First Impressions

Here at Ave Maria University the team and I are getting into full swing. Today marks the end of our first full week of living our schedule. But before I talk about the week I have to talk a little bit about last weekend which consisted of freshman move-in and orientation. We’ve had tons of fun and I honestly feel like it’s going to be a good year.

Lat Thursday was Freshman move-in day. The team and I had the pleasure of being on the orientation team or O-team. It was our job to help the incoming freshman move into the dorms which meant hours of carrying heavy stuff around in the hot, hot sun. It was awesome! I’m also new to this campus and to the dorms here so I can really relate to the new students. It was great to make friends with some of the new freshmen as we helped them get all their stuff to their new dorms. Sure it was hot, sweaty work but it was also lots of fun.

Team Ave Ready For Action
Team Ave Ready For Action

The university had tons of fun events on Friday¬†for all the new incoming students. They included an address from the president of the university (who the team and I also ran into at the coffee shop and it was awesome!) something called PlayFair which was basically everyone playing a ton of ice breakers that was a LOT more fun then it sounds, and then Swamp Fest which was a big party with food, games and lots and lots of fellowship. All of these big events were definitely a lot of fun and I was having myself a great time hanging out with all these students I’ll hopefully be leading this year. It was pretty cool to see how students from all over the country came to study here at Ave Maria University. Boston, St. Lewis, LA, and I even met some guys who were also from Denver! I’m really really looking forward to getting to better know all the new people I’ve met in my short time here so far.

Swamp Fest
Swamp Fest

On Saturday there was a service project of all the students and O-Team members to participate in. We went to the nearby town of Immokalee and got to play sports with elementary and middle school students. While I’m sure we were all exhausted from the night of fun before, we all still had a great time hanging out with the kids and chasing around frisbees and soccer balls with them. I even had the privilege of getting my face painted.

Playing Soccer With The Kids
Playing Soccer With The Kids

Now this week , like I said before, was the first week we went through the schedule that we planned out. Rosary, Holy Hour, Mass, Team Meetings, One-on-Ones, along with all the other events that were going on this week. Corinne, Melia and I are also going to be auditing a Theology of the Body class here at Ave. Just when I thought I was done spending money on textbooks ha. But hey no homework! Theology of the Body is something that I find super interesting and I’m really looking forward to the class. More on that later. This week was also the start of Fall Outreach. Lots of planning to do!! But to start we brought back something simple that has apparently been super effective in past years. A Lemonade Stand. The team and I stood outside the Academic Building and offered free lemonade and popsicles to students passing by. You would be amazed by how many people we met and that were interested in FOCUS. Win!

The FOCUS Lemonade Stand
The FOCUS Lemonade Stand

Now today is Friday and lots to look forward to this weekend. You might find it funny but I’ll actually be heading to Disney World again tomorrow and I can;t help but smile as I type this. Tomorrow is something called Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom where a ton of Christian Artists come and play and we all get to ride the rides after hours. I’m super excited 1.) Because it’s Disney World. 2.) Skillet is playing and I LOVE them. 3.) I’ll get to spend the day bonding and having fun with students at the happiest place on earth! But before that we’re having a sort of Student Leader training tomorrow morning where the team and I are going to talk to our students about FOCUS and why we’re here and how discipleship looks.

Ave Maria Oratory At Night
Ave Maria Oratory At Night

On the topic of FOCUS here at Ave Maria. Things are definitely not what I expected. I guess it first hit me when Jason invited me to a meeting with his disciples. As it turns out his 3 disciples are the only male student leaders we have and that shocked me. For some reason I figured there would be a lot of student leaders here being a catholic campus and all. I figured students would jump at the chance to help lead others to Christ. Maybe it’s also the fact that I came from CSU where we had I think 80 student missionaries the last time I heard. Apparently discipleship has been pretty inconsistent over the past few years so long story short, there’s lots of work to be done. I’m excited but I know its also going to be tough and it all starts tomorrow. I’ll report on how it goes in my next post.

So wish us luck and keep us in your prayers! To sum it up, I’m loving my new home and the only thing I have to complain about is that I’m still without my car…and most of my stuff. Hope it gets here soon!

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