Category Archives: Summer Project

We have Big News!

img_8037Recently, I (John) accepted an offer to join the Operations Resource Team for the Campus Ministry of Cru (our ministry to middle, high school, and college students and faculty). It was the culmination of a good deal of prayer for Ellen and I including discussion with many individuals. Here’s the backstory…. You may remember from when we first joined the High School Ministry Operations team two years ago that Operations is how Cru describes the infrastructure upon which the day to day ministry operates: including things like Communications, Conferences, Graphic Design, Finances, Technology, and anything ministry-related on the internet. Do you remember the story about how the disciples fished all night and caught nothing? Jesus asked them to “cast the nets on the other side of the boat”. Jesus provided a miraculous catch. The nets weren’t strong enough and the boats weren’t large enough to hold the harvest of fish; they had to call for help! Operations teams provide “boats” and “nets” to our staff, volunteers, and student leaders to bring the gospel to the nations.  With a growing family with changing needs, we sensed the Lord was drawing us to a change in role.  We are excited about this change, especially as it increases our scope to reaching over 661 million middle school, high school, college students and faculty with the Gospel. We know that if we can effectively reach the students and faculty of the world’s campuses, we can reach the whole world through their influence as they are sent out to every nation.


We will still be in Orlando at Cru headquarters. In fact my desk will move only about 50 feet! Of course there’s no change in our passion for reaching out to young people with the good news of the gospel. There is also no change in our need for your partnership in our outreach. Please pray for our family as we take some extended time to increase the size of our team of prayer and financial partners until we are fully supported in our work.  After this I will be able to fully engage in the new role.

Your prayers and financial support are still critical means for God to provide for us… so we can reach out to young people with Jesus’ love and good news. We appreciate you greatly and look forward to telling you more about this transition as the details become more clear.

Our “lives are not [our] own”, so we follow with joy and step out in faith. We are grateful that you walk with us in this journey together!

He had come to Burger King to have his last meal…


Watch a video of the Shine Conference in Spain at

300 teenage students from all over Western Europe and America gathered for Cru’s SHINE conference this past summer in Malaga, Spain.  Each day, they spent time building joy and faith through worship, the Word, prayer, and in preparing for outreach events. The week culminated with a free concert by a German Christian band, “Good Weather Forecast”, where the gospel was shared with thousands. A family from the SHINE conference stopped into a Burger King for a bite to eat after a long day in the city. They struck up a conversation with a young man wearing a satanic t-shirt. After they shared Christ with him, he confessed that he had come to BK to have his last meal. He planned to end his life that night…until he heard about Jesus. He threw his old t-shirt into the trash, put on a SHINE t-shirt, and went home with a new life to live! Thank you for helping us reach him!


“Little did I know that [God] was about to rock my world!”

“Little did I know that [God] was about to rock my world!”

… were the words of Logan in Greenville, SC. This was our second summer of inviting students and faculty around the world to experience missions throughout their summer even if they are at home.

Logan and his friends participating online in Mission Summer in August

they had some of our best speakers in Cru walk through a guided online curriculum and challenge all who listened to take faith steps.  Some gathered with other students each Sunday, others watched during a break from work.  They were encouraged to live on mission throughout their entire lives and given tools as to how to reach their campus this fall.  Logan goes on: “The first night I joined, Roger Hershey spoke about having a world Christian perspective. The ways I was challenged and my eyes opened during that session left me speechless.  I started bragging about what God already did in my life but little did I know that He was about to rock my world. The next Sunday night, I invited some of the high school and middle school students from the church where I was interning. We had 10 students come,and they thoroughly enjoyed the topic of how to have a mission mindset. Clearly it struck a heartstring because the next week we had 22 students join in. They took what they heard to  heart and began telling others about what God was doing.  God has given me a desire to start a bible study in my community that brings together both high school and college students from the local schools. There are five colleges and five high schools nearby.  So far, we have over 70 students from Furman University show an interest in helping along with many other students from across Greenville.  I cannot tell you how pumped we are to begin school knowing what God may have in store! Mission Summer truly promotes a passion for missions and encourages and challenges all the students involved in a positive way. I am so happy to have been a part of this project and don’t know if my walk with God would be as strong as it is right now if it wasn’t for my involvement with Mission Summer!”

