Sunday, May 7, 2017

May Ministry Updates

Summer is coming!


This is my last month of the FOCUS apprenticeship, it’s crazy how this school just flew by.  I’m overwhelmed by the many things God has taught be during this apprenticeship and the impact they will have in my ministry. It’s been such an honor getting to do His work at UTD and Richland this year, and I’m already looking forward to next school year. I still have a couple of weeks left of the apprenticeship, I will be share with you next month about some of the things I have learned and how I saw God at work in our ministries.

After the crazy busy month of March, April was very relaxed. This month tends to be the busiest and most stressful for our students, due to finals, but we made sure to finish well and celebrate the end of another school year. Here are some of my favorite things that happened this past month.


Friday Night Fellowship: For our last FNF we had an open mic night, we encouraged students in our community to come and answer the following “how have you seen God work in yourself and others this year in our community”. This was one of the sweetest focus nights for me, I loved getting to hear from so many of our students. Student after student shared about how through this community they had found friends that loved, challenged, and encouraged them. There were so many moments I was teary-eyed because of all the work God is doing. I encourage you to take the time to listen to some of these stories, you can listen to it here.


Wednesday Morning Fellowship: We also had our last Richland Focus meeting and our sweet little family got to eat together, laugh, and play games. We also took time to share encouraging words to one another and I felt the love by so many of our students. We then gave our students a note card and asked them to write out their personal vision for Richland Focus for next Fall. I kept these notes and was encouraged for the students visions. A note from one of our students said the following.

"My vision for Richland Focus is that it would be a place where people are loved when they are angry, sad, or feeling suicidal, and are still able to show up anyway. I want people to feel the life of God and show up as much as possible and simply try to be active here, and sacrifice things for this to take place."


SICM: This week I hop on a plane with over 80 students to attend the Student Institute of Campus Ministry in Washington state. I had the opportunity to attend SICM as a student, it not only trained me how to lead at my campus, but it encouraged me to learn more about Jesus’ teaching style. I’m so excited to get to attend SICM again and for the students that get to experience it this year. Please be praying for safe travels and that this week would impact the hearts of the students attending.


Thank You so much for being part of my team! You are all such a blessing me and to this ministry. As always, let me know how I can be praying for you.


Our good looking 2017-2017 FOCUS staff.

These are corefas I met up with every week this past year, I love them!


Our Richland leader team, I sure do love these weirdos.

Some of our Richland core girls! 
This month, my sweet niece Zoe was born. She is so cute and so loved already! 



This is whom I lead core with at Richland!





Tuesday, April 4, 2017




Hi Friends!



I can’t believe April is already here, so much happened this past month and I’m so excited to get to share the cool things the Lord has been up to.


Spring Showcase


Thank you all that were able to come to Spring Showcase this past weekend to help send our students to SICM this May! I mentioned in my last blog how each year we invite several students from our ministries to a ministry conference in Washington state, Spring Showcase is our annual fundraiser to cover all expenses to send our students on this conference. This year we are sending over 80 students to this conference and Spring Showcase helped with getting the funds to do that!


We are excited to send this group of potential leaders to SICM, as this conference approaches please be praying that the Lord will use this week-long training to get all of the students attending excited about campus ministry!

Spring Showcase was so fun, so many incredible performances and art from talented people in our community, here are some pictures from the night. If you didn't get to come to the show and you are interested in giving you still can here.

My sweet Ana and friends performing Proud Mary. Such a fun performance! PC: Sean Do


This group performed Trashin' the Camp from the movie Tarzan. I was so excited that this was happening on stage! 



Student Spring Impact (SSI)


Each year we have a group of students from Washington that come to Texas during Spring Break to do outreach at our campuses. We had a group of 12 come this year to our Dallas campuses, and every day from 11-5 they engaged students in spiritual conversation. During the week we would send people out and pairs and they would go up to students asking them for prayer or just getting to know them. I was so encouraged to see new faces come and play games with our ministry.

