the joy of January

Yep, January is done. It has been a whirlwind of a start to the semester, naturally.  I came back from the break restored, rejuvenated, and re-invigorated to bring Christ to the students of WVU any way I can! It was awesome to come back to a familiar place with familiar faces, and I really enjoyed catching up with the students and hearing about their break.

The 3 of us missionaries kicked off the first week with a day full of meetings to prep for everything we could think of. We re-vamped our morning prayer schedules to include a “traveling morning prayer” day. Getting students to the church for morning prayer wasn’t working out so well, so we decided to take morning prayer to the students! Each Thursday at 7:30am, we have ‘prayer & panckaes’ hosted by different students at their house. Since many of the students involved in the Newman Center live in the same area of town, the houses are within easy walking distance of each other. So far, it’s been a great success! Another new aspect of our outreach this semester is to have a bi-weekly night of worship. It will begin next Thursday and I’m very excited about getting it started. Worshiping the Lord in song is one of my favorite forms of prayer, and I can’t wait to share a whole evening with the students praising our God! We also realized the need to have something happen after the 6:30pm Mass on Sunday. The church is always jam-packed full of students, which is awesome! However, we are pretty sure most of them don’t know each-other (based on our observations last semester) and as soon as Mass is over, they head out the church doors and disappear! So, every Sunday we are cooking a spaghetti dinner and inviting them to come eat and meet new people after Mass. This past Sunday was our first go, and it was a blast. There were so many new faces and we had a great time. Since next week is Superbowl Sunday, we’re hoping they’ll stick around to watch the game – so we’re providing some snacks too.

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This photo isn’t related to anything… just a gorgeous sunset out my front door! 

As far as the things we’ve continued since last semester, women’s night is still a big hit. This semester we are focusing on being virtuous women. The first week, we discussed  people that we hold in high esteem and the virtues they exemplify. Each women’s night, we will select a virtue to discuss and put into action throughout the week. This week is courage! On Jan. 19  we celebrated the opening of the Lord’s Day, and it was the best one yet. After getting together, praying, worshiping, and feasting, we split up to play some various card games. Some of them got incredibly intense and included couch pillows being hurled across the room! Don’t worry, nothing was damaged! After that bit of festivity, a group decided to go see the Les Mis movie (which is incredible!), and I finally got home around 1:30am. Whew! It was a great time. Next week is the beginning of bible study! Jillian and I are combining forces to facilitate a better women’s bible study. Please pray that it will go well!

This past weekend, I had the great opportunity of going to Washington D.C. to stand up for the dignity of the human person at the March for Life, along with 650,000 other people! What an experience. We drove to Maryland on Thursday to attend a Matt Maher concert prior to the march. Then we were up at 5am on Friday to head to the Youth Rally and Mass, which was at the Comcast center in College Park, Maryland. From there, we headed to downtown D.C. around noon and joined the massive assembly of people filling the streets to stand up for life. About 1:30 in the afternoon, it began snowing on us – I was really glad I had cold-weather clothes! We drove back to West Virginia that same day, which was also my first time driving in snow. I do not like driving in snow. We made it back safe and sound, and quite exhausted. Here are a few photos from the March!

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 Bright-eyed and ready to go at 6am!

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we marched next to this group for a while…

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 A sign with food for thought…

Since the beginning of the semester, we have also been busy with recruiting students to attend the Fan Into Flame retreat in Columbus, OH. The weekend retreat is filled with faith-awakening talks, powerful prayer, and deep relationship building. We are excited to head out this Friday afternoon with 4 women and 3 men from West Virginia! Please pray for us at this retreat – that all who attend may grow deeper in their personal relationship with the Lord!

“Commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act” – Psalm 37:5

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