Fall 2018 Update

As you may remember, we attended hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible) training in San Jose, CA last year and made lifelong friends in the process! This summer, just prior to Fall Kickoff at NC. State, we were able to revisit our family in Christ on the other coast. We were able to train some of them how to share their faith (at Stanford University as well), met with key strategy leaders in the Bay area, we got to introduce our ministry at a Sunday service, encourage saints through tough seasons, offer insight from experience in ministry and we had a little fun while at it. Only a little though! 

NC. State shouted Todd and I out on social media as we were serving the students and their families during move-in! We sure had our fair share of practice moving many friends this summer all over Raleigh as leases came to an end, so we were already in the zone to help the incoming students with their big moves! For the rest of their lives, these students and families will remember the help we were able to provide during such a crucial time!

Welcome Week Madness

From birthday celebrations to popsicle meet-n-greets, to Footdart, Capture the Flag, Knockerball, Taco Tuesday, Glow in the Dark Kickball, Worship Night, Four Square in the Air, festivals, cookouts, Packapalooza, Campus Connections, Pancakes on the Grill, a shrimp broil with some college football and more, God’s presence through our church has clearly been felt this Fall Kickoff! We were able to personally come in contact with over 1000 students during this time and over 500 shared contact information with us with the intent of being followed-up! 

Our third annual Super Smash Party somehow once again topped itself. All glory to God! We had intended for the bracket play to require 64 participants to get things underway, however about 10 minutes before the official start time we only had about 15-20 signed up. We thought we’d need to change things up significantly. However, by the official start time not only was the bracket of 64 already filled up, but we had 134 people sign up and that’s not including all that came to watch and hangout! Midway through the event, one of our saints, Matthew, was able to share his testimony with the entire crowd! We were undoubtedly able express who our church was and leave a mighty impact for our church’s/ God’s presence through us on the student body!  

Gatherings Underway

As the coordinator for North and East campus, I am helping to lead gatherings in the Bagwell Lounge @ 6:30pm Monday and Thursday nights, as well as an off-campus Tuesday night time! This year’s Fall Kickoff yielded the greatest volume of interest for these areas of campus so far during my time in ministry! Over65people expressed interest in finding a church, learning about what it truly means to have a relationship with Christ and how God can use them to leave an impact during their time at college! I am really looking forward to connecting more deeply with those we are now meeting with, please pray God would show His favor during this time! 

Grace at The Lake

As many of you know, Grace at The Lake (our annual Fall Retreat) will be in just under two weeks (9/21-22)! Signups are beginning to come in, but please pray that God would abundantly bless the time, that His Spirit would fall on our retreat and many would be drawn to Him as a result! It will be an intro to who our church is, why we are here and who we are called to be in Christ. There will be sports, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, HUGE lake toys, bonfire, s’mores, worship and always MAS!

Another very encouraging thing that happened so far with the kickoff of this semester is a group that formed itself! As you know, I lead gatherings with believers, those interested in becoming believers and even those just seeking truth, sometimes even antagonistic to The Bible. Well, as we have been out these first few weeks each Wednesday at the Outreach Table engaging campus, those from past semesters that have been antagonistic to Christ have come up to me excited to see me, wanting to know how my summer was and expressing interest to keep meeting. I’ve had to stop after some of these conversations and think, am I going crazy? Out of all the people I work with, they’re the ones initiating with me! We are now gathering Fridays for lunch to care for each other and have an intentional time to discuss where we stand in response to Christ. 

Please pray for:

Grace at The Lake (9/21-9/22)

Those not convinced of the Truth, in the Friday lunch gathering time. (Prashan, Connor, Ben, Adam, Jeremy, Quinton)

Our Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday gatherings

The Wednesday Outreach Table

Sunday Basketball Outreach/Networking

Faithful stewardship of my Master’s courses

Security in my identity in Christ, that I’d be deliberate to seek God and have perseverance through prayer Thank you for investing in winning souls, in the eternal reward. I am thankful beyond words can express for each one of you! Nothing will stop God changing hearts and building His church! 

In Christ, love, 

Thomas F. Saunders IV
Campus Missionary
Grace Community Church of Cary


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