Category Archives: summer
WITH God and Each Other at Cru17
Every two years, thousands of Cru staff descend upon the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO for Cru’s national staff conference. This time the theme was “WITH”: what it means to be with God and in partnership with each other, both within Cru and in other organizations and churches.
Throughout the week, we were able to hear from a diverse panel of speakers, participate in seminars and workshops, and reconnect with friends from around the country. If you’d like to experience the conference for yourself, visit cru.org/cru17 to watch/hear the sessions, seminars, and interviews with the speakers. Thank you for praying and partnering with us financially so we could attend this conference and gain fresh insight and vision!
With school just starting in recent weeks in our community, life in our house is a whirlwind in the mornings getting out the door and yet a little quieter during school hours! But our little guy still makes plenty of noise! 😉 We celebrated Noah’s 1st birthday in June and Maddie Mae’s 6th birthday in July with huge groups of little friends and their parents at our home, which is a gift to have opportunities, both spiritually and otherwise, to love on them!
I’m the Sign!
This summer as students were getting ready to say their goodbyes, one student on the mission team sent with Cru to Czech Republic, Victor, and a Czech student named Frank, accidentally got off on the wrong tram stop and were separated from the rest of the group. Victor used the time they were alone to ask Frank where he stood with God. Frank said that he had heard about God and had even been in a Bible study before, but he was waiting for a sign. To which Victor replied rather emphatically, “I’m the sign!”
Victor went on to explain that he had come all the way from the U.S. to tell him about Jesus, so what more did he need?! Frank went to church the next day and met with the pastor. He and Victor have been in communication as Frank is asking many questions. Victor’s response may have been a little surprising, but how significant that he realized that we are all signs pointing to Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life! We pray that Frank will come to know Jesus as he continues asking questions and seeking to know the Truth. Isn’t it fun and encouraging to hear how young people are bold and step out in faith in these kind of ways?! It’s an honor to partner with you to send people like Victor out into all different parts of the world to bring the gospel to those lost and searching everywhere!
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!
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
Friends and Family –
We hope that you are enjoying the beginning of this summer and all the warmth God is bringing through it! We made the long trek out to our summer assignment by car last weekend and have been in training since. It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord as we have the opportunity to do so with Campus Crusade for Christ. We have met so many God-followers and Christ-like people on our international and state-side staff team while here and have excited anticipation for what is to come both around the world and in Albany, New York, very soon! We hope you all will be as excited as we are to hear the story about our student leader named Stacey and her friends on her Summer Project in this month’s newsletter below!
John and Ellen June 2009-Summer projects