Fall 2021 Update: What a friend we have in Jesus!
“Greater love has no man than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you . No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from the Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:13-17

This semester, my small group has been going through a book called Befriend: create belonging in an age of judgement, isolation, and fear by Scott Sauls. Each chapter is an essay on the way we can be friends with different kinds of people around us from children and eldery, rich and poor, bullies and perpetrators, and racial and sexual minorities. Almost every week, we discuss how Jesus interacts with these people in the Gospels and how we can imitate him in his love and interactions with the people around us. In John 15, Jesus called us friends and laid down his life for us, not because we had done anything, in fact we were his enemies, but through his blood has made us his friends. It has been encouraging to see the girls talk about how they can love and befriend everyone around them because of how they have been befriended by Jesus. 

      I want to share this story that one of the girls shared with us in our small group. She is in a contemporary social problems class at MSU and the professor is anti-christianity and very vocal about it. One day during class, she showed a documentary about Satanism and half the class left in the middle of the documentary because of how disturbing it was. After class, she went to talk to the professor about why she showed the documentary. After a couple minutes of talking, she asked the professor to coffee so she could get to know the professor better and continue the conversation about the professor’s “why” behind the class. My student said she went into the conversation not to change the professor's mind but to get to know her as a person and move towards her as a potential friend. At the end of the conversation, the professor told this girl that she would love to meet for coffee again sometime and that she hoped when the semester was over they could be friends.
      This story is beautiful because it shows this girl moving towards someone who she does not have much in common with and getting to know them and their story. When she told us this in our small group my first thought was “Is this not what Jesus would do?”

     Scott Sauls says it so well in his book “You will notice a common thread in each account of real friendship: real friendship happens when we move toward the people we are most tempted to we learn a little bit more about what it could look like to be those who befriend and who create belonging in a world of judgment, isolation, and fear - the icing on the cake is that we will encounter Jesus in the process.”

My sweet small group! They are holding up pens so I could show my little sister that we were all using her Christmas gift to me!

RUF Intern Training 

     This October we traveled to Denver for intern training! This training is different from July training because it’s solely focused on interns. For three days, we worshiped together every morning, spent all day in training seminars or with our prayer team, and spent the evenings in fellowship with our fellow interns. Some of our favorite training seminars were on Engaging the Culture, Conflict Management, and Boundaries. Grant also got the opportunity to preach during worship one morning at training and reminded us that at the cross we are amazed by Christ's love and secured by His righteousness. 
Grant bringing the Word during worship on Wednesday morning!
Part of my sweet prayer group! Favorite part of training is getting to hang out and pray with them!
All of the third year interns in RUF! Such a sweet group of friends that we will miss. 

Fall Conference

Fall conference returned this year after a year hiatus due to Covid. We brought over 70 students to Twin Lakes Camp in Jackson, MS for a weekend of teaching, fellowship, and recharging in the beautiful outdoors. Mike Aichenson, a PCA pastor in Orlando, FL, taught us about the Gospel and our sufferings, money, and bodies. We walked away from the weekend encouraged by the friendships we saw form between freshmen, the conversations that happened in small groups, and the fellowship between all our students. My favorite part of the weekend was going out on a raft in the middle of the lake at midnight and swapping stories with students while watching shooting stars. It was great to have fall conference return to the MSU fall schedule. Also thank you to everyone who donated towards scholarships. Everyone who wanted to attend was able to come!
Group photo with our speaker Mike!
Mike is an amazing singer and taught some of our worship team some gospel style songs 

Snapshots of the Semester

The best thing about this semester is how much we’ve been able to hang out with students on campus and off doing the pre-covid normal things we’ve loved to do. It has been such a gift to have these moments of “returning to normal” and we are so thankful for these relationship and community building opportunities. Below is some of our favorite moments of the semester so far.
Rain couldn’t stop a full house for trivia and Chickfila night! Our trivia host Graham took to the second story balcony to run trivia.
My favorite part of skate night was watching everyone run into each other! You can’t not be friends with someone after they’ve tripped and landed on top of you.
Grant got to preach, but this time back on campus!!
Eliot and Sarah, two juniors at MSU, came back to College Station with us for the Mississippi State vs. A&M football game. Unfortunately they came out on top this time…
Greek life is fully up and running on campus! These are some gifts we made for the girls in the houses during work week as a way to encourage them during the Rush season!

Thanksgiving and Prayer Requests

As we head into the week of thanksgiving, we wanted to reflect on some prayers of thanks we have from this semester:
  • Large group and freshmen bible study without masks! It was so great to see everyone's' faces and sing without masks.
  • Encouraging conversations with students about how the Lord is working in their life.
  • Your prayers and financial support so we could stay on campus for a 3rd year!
A couple of prayer requests:
  • Our student Bethany's dad who is in a long term care facility for COVID after being on the ventilator for over two months
  • Endurance for our students during finals season and that they will remember identity does not come through grades
  • Students who are going home to a rough family situation over Thanksgiving break.

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Grant and Anne Michal Carter · 17058 Falling Leaf Ct · College Station, TX 77845 · USA

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