Here is our Washington SSI team! :)



Sharing outreach stories that happened during SSI at Richland :)

Doing outreach and playing four-square at UTD



Spring Break


This year I got to visit New Orleans with some of my girlfriends, I had never been to Louisiana and it was so cool getting to spend a couple of days exploring the city and eating good food. During our time there we got to visit the Whitney Plantation and learn about a German immigrant family and the slaves they brought with them. Getting to visit this plantation was so eye-opening and emotional, it was very touching getting to take a small glimpse of this time in history and the lives of many that were oppressed.


Prayers
  • The end of the semester is approaching. Please be praying our students finish well in their classes, core and 1:1’s. It’s easy to lose steam at this point of the school year be praying that they don’t lose stamina. 

  • My brother and sister-in- law will are welcoming a baby girl this month. Pray for both of them and baby Zoe, that we have a healthy baby and healthy mom as the due date approaches and after. We are so excited to have a new member to our family. I’m especially thrilled to get to be an aunt! 

Thank you for your prayers and support! You have such an important role in what God is doing at UTD and Richland and I am thankful for your partnership.

Your sister,

Sandra Salvador

Sunday, March 5, 2017


March is here,

Which means my monthly ministry update is also here! Friends, we are almost halfway through the Spring semester, it is insane how quickly the days are flying by but this doesn’t mean we have lost momentum. God is still working on our Dallas campuses and I’m so excited for what He has in store this next couple of months. Here are a few cool things that have been going on in my ministry!


Pizza Theology

Each semester as a ministry we have a four hour event to discuss a topic meant to encourage our students to think deeper about an often difficult or challenging subject. This semester we talked about Race. There’s no doubt that so much of our current news has been centered around the topic of race so for that night we got to hear from our staff (who prepared hours of material) and talked about race in the church and race in the world. We also got to hear from students and alumni as they shared their experiences being there race growing up and in how they feel being part of our community. This topic can be sensitive and getting to hear our students be so vulnerable as they share their experiences ministered to so many including myself. I encourage you all to listen to this talk, you will be so blessed. I wrote out a testimony to share that night, e-mail me if you’re interested in reading it. You can find the lecture here.



Richland

This semester I have been co-leading a ladies small group at Richland and it has become one of my favorite things of the week. We have been reading and discussing through the book of Philippians and in our discussions we have been sharing about identities and how we sometimes put all of the ways the world defines us before we choose the identity God has given us. Our girls have been so open in what they share and open to giving those up for Christ. Continue lifting up in prayer our women's core, our men’s core and our Wednesday morning fellowship meetings.

SSI

Each year we have a group of students from a sister ministry in Washington state that come down to Texas during their Spring Break to do campus outreach at our campuses. Be praying that during that week of outreach our students have open hearts and minds for spiritual conversations. Pray for safe travels for the students that will be coming from Washington.

Spring Showcase
Our annual Spring Showcase SICM fundraiser is happening April 1st! This concert and art show is an event that makes it possible for us to send a group of FOCUS students to the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM), which is the week-long ministry training program put on by our friends at CCF in Washington. You can get your tickets and find additional details at here. We will have very talented people performing and selling their artwork! Everyone is invited—–you won’t want to miss this! Hope to see you there! Here's a teaser video.



Monthly Testimony
This month's student testimony is from one of our students from the UTA FOCUS ministry. You can also listen to her share her testimony in the Pizza Theology audio. :)

In other news
My apprenticeship will be ending and the end of May and I have been offered an amazing opportunity to continue being on FOCUS staff after May. I love campus ministry a whole lot and I’m excited that this gets to be my job. I ask that you be in prayer during this time to consider continuing supporting me as a campus minister. I am incredibly thankful for your support and your prayers.

As always feel free to email me any prayer requests.


With so much love,

Sandra.

Friday, February 3, 2017



Howdy Friends!

The month of January has been so fun and God-filled, I’m excited to let you in on all the cool things that are happening in our ministry.

Winter Camp

This past month we had our annual Winter Camp at Sky Ranch, this is a weekend for all our FOCUS ministries to come together and worship, learn and have fun as a community. This year was a blast and we had over 600 people attend, thank you so much for your prayers! This camp we got to hear from different staff in our community and they got to speak to our students about topics such as the remnant, the family of God, the temple of God, work and vocation and more. All through the weekend and coming back from camp I kept hearing how blessed our students felt by certain messages. We are truly so blessed to have people in our community that are not just talented speakers but people who live their lives fully for Jesus.

