The school year approaches....
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

2014, here we come!

As a new year begins, I always find it fitting to reflect on what God has done. I am excited to say that there are many things to celebrate from InterVarsity Portland's ministry in 2013: A brand-new fellowship of students forming at the University of New England; the first students from Portland to attend ServeUP in New Orleans; and 8-10 new non-Christians participating in bible studies, discussion groups, and outreach events at SMCC. Every new semester, especially at a community college, almost feels like a totally new experience. With this in mind, I'm excited to see what new things will happen as 2014 rolls in.

Left to right: Mary, Nathan, Austin, Isaiah, Sommer, Clay, Me, and Olivia handing out hot chocolate to SMCC students during finals week.

The picture above was taken during the last week of the academic semester. I asked some students to help me hand out hot chocolate in the Campus Center, to simply bless those who were suffering through a cold Maine day, and to open up conversations about InterVarsity as individuals were interested. What excites me most about this snapshot is that all but two of the students pictured (Austin & Clay) are brand-new to the fellowship! God continues to bring new people into our community, and every one of the students is a joy to work with. Please continue to pray for growth and expansion into new parts of the campus as 2014 begins.

Looking ahead...

This past year was certainly exciting, but I love looking ahead! Here is a quick preview of what is coming up:
  • I will be attending National IV Staff Conference in St. Louis next week! This triennial conference will be a great step in my continued ministry training.
  • Recruitment continues for the ServeUP trip: 16 students from SMCC will be going, as well as 5 from the brand-new UNE chapter!!
  • The Regional Planting Cohort will continue to meet monthly for ongoing training and strategy formation.
  • The Core leaders of both Portland fellowships will attend "Summit" during the summer. Summit is hosted at the Toah Nipi campground in New Hampshire, and is a week of praying and preparing for the next academic year.
I cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers and support - they are tremendous blessings. I am continuing to raise finances for my second year of work. If you feel so led, please click here to donate to this ministry.

Much love,
Joel

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. " Jesus in John 16:33

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