Category Archives: Spring Break

March 2010 – Students serve and share their faith at Big Break 2010 in Florida

Dear Friends,

It has been a little while since our last update.  So much has happened! We hope you enjoy our update on the exciting conference and service project we went to last month in Panama City Beach, Florida.  What a faith building experience!  Recent news not in our newsletter include a student at Hudson Valley Community College and another at the College of St. Rose where we were blessed to personally introduce students to Christ for the first time! Please pray for Mark* and Steve*, that they would plug into fellowship on campus and grow tremendously in their newfound faith in Christ!

We will be sending out an April update soon as well!

March 2010 Newsletter

On a personal note, please pray for Ellen’s sister Jamie and her husband Joe who is still in the hospital for more than a week now with complications after losing their baby that Jamie carried for more than 7 months.

By God’s grace,

John and Ellen

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Big Break: Serving With Others For Haiti Relief

We were assigned to haiti meal packing on Wednesday afternoon. I had asked a few ppl on the beach to come help us and many seemed unwilling to come.. even thought the weather was poor and there weren’t that many out that day..
As we were walking back onto the property to just go help (they told us to try inviting spring breakers with us and then come back if you didn’t have anyone) I prayed asking God to show us IF there really was someone to come with us.. I even saw Amanda (a RPI student)  run down the beach looking!
On our way in.. there were 4 guys trying to get in to the Edgewater(the hotel/resort where the conference was).. and being told no.. I quickly asked “Bro, we’re going to pack meals for haiti on Edgewater, wanta come with us?!” The first guy said wow that sounds like fun! the other 3 were less excited.. but When I told this guy Cypres he could still come just him the others were in! We all walked together to the conference center.. Standing there almost brought me to tears! there were people working to make meals and at the same time a guy asking who wanted aprons.. I watched as these 3 spring break girls (who came with UCONN girls) looked around embarrassed at first realizing that they were half dressed while many actually had clothes on! watching further you could see how they wanted to turn around and leave, but one of the UCONN girls smiled and said come on lets get hairnets and clean our hands.. the guy at the front “offered” an apron “IF they wanted it”.. which of course they did! .. just after this.. I realized I saw this so I could help our four spring break guys.. they put their beers down and looked around uncomfortably and I immediately grabbed the hand santi stuff and started putting it in their hands and passing hair nets.. John even offered them aprons!
We ended up letting Jason and John take on the guys and the girls all went together to work at one table.. There was pumpin music blasting and we all got super into screaming random things in excitement when we finished a box or 2! I was overwhelmed at the love these spring breakers experienced and the acceptance that I saw the body of christ displaying! This scene of the Big Breakers welcoming and loving on spring breakers while serving like Jesus is definitely one that I will not forget! I wish you all could have been with me to experience this!

Big Break: Really?! It Is And Can Be Natural To Talk About Jesus!

As we were playing ultimate Frisbee 2 guys named Jake and Joe were on the team with me(Ellen) and Amanda (and a couple UCONN students too). It was a close game but we won by 1 point! yay!
After the game Amanda, myself, 2 UCONN girls and these 2 guys Jake and Joe sat with us. I asked question about them and before we knew it I was talking through spiritual things.. I learned Jake’s parents are going through a divorce and that he was Lutheran until his parents stopped going when he was maybe 10.. Joe’s dad’s brother is a reverend and his aunt is budist! I mentioned how we were using tools to ask spring breakers questions about spiritual things and even asked if any of them had a chance to talk about sprititual things on campus during the year… they said no! I turn briefly and Amanda had already gone to her bag and whipped out the Soularium (to which the RPI students keep calling it a “game” .. haha.. we’re still working on that.. ) The guys engaged with us and when asked on a level of 0-10 what’s their desire to know God.. (after telling them they couldn’t pick 0 because they were already talking to us about spiritual things!) they both said 6 and 8! I told my story and presented the gospel! I did bring out the KGP (Knowing God Personally booklet)to ask which circle they were (the point of decision in the booklet) and Jake said he had been trying to get to the circle on the right (a life submitted to Christ) … after sharing he didn’t have to “work at it” the gospel was presented and I challenged them to make a decision for themselves!
The BIGGEST win for me was when Amanda and I were walking back to the van.. she said she learned something huge about this.. the guys STILL wanted to talk after presenting the Gospel.. she had thought it would have been awkward to just go back to talking after all that.. but it wasn’t and she realized how “natural” talking about Jesus can be! I’m so honored that I had this opportunity  to  see Amanda realize an important life lesson! When you’re a follower of Christ, it’s normal to talk about Jesus!

Jason and “God Space” on Big Break 2010

On Tuesday night Jason went out with some UCONN students to share the gospel. The group prayed a few times to connect with spring breakers and didn’t see anyone really respond.. a bit discouraged they went to the Waffle House and “hung out”; while hanging out.. God Space (relational space for spiritual content- also a great book we’ve read with students) was created as they sat and talked amongst themselves. One of the UCONN students named Becky had a ton of reservations about the week and even more specifically why things weren’t biblical.. like why is it really “wrong” to get drunk.. what’s the big deal? Jason came over for lunch on Thursday and he told us the story of creating space for God to uncover what it was in Becky’s heart.. she hadn’t really trusted Jesus with her life! What ended up happening was Jason and the other UCONN students went through the Knowing God Personally with Becky.. at first she was embarrassed and didn’t want to “do the prayer” with the group. But later that night she went on the balcony and cried.. and told Jesus she desired to know him and the following day read the prayer with one of her roommates! Jason engaged with someone who said “I’m a christian” and yet wasn’t completely surrendered.. and he used God Space to engage and see someone trust Christ! We’re so proud of him and the UCONN students with him!

“One Year Later…” – February 2010 Newsletter

One Year Later…

It has been one year since we “reported” to our assignment in the Capital Region of New York.  There is so much to praise God for!  New movements launched at many schools, movements growing in leaps and bounds (especially at RPI), and God continues to bless us with so many blessings along the way.  This month features the story of Kelly who had first heard about Ellen’s spiritual journey about a year ago but recently, met Christ through Natalie, a student that Ellen has been discipling for the past year!  You can download our newsletter by clicking on the image below.  We hope you enjoy it!


February 2010 Newsletter

“So what do I need to do to ‘get back with God’?”

asked Will, a student from Tennessee on the beach in Panama City Beach, Florida yesterday.  A student named Mark and I went out onto the beaches with more than 1100 other Campus Crusade students at Week 2 of the Big Break Conference to share our faith and listen to spring breaker’s spiritual stories as well.  Please pray for Will as we think he is curious about a relationship with God and seems to know what he needs to do to get right with God but isn’t willing just yet.

Students sharing their faith near the Big Break Conference

We had 2 other great conversations after that one with Will as well in just a couple hours!  Students who come down here to party and “live it up” are definitely seeking purpose and spiritual meaning in their lives, though some may not know it or admit it at times.  Please PRAY as we continue to share our faith and also offer spring breakers the opportunity to serve the people of Haiti by helping us pack “One Million Meals” for Haiti at our conference center. You can read more about the conference and our service efforts by clicking on the links above.

“To Bid or not to Bid…” a personal update…

We thank you so much for praying for us with respect to our recent decision regarding placing an offer on the purchase of a house nearby where we live in Albany.  We felt like it wasn’t the right time before we left for the Big Break conference to go forward with placing an offer.  Of course things could change going forward but please keep this in prayer for us.  We appreciate it very much!

God Speed!

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