So many things have happened since the start of the year at Texas State! The Lord has been working in some marvelous ways:
Part 1: Household Retreats
Every year, each SPO Chapter has a Household retreat to introduce students to each other and the Missionaries they'll be living with. Unlike living in a dorm or finding some other friends or acquaintances to share the rent, living in Household isn’t just a living situation - it's a lifestyle.
This year the women in Household held their retreat in some cabins in Wimberly, TX. The environment was perfect for a relaxing start to the intentional relationships that Household is all about. There were talks and discussions about true sisterhood and what it means to live this out.
On the other side, the men in Household kicked off their year together by spending a weekend on a ranch just outside of San Marcos, TX. Many of the men are returning for their second year of Household life, so the weekend was a continuation of brotherhood-building that began last year. In addition to prayer and Formation, the men engaged in a brotherly team competition that involved ultimate Frisbee, target shooting, and goat wrestling. Yes, goat wrestling!
At the end of the weekend, both the women's and men’s houses came together to celebrate authentic relationships with dinner, praise and worship, a talk given by chapter leader George Pappas, and fellowship.
Part 2: The Hog Roast
The beginning of a school year is always intense at big colleges like Texas State, with every organization on campus attempting to capture people’s attention. It's in these first couple of weeks when students are encouraged to try something new, and usually they do, so we have to take this opportunity to cast our net as widely as possible. This is the time when we can best reach students who might not be actively searching for the Lord.
What captures most people’s attention? Free food - in this case, a whole lot of hog. Several SPO Chapters host hog roasts at the start of the year, and SPO Texas is no exception! This event helps students discover that there’s a unique, fulfilling environment at college that is different from everything they’ve been told. Firstly, there’s the food (100 lbs of smoked pork for pulled pork sandwiches), which the men’s house smoked themselves. But secondly, and uniquely Texan, we also had a local country/americana group, Blue Water Highway Band, come and play for the event! The 200 students who showed up really enjoyed two-stepping.
Throughout the night, students commented on how unique the environment was, where people could have a genuine conversation and enjoy themselves without alcohol and relational drama. Mission Leader Becca Loomis may have said it best: “Hopefully that experience will inspire a curiosity as to what makes our community and lifestyle so different. The answer is the Lord!”
Part 3: Women’s Small Group Kickoff
Small groups are a big part of how SPO is able to reach so many students on campus and invest in them so deeply. Here in Texas, women’s small groups are for any woman who is interested and committed to meeting for an hour a week. These groups of 4-8 women meet to share their lives, discuss spiritual material, and build deep and lasting relationships, and are led by a Mission Leader or a Student Missionary. We had a great time kicking off this particular ministry with food, fellowship, and a chance to discuss where and when each group will meet this year.
Ready to Go
Getting things rolling is always exciting, and it's also great to look at the amazing things God is doing and see the promise in them. A promise that He's just gotten started here, and the best is yet to come. Please pray for the continued success of our mission here in Texas!