Holidays in the Park!
Hi friends and family! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post for the month! Ministry has truly been a sweet blessing, and it wouldn't be possible without your generosity.
Holidays in the Park
November was really dominated by our first large event of the year, Holidays in the Park. In a normal year, we would have multiple large events throughout the year, but because of COVID, we have to scale down on them pretty heavily and change how they're run and structured. Since we didn't get to do an event for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we decided to put them all together for a whole day of holiday fun and fellowship. We started off the day at a park in Richardson playing Halloween-themed games and even had a mask decorating contest. Throughout our time at the park, we had spiritual activities interspersed between park games like cornhole and ultimate frisbee. A favorite activity (at least for me) was the walk-and-talk where you pair up with someone else and just walk and talk. I walked with a student named Christian, and it was so encouraging to hear that God is revealing himself to others in so many unique ways.
A photo of Christian and I during our walk-and-talk courtesy of Sean Do. We were probably talking about science and math (just UTD things, you know?).
Later that evening, we moved to the Northeast Church to have a catered Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas devotional. It was so cool to see so many of our students together (for many, for the first time in a long time) even in the midst of a pandemic. The fellowship with each other was definitely a highlight for me, and I think it was for a lot of our students, too. Here are some pictures taken by our friend, Sean Do! He killed it!
A group of us just chillin' and watching the others be athletic.
If a student didn't bring their dog to park day, was it really a park day?
We also had ornaments for the students to decorate!
This picture and the next couple are from our Christmas devotional. We sang some Christmas songs and finished the night with sparklers and "All Glory be to Christ" (the better version of "Auld Lang Syne", which I didn't know the name of until this event).
Keep FOCUS Growing
Every year, FOCUS puts on a fundraiser called Keep FOCUS Growing (KFG) to raise support for expenses that your donations don't cover, like administrative expenses and expenses that help put on events like Holidays in the Park. Before Giving Tuesday, we gave our students a giving goal of $8,000 over all the campuses, and they raised over $10,000! Some generous donors matched $8,000 of that total to give a total of over $18,000. On Giving Tuesday alone, we raised over $100,000! God has been so generous to our ministry this year through donors like you.
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas. Talk to y'all again in 2021!