Read on to learn about how we're reaching the next generation for Christ this Fall semester.
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Background Image: Quad Day! 650 student organizations on the main Quad inviting the thousands of new students to join them. 
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Ashley and I wanted to get a quick update to you about the start of the school year. We just finished our two crazy weeks of welcoming new students (week one) and inviting them to our first few events (week two). It's been an incredibly encouraging time with our student core bringing around enough other people to double their numbers. Our hope is that many of these students stick and bring their friends around. It's shaping up to be an exciting year! We thought we'd share just a couple quick stories
As we planned for this coming year as a church, one idea consistently rose to the top. Our heart is to increase the reputation and influence of Christ on campus. What better way to do so than free stuff? Free caffeine, to be more specific.

Based on the experiences of other campus churches, we launched a plan to weekly give out free coffee to passerbys with the goal of making deep connections for the Kingdom. We're one week and 250 cups in and it's been truly amazing. 

Pray with us that people would feel loved by us and our mission through coffee.
This is the first school year in our 25 on campus that Illini Life has started the year with a Sunday morning service. And it was awesome! We had a packed house and started our teaching series called "My Suburban Jesus" where we look at who Jesus says He is, not who we want Him to be.

It's a challenging topic with what we hope will be amazing results. We've heard great things and have students who already said they're excited to come back for more in the coming weeks.

Pray with us that our preaching would change lives.
To round out the first weekend after classes, we had our annual Labor Day Volleyball Tournament and cookout. Many students go home for Labor Day weekend, but for the ones who stay, we offer a chance to participate in the last days of summer. It's an event always well attended by new people and by those who are only marginally interested.

Our student leaders take it from there, making deeper connections and inviting to small groups throughout the week. 

Pray with us that those who came who don't know Jesus would start to come around.
As per our last update, you should know that Ashley has left her job as a teacher to pursue working in ministry! It's been an exciting season having her at my side. In the coming months, we'll embark to raise support for her specifically, but until then, we still have a need for support to cover our increased insurance costs.

Specifically, our need right now to get to a solid spot in support is $300/month. Please pray with us that new partners would join our team, and as we mentioned in our last letter, if financial support is something you'd like to start, we can help you do so.

Thanks for your partnership. At the start of the year, we always feel so blessed to have you on our team.
If we've never met, hi! We work with Great Commission Ministries (GCM), a missions organization that helps missionaries raise support and go to the mission field. Our current calling and placement is at the University of Illinois, where we work with a local church called Illini Life Christian Fellowship, a member church in Collegiate Church Network. You can support our work by giving directly to GCM. If you want to share our stories, click the share buttons below.
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