"It is you, dear young people, who must show that faith is a personal decision which involves your whole life."
-Pope John Paul II

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Brownies and Bible studies and....banana smoothies! Oh my!

Ok, so the banana smoothie was a bit of a stretch, but I couldn't think of any other alliterations... :)

This past week has been good. Still busy and pretty crazy, but definitely good. We still haven't quite gotten a rhythm down to our schedule (whenever I say "we," I probably mean my teammate Melissa and I). Hopefully getting our Bible studies scheduled will make next week a little more "normal." I put normal in quotes, because I don't know that there will ever be a completely typical day as a campus missionary, but I guess we'll just have to see! :)

Last weekend was our second Mass on campus. FGCU doesn't have a chapel, so we have the service in a meeting room in the Student Union. It's a little interesting sometimes, but I'm glad that we are able to have Mass on campus. One big challenge is that Mass is Sunday nights at 9:00, and the building is supposed to close at 10, so we're supposed to be cleaned up and out by 10. Riiiiight.... Last year they were able to get the closing time changed to 10:30, so hopefully that will be the case again this year. We don't want to cause trouble, we just want to praise Jesus! :) Apparently a lot of the students go hang out at a restaurant after Mass a lot of the time, so we'll have to do that tomorrow.

Monday was the first Devo Dinner of the year. Devo Dinner is the Newman Club's weekly Monday night dinner. They have free food, play some games sometimes, and have discussions or talks. (For anyone with UE Newman connections...I felt right at home having Newman dinners on Monday nights!) The only thing is, again, we don't have a space on campus, so Devo just happens in a common area. We had to share the area with the Tennis Club—because it was raining and they couldn't play out on the courts, they'd decided to come in and play ping pong...I guess that would be table tennis. It was a little crazy, but we still got to play a good "get to know you" game. I learned a lot of names that I hopefully won't forget!!

After dinner I went on a Wal-Mart run with one of the students. Can you believe that the nearest WalMart to campus is 20 minutes away?? And the Target that is a mile away from campus isn't 24 hours... Crazy. I mean, I know I'm not exactly in a college town, but the university does have 12,000 students.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday all looked more or less similar. Daily Mass and prayer in the morning. (I don't think I've mentioned that yet, have I? That's an everyday thing, and a really important part of our ministry. It's hard to feed people if you aren't being fed yourself!) Lunch with a student or two or four. (And a Jamba Juice smoothie—with banana in it—with a student...gotta get that in there!) Back to the house in the afternoon to do administrative work—it's really built up in the past few weeks! In the evenings, we had Bible study intro meetings. The idea was to get together all the women who said they were interested in joining a Bible study, have them get to know us and each other better, and figure out times when they could meet on a consistent weekly basis.

Good idea, right? It seemed like it, and I think it was good, but we didn't have a very good turnout. So that means lots more follow up phone calls this weekend. Personal invitation really does make a difference, so hopefully all of the voicemails that I've left in the past week and a half are making some sort of impact! The meetings that we did have went really well, despite the low attendance. We also talked to quite a few people who are interested in Bible study, but couldn't make any of the meetings last week. (Sorority rush takes up a LOT of people's time...) So hopefully we'll have good turnout to our Bible studies that are starting up next week. And even if we don't, I know that God will put the people there that need to be there, and we've got the whole semester to grow and add more students!

Remember the cookie handout we did last week? The same group came together this week in the freshman dorms and baked brownies to hand out to people! It was a lot of fun again. And as hard as we tried to remember to bring everything, we still forgot lots of stuff. Measuring cups? Who needs them? Mixing bowl? That's what that big cooking pot is for... :) But at least we had pans and oven mitts this time! The group is now Facebook official, and one of our friends is working on making it an official registered student organization so we can get money from the school to bake things to hand out! This group has been—and I'm sure it will continue to be—an awesome way to get to know more students and to share life with them and to witness Christ's love to them! And we get to eat dessert while we're doing it!

I actually remembered to document that evening, so here's a look:

I'd bring you a brownie if I could....but we gave them all away!