Epic Anthology Conference

We have arrived in Dallas for our Epic Anthology Conference!  Tonight, over 100 students will fill these seats.  We will spend the weekend seeking God together and exploring how our individual stories fit within God’s big story.

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Our Austin ESM team has spent months planning this weekend.  This is the first ever central Epic Conference for the Asian American students in our region.  We are praying that God will use this time to greatly impact the lives of students!  Will you pray with us?

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The Bible is an anthology- a collection of stories that lead to one overarching story – God’s Story. It is an anthology that records how God’s plan is played out from the perfect beginning of time to the now brokenness of humanity… from the rescuing of humanity to the complete restoration of His Kingdom.

The Epic conference is designed for us to explore these stories and find out how ours fit within…

We are part of the anthology.

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We know of many students who are attending with a friend and don’t already have a personal relationship with Christ.  We also believe that many of our students who are involved with Epic are going to meet with the Lord and be challenged, make significant decisions about their lives, consider where they are going to invest their summers, and be faced with the reality of how God desires to use their lives as a part of His story.  Please pray with us that God will radically change the lives of students this weekend!

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November Update

We just returned from our annual regional staff conference at Pine Cove near Tyler, TX. It was a great weekend of connecting with other staff around our region, and reconnecting with our vision. We were also reminded of our 5 missional objectives as a movement, which we live out ultimately for the advancement of the Kingdom. In case you’re interested, the 5 missional objectives are:

  • Changed Lives: People experiencing a transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Gospel Experiences: People hearing, understanding and experiencing gospel truth.
  • Mobilizing Christ-centered Laborers: Christ-centered laborers engaged together in spiritual multiplication.
  • Missional Teams: A leader and laborers reaching a defined scope.
  • Christ- like Leadership: A leadership-rich culture.

Amber and I had a refreshing and encouraging time attending our regional staff conference for the first time as a married couple. To read more, click here for our latest newsletter update.


Posted by Truman

Fall Retreat: The Summer Camp Edition

This past weekend, we headed off to Giddings, Texas for our Fall Retreat!

I have to admit that when I was packing last Thursday night, everything in me wanted to pull out some sweaters and my fleece. When I think back to my fond memories of attending fall retreat as a student, I think of…

But, in Texas fashion, we are still hitting temperatures in the high 80’s, so this fall retreat experience felt a lot more like a weekend at summer camp! No bonfires for us. No hot chocolate. No colorful leaves. Instead, it was a weekend full of shorts & flip flops, sunscreen & swimsuits.

23 of our students from the University of Texas and UTSA Epic joined over 150 students from several other Texas colleges. Our students had chances to connect with each other & God, hear challenging truths from the Word about the call to live with perseverance, worship together and laugh…a lot.

I have to share a few of our laughs from a game we played during our campus time. Teams of 5 sat in lines. A category was announced and the first team, starting with the first person in their line, had to list off qualifying answers. If the next person in line paused or answered incorrectly, the next team would begin. It’s a fast paced, rapid fire game, where you definitely have to think quick….or some funny answers might slip out!

Some of the funny responses we heard over the weekend…. (the students who blurted these responses out shall remain nameless to protect their identity.)

Books of the Bible starting with the letter J: Genesis?

Countries in South America: Nigeria?

Prime Numbers: giggles…

Female Names Starting with the Letter P: Peebee? (do you mean, Phoebe?)

US States with Two Names: Mary-land

Last night, Tru & I were walking back to our room and we heard some rustling in the grass. Tru looked over and said, what is that? After a closer look, we realized it was an armadillo! This was definitely my first armadillo sighting.

My prayer for each of our students is that when they think back to this weekend, they will not only remember the laughter, games & Fall Olympics, but they will remember how God met them during their 3 days in Giddings. I pray that their hearts were changed, that they were challenged to run the race with perseverance, that friendships were made, and that their passion for making God known on their campuses was ignited.


Posted by Amber

Conference update

(This update was taken from a friend and fellow epic staff from Oregon…with his permission, of course)

Thank you so much for laboring with us in your prayers for the EPIC conference [Feb 16-19]! It was so awesome to fellowship with about 150 students and 50+ staff from all over the country. It was such a momentus and historic time. And as you know, this conference was not without obstacles & opposition. Sherry Slaughter’s [staff woman] house flooded just as she was leaving to drive up and set up registration on Friday, Jaeson Ma [one of the main speakers] got intense abdominal pains on Saturday morning and almost headed to the ER instead of coming to San Jose for the conference, Tommy Dyo [Epic national director and speaker] (who was still recovering from fever/sick symptoms) delivered his first talk to the EPIC movement with incredibly loud and distracting party music next door making it nearly impossible for students to concentrate on what was being said, Sunday morning we woke up to find some kind of convention next door to our main meeting involving tarot cards, sensual dancing, palm reading, & the like. Strange things were happening, and indicative of the spiritual warfare & deep strongholds that are engrained in AA communities. But despite all this, the reality of spiritual warfare brought people more to their knees in prayer and more proactively attentive to what God was doing in our midst. We prayed and were reminded that He who is in us, is greater than he who is in the world.

Students were challenged by Vivian Mabuni (who saved the day big time and delivered the first 2 talks when Tommy was sick), Tommy & Jaeson to connect with our Father in an entirely new way unlike how they’d been treated by earthly fathers, to realize our uniqueness of being bi-cultural & how God wants to use us to reach out to others through this new understanding of our identity, and to be committed to prayer & a passionate love for God. Students were challenged to take the gospel to our partnerships throughout the world on summer projects, STINTS and internships. Students were trained in seminars to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, to make wise/godly decisions for their futures, to plant spiritual communities, and more. Students who had never been hugged by their parents received hugs from their “spiritual” family during a powerful session Sunday night, which then ended with an awesome last worship set with students literally rushing the stage to dance, jump, and shout out in praise to our Father. Students & staff celebrated the Lunar New Year with a festive party filled with egg rolls, rice crackers, karaoke, boba tea, Asian candies, & more.

On our day of outreach, we went to the Vietnamese New Year festival (which was expecting over 60,000 people & represents the least reached subculture in the Bay Area) and saw:

323 spiritual conversations/exposures initiated
164 shared the gospel with
16 people accept Christ
81 people prayed on the spot for
8 people rededicated their life
Praise God!

Jaeson Ma said that we can’t be passionate (& in love) with God until we realize just how much He is passionately in love with us. We love because He first loved us. What a great take away for all of us as we leave this conference. Please continue to pray for our EPIC students as the story is just beginning for many of them.

Pray:
– that the things the students learned will take root in their hearts
– that many of them will decide to be on a summer project
– that many of them will go back as missionaries on their campuses