This weekend was such a blessing to me as well. I got to spend more time with girls from our Richland ministry (one of the campuses I work at), I got to see some of my favorite people from UNT and other campuses as well, I also got to rejuvenate before heading back to our college campuses.

If you are interested in listening to our sermons from the weekend, click the link here. You will be so blessed!





All of our students that attended Winter Camp! :)
Worship at Winter Camp! 




























Richland
This semester I will be co-leading a core (our small group) at Richland with one of our student leaders. I’m so excited to be more involved in our women’s ministry this school year and also I just love getting to be part of core! This campus is not always the easiest when it comes to getting people excited about Jesus but we have had several student that have been coming consistently and faithfully. Be praying that God will open up doors to get more involved on this campus and that students will have open minds and open hearts to the Gospel.

Richland College at Winter Camp






















UTD
With a start of a new semester we had a rush of transfer students, we have had new people come visit our Friday night fellowship nights and our cores. Be praying that these students go wherever God is calling them even if is isn’t our campus ministry!


Here are some things to be praying for

  • Weddings, wedding, weddings - many couples in our community are getting hitched this month, please be praying for these couples in their soon to be marriages.
  • A girl I meet up with weekly named Melissa is graduating soon and currently internship/job hunting, be praying that God opens doors and to make this process as stress-free as possible.
  • Pizza Theology, this semester we will be having a five hour seminar titled “Let’s Talk About Race” with all the tension that surrounds this topic, as our staff prepares for this talk, be praying that we speak Godly truths and challenges to our community. I’m looking forward to this talk and would love to invite you to attend. More info and sign-up here https://anyfocus.org/events/pizza/ .

Here is our student testimony by one our UTD student leaders.



I seriously can not thank you enough for your faithfulness and support to me and this ministry. I hope that you feel encouraged by the work God is doing on all of our campuses. There are so many stories for me to write about, so don’t hesitate to call me or e-mail me to chat even more. As always, if there is anything I can be praying for let me know!

With Love,

Sandra

Tuesday, January 10, 2017



Happy new year to you!


An entire semester of working at UTD and Richland has flown by quickly! Thanks a ton for your prayers and support this past year and I’m so excited for God has in store for our campuses this 2017. Getting to do campus ministry full-time could not have been possible if it wasn’t for your faithfulness to God’s mission.

Here is how we wrapped 2016 and other cool things!

DALLAS CHRISTMAS PARTY


One of my favorite events that we as a staff put together for our students is the Christmas party. This year we decided to take it back and have A Very 80s Christmas!  Such a fun-filled night of laughter, MTV, Lunchables and Twister! This event happened before our students were slammed with their finals so it was a good way to relax before exams.

Some of the UTD gals at the Christmas party! 



INTERN PARTY

Because there can never been too many Christmas parties had to have one with the other interns. This past semester one of the cool things about getting to do the apprenticeship is the special bond you form with the other apprentices. We take classes together, grow in our faith, cry together (good cry) and form deep spiritual friendships with the group. Before our Christmas break, we decided to have a party and do a secret Santa gift exchange.

Posing with our gifts! 


STAFF RETREAT


After Christmas and New Years break with family and friends, 2017 started with an all staff retreat in which we spent time reflecting about the book we read during the break called The Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning. Getting to read this book has truly impacted by walk with God and I know will continue to bless me this Spring semester. You should read it! In a chapter of the book called Fools for Christ I was challenged to look at my life and the ways I don’t look different from the rest of the world because I choose to adapt. In the chapter Manning says:


“Christians will merely adapt to the secular environment in a tragic distortion of the gospel, in which the words of Jesus are reinterpreted to mean anything, everything and nothing.”


