Dustin and Lori Butler
Hello dear friends!
Hope you have had a relaxing, refreshing, encouraging summer!
The new school year here at the Univ. of Georgia is ramping up and getting into full swing. We have been out in the 90 degree heat surveying students, meeting students' friends, having BBQs and trusting God to lead us to those that He wants us to come alongside and help grow during their years in college. Below are some highlights/updates from this past summer and the beginning of this school year so far:
We had the privilege of hosting a going away party for 3 of our alumni: Davon, Shanice (they are married and Dustin had the privilege of marrying them), and Ozzie. It was such a sweet time for many encouraging reasons, a few are: (a time of prayer during this party is pictured below)
1. 20 more alumni that were a significant part of our ministry during college were there to celebrate them! It brought such joy to our hearts to see them gathered together again. They're all continuing to grow in their walks with the Lord, a number of them are continuing to disciple others in this season of their lives, and many of them are leading in their home churches in significant ways.
2. Ozzie will be heading back to his home country of Ethiopia to be a missionary with the Navigators. This is the first overseas missionary being sent by our ministry! We will share more about him and his story in our next newsletter coming soon.
3. So many of the alumni there took time to share about how the ministry deeply impacted their lives. One of them shared about how depressed they were, even to the point of wanting to take their own lives. But then God allowed him to meet us and become a part of our ministry which led to him giving His life to Christ and ultimately saving his life. It was so encouraging to hear that!
We have two student interns that will be working with us in advancing God's kingdom on the campus this year, Tolu and Shania. (pictured below) These two have committed to the highest level of leadership we have in our ministry. They will be discipling multiple people, leading Bible studies, doing weekly evangelism, and much more. Our hope is that most if not all of our interns will later choose to come on staff with us. We are so excited to have these two with us!
The beginning of the year has gotten off to an encouraging start! We had 30 new students show up to our beginning of the year BBQ (some of them are pictured below). 20 new students came to our first large group worship night. We also shared the gospel with several students who wanted to hear the good news of Jesus as we were out surveying students. We're trusting God for 20 new students to get involved in the ministry this year so the Lord has already been answering our prayers in significant ways!
Please pray for our two interns, Shania and Tolu, that they will grow more spiritually this year than they ever have before, that they will be used in powerful ways by the Lord to impact our ministry and the lives of those they will be discipling, and that the Lord would raise them up to serve on staff with us after they graduate.
Please join us in praying that 20 new students will join with our ministry in pursuing God and advancing His kingdom on campus!
Pray for Ozzie as he moves to Ethiopia to begin ministering with the Navigators there in his home country. He loves his home country but he also knows that it will be a very challenging place to minister. He will need our prayers!
Praise God along with us for Lori's improving health! You may recall that in April 2018 she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid called Hashimoto's. Since then we have been doing all we can to help her. She recently went to the doctor to get her thyroid checked and, in every way that they test how the thyroid is doing, she has improved greatly. Thanks so much to those of you that have been praying! Please continue to pray that she will continue to improve even more.
Your prayers and other forms of support have played a huge role in helping the encouraging things mentioned in this update happen. And for that we are so incredibly grateful! We literally could not do this work without you and we consider it a great privilege and joy to minister along with you to reach students at UGA with the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
Dustin, Lori, Caden & Kirsten