I suppose the best beginning merited is an introduction. My name is Cole Dulas, and I'm this year's "Urban Outreach Coordinator." This is our first year venturing into a city-focused campus driven ministry, and it's been an adventure. We'll get there in a second, so if you have horses feel free to hold them. Today (as I'm writing this) just happens to be Valentine's day. All the talk of love is floating around in my mind, and as I write it leads me to wonder: What does it look like to love our city? Not in patriotism but practice, what does that take? How does one small school collide with one of the largest cities in America, and leave an impact? That's been the question I've been asking all year, and to be honest I don't have an answer...Yet.
First semester was a jumbled conflagration of service projects, experiments, and stories. We hit the ground running, and dove in to serve around the city. We painted community centers, fed the homeless, and never seemed to go as a team bigger than 8 students. We flew under the radar, hoping, praying and seeking God to give urban outreach a presence and passion on this campus. Slowly, or rather patiently, he is answering that prayer.
Right now we are working on assembling this year's "day of outreach." It's a kind of overwhelming task. We are organizing one day of service projects for 500 students (It's march 30th, so if you are a ministry leader, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org). ACU has a long history doing a service day. It's one day of the year for the student body to combine with authentic ministry all around the city. We long to see God change people, all around phoenix and all around school. That's our vision, and God is faithfully help us piece it together. I say us because I work with a dedicated team of 7 other students. All organizing events, every week, as the day draws near.
Our vision for next year, and the future of this school is one of infected hearts, and authentic service. I suppose it's natural to be scattered in getting something off the ground. You have to determine the goal, the direction and the plan to get there. As our school grows, we are hoping our love for the people around us will grow with it. We want to engage students and send them into ministries in our city, ready and willing to do whatever it takes to shine Jesus. It begins in partnering with ministries, as Christ changes our hearts and teaches us compassion. It ends in running through the doors He opens for us, and there are plenty. Sometimes the hardest part, is choosing which door is right. If you took the time to read this, take the time to pray too. I've loved being in leadership, but there is still plenty more leading to be done. I can't handle this on my own, and am thankful I don't need to.