WINTER CAMP


This weekend from the 13th-16th all of our FOCUS campuses will be heading to Sky Ranch in Van, TX for our annual Winter Camp! This is a time in which our students get to worship, grow as disciples, play games all together. Please be praying for safe travels, that our students get to experience the work of the Spirit this weekend, that their love for God would increase, that they make best-friends and they have just a good attitude! For me Winter Camp is where I decided to take my faith seriously and live out the Gospel, pray that our students will open their hearts to that this weekend!

Here's a picture of my Winter Camp ever back in 2011! 


STUDENT TESTIMONY

This months student testimony is from my sweet friend Chiazo. I got to do ministry with Chiazo at UNT for a few years, I'm so honored to call her my friend and sister.




Again, I’m so thankful for you! I pray that the new year brings you so many blessings, that you learn more, that you love and feel loved more and so much laughter!

With Love,

Sandy

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Ministry Updates



Greetings,

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's finally cold in Texas, Christmas is just around the corner and my first semester as a FOCUS Apprentice is coming to an end. November was such a fun and busy month and these are some of the few things God has been up to in our ministry and in my life!


Keep FOCUS Growing

Each year we have a fundraising campaign to keep our campus ministry growing and to help prepare ourselves to go wherever it is the Lord may be calling us! The money from this campaign has helped start our ministries and help provide more resources for our students as well. Our goal for this season is to raise $55,000. Because of the generosity of people I was so blessed to be part of FOCUS as a student and know the huge impact of it. Please consider making a donation to continue doing kingdom work on our DFW Campuses. anyfocus.org/next20 

Pizza Theology
Once a semester we have an event called Pizza Theology, this is a time where we dive into a theological or social topic of some sort. All of our FOCUS campuses come together to learn for five hours and eat pizza together. It's always such a blast getting to do this, because who doesn't love learning? This semesters topic was "Hearing God's Voice in the Modern Age" a subject that came at such a great time in my life. Getting some time alone and in silence with God can often be a challenge for me for several reasons but after this event I made some goals for myself to spend time with Him talking and being more aware of His goodness.

Our students at Pizza Theology! 


Ministry at UTD/Richland College

God has been doing incredible things in our Dallas ministries. With the end of the semester approaching I have been reflecting on what God has been doing in our students lives and what a joy it is to get to be part of that! At Richland for two weeks in a row we asked our students questions about Jesus and Politics and getting to engage and hear our students voices was such a blessing. Through these conversations I'm getting to know the needs of that community and God is definitely at work! 

Some of our Richland College Alumni and Current Students at a friends wedding! :) 


What to be in prayer for 
  • Finals are starting and our students are stressed and overwhelmed. Pray that they are able to finish the semester strong and get the necessary rest! 
  • For our Keep FOCUS growing initiative and that we quickly reach our goal of $55,000! 
  • Holidays, pray that our students have a fun and good homes to spend the holidays and that they are able to rest before the start of the Spring semester. 
  • Winter Camp, the beginning of our Spring semester starts with a four day camp that brings all of our FOCUS ministries together for a time of learning, worship and fellowship! This is one of the best events of the school year! 

Thanks!

For your prayers, support and love. I am so incredibly thankful for you and your support for campus ministry. As Christmas approaches I wanted to leave you with a poem from an advent devotional I have been doing. Here's a link to all of them if you want to check it out http://ccca.biola.edu/advent/

With love, wishing you the merriest of Christmases! 

Sandra Salvador

The Disarming Child
by Charlie Lowell

Helpless and human
Diety in the dirt,
Spirit married with flesh
We couldn’t make it to you,
But you come to us.

You always come to us.
In our stubbornness and desire,
Entitlement and shame
Remind us that we need you,
Merge your untamed Spirit with our flesh.

We try to forget those
Years of wandering.
Shackles and masters,
An eternity of doubting
And still, you come to us.

A divine intrusion
Through our scheming and chaos-
Coats of armor, angels and armies.
Do some wrecking here,
And gently come to us.

Disturb us this day
Through sorrow and through dancing,
The bliss of joy and sting of death
Past hands that would threaten and tear,
You come to us extravagantly.

From your manger lowly,
Mighty and mysterious
You come to us, Seed of Heaven
Spirit wed with flesh,
These broken hearts to mend.