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CRU Destino @ UCF: year one done!

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Freshman Year: Although I am not a student, I suppose you can say I just finished my freshman year at the University of Central Florida. Like many students who finish their first year in this new environment, it brings me to a time of reflection. I lived in a new city, had roommates for the first time, tried cooking new meals, discipled students and much more. As I think back to my year of “firsts” I see God’s continued faithfulness in the midst of new and sometimes scary things.

He provides: I have been so blessed by the 3 Godly women I live with. I was nervous to live with girls I had never met and I have seen Jesus through them. They have been gracious, kind, helpful and fun! I have been attending a church and community group in my neighborhood. With intentionality on the Word and prayer, I value the developing friendships I am making in that community. My team feels like a second family and some my closest friends were already living here and ready to make me feel at home. Miami is my heart and home and being away from my family has been hard. I have felt loved and supported by my family as I pursue this work in Orlando. They pray for me, call me and FaceTime so I can see my beautiful niece and nephew from afar! I’m sure many of you know the blessing of FaceTime technology to see family!

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Students: Several of the girls I meet with are freshman and experiencing college and being away from home for the first time. It has been encouraging to share our favorite things about our home and family with each other. I have seen students take steps of faith during this year. Tomas, a Junior who is involved, was in charge of funding for a conference we went to in January. He was able to apply for funds from the university to help pay for students to attend the conference. Because of his efforts the ministry received $2,000 to cover cost of those attending the conference. We had Tatyana, a freshman who meets with me for discipleship, lead activities at the weekly meeting so students could have a fun ice-breaker before getting into the Word. Several students led Bible studies for the first time and felt encouraged and believed in because of it.

Summer: I look forward to next fall at UCF and seeing how my sophomore year goes! In the meantime, over the summer I will continue developing a team of ministry partners. It has been encouraging to connect with local pastors and share about Destino and connect students. I will attend a week long conference in Colorado towards the end of July.

Thank you for joining me in this mission!

Rachel Rodriguez
Orlando, FL

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