Category Archives: summer project
Recently, 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…
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!”
… 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.
It has been a crazy Fall season with schools starting classes and meeting new students and campus outreaches happening across the Capital Region of New York. There is so much to thank God for! This email update features both the stories of Steve and Rich who are two guys we have ministered to both in New York City and here in the Capital Region, respectively. You can download our newsletter by clicking on the image below.
Please Pray for Ellen’s talk at the Health Conference at the College of St. Rose
We hope you will pray for Ellen’s talk she will be sharing with St. Rose students on Wednesday (11/3) morning (as mentioned in the prayer requests in the September letter, see link above).
A Fixer upper… a personal update…
God has blessed us with a house with personality! We knew what we were getting into, thank the Lord, (since we rented out the downstairs apartment in our house first before buying) and yet the learning process for painting, scraping, and installing doors and windows to replace drafty ones (while tax credits can still be obtained) is a journey full of surprises, sweat, and hard work. We want to thank so many people who have been able to help us work on it and all that but also thank the many more people who prayed for us while we went through the first stage of changes in our home. God loves us through people like you!
Ellen looking through new door we installed
How do we get to Heaven? “By doing the best [you] can to lead a good life”????
Not quite. As you will read this month in our New York City Summer Project Newsletter’s page 2 highlighting our Campus Track, our friend Max didn’t quite understand God’s grace for us. Max thought he simply had to do his best to earn a place in Heaven. The truth is that Jesus has already earned it all by going to the Cross for Max.
We’re Back Home in Albany!
Our summer has been quite an adventure. We were leading 21 students in the Campus Track out of 60 or so total on the entire project for the 5 weeks that they were in NYC. We teamed up with the other segments of our project including the Arts Track, Bridges Track (International Student ministry), Epic Track (Ministry to Asian-Americans), and Inner City Track (ministry to homeless and children in NYC). Of course this diversity of ministry is to be expected in a city so diversely populated! The truth is that there are so many more areas of ministry in the city that I wouldn’t have time to mention them all here if I tried. Please enjoy our project’s newsletter attached. Our Campus Track is featured on page 2. Ellen and I are hiding behind the word “Campus” at the top of the page!
Our Continuing Adventure: Home Ownership and Fall Semester Planning!
Our adventure picked back up again only 2 days after we returned from our 6 weeks in New York City when we bought a 2-family home in Albany! We have been working on it quite a bit and reconnecting with supporters and planning for the fall outreaches coming up ever since! We have enjoyed the Albany weather since coming home. It was much hotter in New York City! We will update you on some more personal stories from our work in the city with our next newsletter coming soon!
With the help of many friends and family, we have finished both phase 1 and 2, as we call them, of patching up cracked walls and moving out the kitchen cabinets and repainting all the walls and cabinet doors! Phase 2 has been sanding and refinishing the floors. We will be moving in within a couple days (though the work in the kitchen and bathroom is not complete yet). Attached are some pictures of our new place (where we rented the downstairs apartment for 1 year until last month, ironically)
A Big Thank YOU!
You may remember our prayer request in our last online post from July 1:
“You may have read about our project in NYC this summer and meant to pray or meant to give but haven’t taken the opportunity. You can partner with us today by praying and giving financially. We are trusting God to bring in the remaining 30% (or $1500) in the next couple weeks that we need to serve to our fullest in New York City.”
Well GOD PROVIDED! Only a couple days short of 2 weeks after our last post, a generous donor filled the gap we had between where we stood and the need we had in NYC. We are so grateful and thankful to have people and churches like you who pray and people and churches like you who give to make sure that the work continues in this ministry. We know first hand how so many people heard the good news and others began their walk with Jesus for the first time because of what you did so far away. We are honored to be partnered with people like you.
Fall Outreaches require God’s people to (Please) PRAY
Please pray as we plan out the details of these critical Fall outreaches and launches on the campuses of the greater Capital Region. Specifically, all the major schools in the area start on 8/30 except for Siena and a couple others. We will start most outreach events within the first few days of classes. One early Freshmen outreach is already planned on 8/27 and our Kickoff gathering event for our upperclass Real Life students is the same day and 8/28 as well. Our first large group event called City Wide is on 9/2. Please pray that God works in our student leaders to come to the kickoff event in force and to galvanize around the cause of Christ in reaching the lost, especially focusing on Freshmen, who are very very open to the possibility of connecting with Real Life students and with God (last year 50% of UAlbany students and 40% of RPI students surveyed indicated they were open to talking with other students about how their life purpose and knowing God go together).
John and Ellen
Where can you combine great walking shoes, crowded and diversely populated streets, and spiritual conversations?
… CITY, that is.
Ellen and I will be leaving in two weeks for our summer assignment in New York City, where our Summer Mission Project will take place. Thirty or more students will join us from Campus Crusade student movements all over the country to minister to college students and people who live in New York City. We are excited to work and live in the city for 6 weeks, teaming up with people and churches who love the Lord Jesus and coming along side the spiritually lost and hurting. Attached is a 2-PAGE description of our Summer Mission Project and we know you will be excited about it as well. If you’d like to help us by praying that would be awesome. If you’d like to help us by supporting us to go financially, that would be awesome too! You can do so by going to http://johnandellenfleming.com/give/