I know, I know…technically it is not the end of the year. But given what we do with college ministry, our lives are measured in semesters. So, for us, it is the end of the year, the school year that is.
Our team got together the end of last week for our spring planning. During spring planning, we talk about successes/praises/wins for the semester and we talk about improves/things that didn’t go well. We talk about we were are at our current campuses and dream about where we want to be next year at this time. We look at our prayer goals for this semester to see where we landed and we put prayer goals on paper that we will trust the Lord with for this next semester. We also talk about focuses for the fall, schools we want to go after, and what the first two weeks of campuses will look like.
It was super encouraging looking at how the Lord has grown our ministry this past year – changed lives, increased numbers, answered prayers, and spiritual growth. Just to give you a taste through the numbers (though I know numbers aren’t everything and aren’t always healthy indicators) – We went from 30 students at Fall Retreat to 62, 10 students at Encounter to 24, we went from 1 student at Nations Conference to 10, 1 student on a stateside project to 10, 0 short-term international laborers to 2, 15 decisions to trust Christ to 17, we went from 11 leaders to 25, 5 movements on campuses to 8, 16 engaged disciples to 38, 1 volunteer to 13, and 80 students involved in movements to 150. Praise the Lord for blessing our ministry – only through his grace and Him working does any of this happen!
And look at this cool visual – the first pic is a map of all the campuses we have been entrusted with to reach in Eastern NC (all the little tags – about 35 campuses), the second picture is showing everywhere we currently have movements as well as statistics about each (the bottom left is UNCP where we currently have 3 ministries and are looking at launching 2 more!).
Then, after all the planning, was celebration time! We headed down to North Myrtle Beach and spent a few days at this gorgeous beachfront condo relaxing with our team and celebrating how the Lord has moved (and trying not to think about being apart all summer or all that we have to do to get ready to leave for NYC). The part three years that we have done this, we have had bad beach weather – either rainy, cold, or both – so this year the weather was beautiful and we soaked it up.
We love our team, we love our family, and we love the beach, so this was a win, win, win!! Now we are home and busy tying up loose ends with campus, attending end of the year celebrations on campus, planning and getting things in place for the fall, meeting with current and potential ministry partners, evaluating new staff applicants, and planning for NYC summer project.