Category Archives: Big Break

“…Last night I prayed for a sign… that I’m still meant to live, and that God still cares for me… “

You may recall every spring Cru does a conference called Big Break in Panama City, Florida. It’s Cru’s alternative Spring break, where students from all over the US traveled to Panama City Beach for a week of growing in their relationship with God and learning to share their faith. They spent time engaging with people on the beach, and also by using social media to send the Falling Plates video to friends and family and listening to their experiences of Jesus so far in their lives.

One Student named Allison* shared about her experience below:

“My best friend from home came from a christian family so I thought, I don’t know if I need to text her or not and so I texted her the link to the [Falling Plates evangelistic] video. She texted me back and said I literally just cried. I’ve been feeling really hopeless and horrible lately. And last night I prayed for a sign that I’m still worth it, that I’m still meant to live, and that God still cares for me and today you sent that to me. This is insane. I’m literally in tears.”

Students and staff initiated 11,170 spiritual conversations digitally. 3,024 of them turned into gospel conversations, with 104 deciding to follow Christ, plus 601 future appointments were set up with friends and family!  On the beach, 3,338 conversations were initiated and 1,470 heard the gospel, with 222 deciding to follow Christ!

These stories and results are super encouraging to us and we hope to you too! Jesus is moving and sometimes not in the ways we expect! When we hear stories of students listening to and responding to Jesus, it’s why we do what we do!

Until Every Student has Heard,

PS Here is a downloadable version of our newsletter with far fewer images. 🙂 Just one page this time.  

Please Pray:

  • THANKS to so many of you who prayed for John’s recent surgery last month. He is healing up well.
  • that we would be able to quickly grow a larger team of people to join our ministry in prayer and financial support so we can return to our office to accelerate the gospel through the operations of Cru. Pray for us traveling for this reason this summer. We have about $1900/month left to finish growing our team.
  • That we would not let the distractions around us take us away from the Good Work the Lord has for us. (Nehemiah 6:3)
  • That we would look for opportunities to be Jesus’ hands and feet to those around us in our kids’ social lives this summer.
  • For the millions of teenagers and college students transitioning out of school into summer… for the Church to carry this gospel to them.
  • For God’s provision of a newer family vehicle through a Cru family who sold us theirs.
  • For our home appliances to stop breaking, lol! 🙂 (we had a fridge fan go bad, a pump motor, and our washer too! we have replaced each one but this comes at a cost and is very distracting 😦 )

Enjoy a few of our latest pics:

Our little guy is turning 1 this week!

Our girls were in a theater day camp for a week and made new friends while singing their favorite songs!

Free donut day at Krispy Kreme! (Noah had more fun than he looks) 🙂

Evie has a favorite treat! (same as Daddy’s)

Aunt Mary came to visit!

Evie drew a special drawing for our vets


Last month we dedicated our Noah to the Lord in front of our Church, shown above with one of our leaders

What do Lollipops, sunshine, sand, Jesus, a deck of cards have in common?!

Read our headlining story by clicking in our newsletter about our God-experiences at our annual Big Break conference below to find out! =)

Feb/March Newsletter

Only this past Tuesday we had an exciting experience on campus:  A coworker on Cru staff and I prayed with a guy named Matt* to receive Christ at RPI, where I went to college and received my engineering degree.

We were actually filming a documentary on students’ views on campus and after the 3 or 4 questions we asked him, we shut off the camera and asked him if he thought it was possible to Know God Personally. He said definitely. But he also felt like he was only 60% sure that when he died he would go to heaven. I asked him if anyone had ever explained to him how to know God personally and he said no. I asked him to go to our ministry’s most highly clicked website (over 10 million unique visitors per year around the world!) on his laptop and click on “Knowing God Personally” at the top. And we read through it quickly. At the end he wanted to pray to ask Jesus into his heart. It was amazing to see God having worked already in his life ahead of time to bring him to that point! Pray for Matt* that he would get connected quickly in fellowship on campus as it is hard for commuters to do so when they don’t live on campus.

Thank you for praying and giving sacrificially so we can bring the gospel to the campuses of the Capital Region and beyond!
By His Grace daily,

*the names of students are often changed to respect privacy.

Just arrived at Big Break with our students!

John Leaving for Big Break 2012 conference with HVCC students during their Spring Break.

We just arrived last night at Big Break 2012!! 6 Students left with John on Friday afternoon and we are just moved into our rooms and setting up for a wonderful week here in Panama City, Florida.  It was a long drive (over 23 hours!), but we made it!  We stopped overnight at another Campus Crusade staff couple’s home and stayed over night, which was great to    break up the drive into 2 days instead of straight overnight. Ellen and Maddie Mae flew in today and now we are all here!

Please pray for open hearts in the students who we will talk to on the beaches this week, for teachable hearts for our own students, and for many opportunities with great weather to get out on the beaches and listen well and share our faith.

Magazine article about Big Break from last year

Jesus showed up at Spring Break! (well… maybe in a way lost students didn’t expect!)

Jesus showed up at Spring Break! (well… maybe in a way lost students didn’t expect!)

Jesus showed up in the form of Christians who love him and therefore love others, even in the most unexpected places, like Spring Break party locations all over the nation.

One of our students from local Siena College came to Big Break not knowing if he really liked the idea of sharing his faith on the beach or not.  He left having his heart changed and well equipped for serving students through his Spring Break experience. READ MORE in our March Newsletter below…

It is a joy and an honor to serve these students of ours and to serve others along with them!  Thank you for your prayerful and financial support that allows us to partner with you to win, build, and send students for Christ!

Please pray for our students : that they represent Jesus well and finish this semester strong! We need that same prayer for us too! =)

By His Grace Daily,

Big Break Conference Makes Florida Channel 7 News.. along with Ellen! (well briefly)

The NBC news story about students sharing their faith with “spring breakers” at Big Break Conference!

We just got back with 7 of our local RPI and Siena College students from Big Break 2011.  The total group of students from all over the US and World (a number of international students attended) was about 1,200! During the week,  the conference had the students text a code on their cell phones when they had a spiritual conversation, shared the Gospel message or spoke about the Holy Spirit. The totals for the week were pretty accurate based on this “system” and we’re excited to share them with you!

Big Break 2011 Conference NBC station News story
Ellen Shows up in the story near 1:09 (as shown in the screen shot above)

5,900 Spring Breakers engaged in a spiritual conversation

2,336 Spring Breakers heard the entire gospel message

209 Spring Breakers made a decision to choose a life surrendered to Christ!
(2 of which John and one of our RPI students had the privilege of leading!)

437 Spring Breakers heard what it means to live by the power of the Holy Spirit

Every night for about an hour students got up to share what happened that day on the beach.. we wish you could all have been there! There were even a few students who came with the conference that had never personally made a decision to trust Christ and it was so precious to hear their stories as well! God is moving among this generation and we’re thrilled that we get to be a part!  Stay tuned for more stories and pictures coming(although we have to admit.. we’re horrible at remembering to take them!)

Thank you for your prayers and financial support which God has used to help make all of this possible!

More news to come soon!

By His Grace Daily,

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