (or pushed) throughout this process," & wonder what I mean by that. One of the things I was able to accomplish in my previous job was to plant the seed of BSM on our local campus. That's never something that I would have done on my own. But when my job ended I couldn't understand why God would allow that to happen ('cause it was hard work) & then ask me to leave it un-nurtured. Through conversations with Bruce McGowan (State TXBSM Director) about options moving forward, he asked me to consider becoming a Texas Baptist Missionary & raising my personal salary to continue the work. My immediate response was, "OK!" But the more I thought about it the less I wanted to do it.
A SERIES OF DOORS
God has asked me to walk through a series of doors this summer. To which my response to each has been "Ok, but if I don't like what's on the other side of the door, I'm OUT!" So He gets me through each door & provides a reason for me to stick around until He points to the next door, & the next, & the next... He keeps me there by answering my prayers. My prayer in June went like this, "Ok, God. I'm here. But you know I've been thinking about Welcome Week & I've got NO BUDGET. So you're gonna need to provide that." In July he provided 441 Survival Kits through a local VBS (read more). He's also provided a local church partner who wanted to merge an existing college ministry with the BSM. Part of that conversation was, "Oh, we usually rent a mechanical bull during the first week of class, can we just make that a BSM event?"
I'M ALL IN...
Throughout the summer God has continued to open doors, provide partners, and show that he is on the move on Montgomery County college campuses until one day, I had friends take me to lunch & partner with me in a way that I clearly felt God saying (as he's pushing ALL HIS CHIPS across the table), "I'm all in, Tamara. How 'bout you?" It was at that moment that I finally said, OK. I'm in. Let's do this.
LESS IS MORE...
I could tell you story after story of ways that God has proven to me that he's up to something on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. Believe me that I'm not asking for clarification any more. In fact, I've never in my 20 years in collegiate work experience anything like this summer. I've never had less money, less salary, less preparation, less of whatever you name... but felt more prepared for school. But that's not to mean that we don't need you to give. Would you consider supporting Tamara's monthly salary? I believe God has me here for "Such a time as THIS" but I cannot do what I do without you.
I have to admit that I have some mixed feelings about the first day of classes and Welcome Week next week! While I wake up each morning excited about what I see God doing among the 14,000 students in Montgomery County Texas, I have to also admit that I know what Moses felt like when he told Yahweh he couldn't lead God's people. It's an inadequate feeling that somehow I'm gonna mess this up or no ones gonna listen to me. So on one hand, I'm admitting I'm human and scared to death about the first of school. On the other hand, I'm completely encourage by the ministry partners standing with me - YOU. Your endorsement and commitment to support me adds an element to ministry that I haven't experience prior in my 20 years of ministry. Yes, I've work for two state conventions and the national convention, which in itself gave me the endorsement of all the Baptist churches in that state (or nation). But having personal partners like YOU, committed to ME adds a level of confidence and your face, which I haven't had in the past. It also helps me get out of bed each morning and get to campus, it encourages me get to do what God has gifted me to do - invest in the spiritual lives of college students.
I APPRECIATE YOUR PARTNERSHIP & LITERALLY COULDN'T DO BSM WITHOUT YOU!
is a Texas Baptist Missionary, raising 100% of her salary to serve on the college campuses in Montgomery County, Texas. She holds a Master of Divinity & has been in college ministry since 1996.