          Because of His Grace Always,


P.S. If you want to download this newsletter in pdf format to print it off, you can click here to download it.prayer image

“I have always wanted to know about Christianity!” and other Summer spiritual conversations

“I have always wanted to know about Christianity!”

… were the words from one of many friends made by Jessica, one of our students on our summer project team, who is featured in our latest newsletter.  It has been an amazing summer with so many adventures, it is impossible to tell you about all of them in a newsletter. We have been blessed to be discipling project students on a huge project team of 80 people while engaging Wildwood, New Jersey with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Read in our latest newsletter, by clicking on the image of the letter below, about our adventures this past summer in Wildwood.  Of course you can always find the latest updates and newsletters at our website as well,

Summer 2012 Newsletter

Prayer for tomorrow’s Block Party and
Fall Launches

PLEASE PRAY This week and especially tomorrow as we will be holding one of our biggest events at University at Albany  (or “UAlbany”) where basically all the clubs are lined up and ready to meet the ~3,000 freshmen coming to the annual Freshmen Block Party.   Pray for spiritual openness amongst students who stop by our table, fill out our survey, or leave their contact information.

Handing Surveys to Freshmen at
Tables we set up in Dining Halls at UAlbany

Thank you so much for your partnership that enables us together to reach lost students for Christ!

What is Biblical Masculinity anyways?

We gathered as staff and student men all together for some good discussion about biblical masculinity.

First Men’s time together here at Wildwood Summer Project was tonight.  We played a great round of Ultimate Frisbee and full court basketball (and even beat the 5 local guys we played a round with!) and then gathered together with some gatorade and water.  We discussed what it means to have biblical masculinity as opposed to some of what our culture(s) teach us on this topic. It was some great food for thought and for spiritual growth.   One of the powerful quotes our project director, David Sheehan, shared with us was from John Piper: “AT THE HEART OF MATURE MASCULINITY IS A SENSE OF BENEVOLENTRESPONSIBILITY TO LEAD, PROVIDE FOR AND PROTECT WOMEN IN WAYS APPROPRIATE TO A MAN’S DIFFERING RELATIONSHIPS.”  We had some quality discussion about this quote.  We’ll be talking more with our students about how this has ramifications for our lives as men.

This night was one of those nights when I say: “I love my job!” because I get to do life with these students and staff and get to help students grow closer to Christ and his plan for their lives. Thank you for investing in them eternally through us in prayer and in financial support!

Students at RPI and UAlbany meet Jesus at the end of the Semester! And First Day in Wildwood, NJ!

It’s true! It has been a wonderful end to the semester with several students meeting Jesus.  What a way to finish the school year!  You can read more in our newsletter for April and May by clicking on the picture of the newsletter below.


We just spent our first full day with our students on location on our summer project assignment in Wildwood, New Jersey today! Last night students arrived by car and plane and registered and got room assignments and moved into their housing.  Today we (fittingly) started our first full day together with worship and some orientation.  After sharing some meals together and sharing our stories in smaller groups, we went back to our apartments for the night.  Below is a quick picture of me with the guys I’ll be working more closely with this summer.  Four of them are students while one of them is another Cru staff member and coworker of mine who I will be teaming up with.

Our team of guys I’m working with this summer in Wildwood

To learn more about our summer project with our students in Wildwood, New Jersey and to see how you can get involved, click on the letter below.

We are so grateful and thankful for your prayers and financial support that makes it possible for us to serve students for Jesus!

By His Grace all Summer Long,

%d bloggers like this: