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CTF is off to a great start this year!

I’m so excited about where our students are and where they are headed. I’ve seen so much growth in them and really see them taking on God’s plan for their life and making steps towards being more like Jesus to their school and peers.

Our theme for the semester has been “Taste and See” from Psalm 34 where David says “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” We’ve been singing the Psalm 34 Shane and Shane song to keep that fresh on our minds. Our goal in this theme has been to encourage each student to reach out and experience God on their own. We want our students to really know God, not just do Christian activities. Our goal has been to push them to seek God not only at CTF on Wednesdays but on their own in their everyday life; to taste of God, and to see how good God really is.

Wednesday nights this year have been our largest meetings we’ve ever had! We continue to see new students every week, and new students are choosing to come back. We have also become much more diverse as a ministry, really in every way: in regards to race, interests, style, age, etc. This has been a big prayer for our ministry because we don’t want to be only one type of student. The Kingdom of God is diverse and all people are represented there and unified together under Christ. We want to reflect that as one of his communities in Wylie and are so glad he is answering our prayer!

In addition, we started our JT (Jesus Together) small groups this past week. Those are gender and age specific and led by our youth workers. We want each student in our community to feel seen, heard, and personally ministered to; and JT is one way we make sure that happens. We want them to know they aren’t alone but that they have people to pursue Jesus with, and they can all do that together. We also do these to encourage greater depth in peer and mentor relationships, and to encourage deeper thought and conversation as well. One of our senior guys came up to me at camp and just thanked me for JT Groups. We started those when he was a freshman and he just told me how that was the moment that everything really changed for his friend group. That at that point it wasn’t just about fun and games and going to church together but it’s really where they learned how to take their friendships to a deeper level and encourage each other spiritually. And man, I could easily write a whole page on that group of guys and how God is working and moving in them, and what a neat friend group that is!

We’ve also had 5 baptisms in the last 2 months!

One specific way I’ve seen growth in our students this semester has been in their relationships. One thing we have worked to teach our students is just how to be a godly friend and have godly relationships. The biggest hindrance we see to that, especially at their age, but really across all ages, is an unwillingness to handle conflict, an unwillingness to admit faults, and an unwillingness to forgive and extend grace. Love, forgiveness, and restoration is so much at the heart of Jesus, and sadly too often not the heart of Christians. Jesus said it was by their love for each other that people would recognize his disciples. We’ve determined that as a ministry if there’s one thing we get right, it’s gotta be that!

And I have been so encouraged and so thankful to see that taking strong root in our students.

I could tell you multiple stories of students seeking out conflict resolution this semester; setting up time to speak with a friend they have a conflict with, initiating a conversation just to be honest and clear up any confusion, reaching out to others who they have wronged and asking for forgiveness, extending undeserved grace and forgiveness to those who have wronged them. Relationships that would have been lost forever, bitterness held for years to come, all wiped out and restored by being humble and choosing restoration and Jesus’ way over their pride and even fear.

Another cool story of one of our students being a godly friend…
One of our students was really concerned about one of her friends who had started getting involved in partying and things of that sort. Instead of standing back and watching it happen, she got advice from one of her youth workers and brought up a conversation about that with her friend. She was able to express concern and point her to Jesus. She also gave her a journal where she wrote on different pages things she learned at camp and other bible verses. Her friend has since been using that journal to spend time with God and grow closer to him. That conversation, which took such boldness, confidence, and love from her friend, turned her life around and she has since stopped partying and sought mentorship in our ministry.

I hope you realize how rare these things are and that they truly are the mark of Jesus and his Spirit at work in these teens! God is so good and so faithful, please join us in thanking him for these things and in asking him for more of it!

I also want to remind each of you that have a teen in our ministry that we are here to partner with you! We want what is best for you and your kids, so please reach out if there’s anything we can help with or if you want to talk about anything. We want to hear from you and get to know you! And personally, I would love to grab coffee and chat with as many of you as are up for it! Please reach out to me if you’d like to get together or chat on the phone sometime!

Much love,
Brianna Marble
469.222.4944
brianna@anyfocus.org

THINGS COMING UP!

10/16 – 6 – 7 every Wednesday – Life in Jesus Class Starts
10/23 – 7:15 – 8:45 – Songs and Smores at Community Park
11/2 – 6:30 – 8:30 – Pin Stack
11/20 – 7:15 – 8:45 – CTF Friendsgiving at 100 W Oak

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR 2020!

1/3 – 1/5 – CTF Winter Weekend
7/19 – 7/24 – CTF Camp in Sacramento, NM

GET ADDED TO OUR NEW TEXT LIST BY
TEXTING “CTF” TO “50597”