Category Archives: Ualbany

A Legacy prayed for in Albany

Daniel with Tommy and a friend

After years of praying and working at UAlbany when we served there, Cru Intern Daniel Hall sent us this recent story about just 1 of 3 students who came to Christ this fall on that campus:   

Tommy and I have been friends since I first came to UAlbany back in 2015. We met in my first computer science class …and immediately became friends. We progressed through the two years quickly taking class after class together every semester. Keep in mind, this was the same time Cru was being [re]established at UAlbany and as such I began inviting him to different events.

As the second year rolled around, Tommy became more interested in hanging out with us and eventually got to know some of our now close friends.
All of that brings us to the beginning of this semester… where again Tommy was invited to various events. What I didn’t know however, is God was already working in his heart to bring him towards himself.  Tommy had been experiencing some troubles and really was searching for answers to questions he has had about the Bible. He then began to attend our small groups, asking so many questions, then… he wanted to know how to have a relationship with God. Later on during the second week of classes, another student and I met with Tommy personally to follow up. We shared with him [the gospel message]. We invited him… to receive Jesus, and with some tears shed, he joyfully prayed to receive Christ!

A 1 min video about experiencing God through hobbies

Family Update:

We boarded up the house and evacuated from Hurricane Irma unscathed and took a trip to see some ministry partners up the east coast. We enjoyed some early fall activities along the way, like apple cider and cider donuts, one of our traditions! Evie turned 4 and Maddie Mae had a (scheduled) hospital visit for some throat/stomach pain; God is good and she is is on meds and doing better. The girls are adjusting well to school and thriving. Noah is “getting into more things” and keeping up well with his sisters; dancing in the livingroom to music or walking fast around the house! He’s a charmer! Thank you for your support and prayers as we reach students and faculty for Christ ! 🙂

Our youngest enjoying some much needed time at Chucky Cheese!
Birthday Girl on a date with Daddy!
Our family stopped at the Capitol while heading north after evacuating from Hurricane Irma

Please feel free to download a printable version of our newsletter by clicking on the thumbnail below. 


“Its so sad that it seems like everyone in my country just lives for money and is selfish. They don’t have any hope or God to believe in”

These are the words of Leon*, a transfer student to UAlbany from China that I met at one of our outreach events on campus this fall. He stopped by with an american girl who spoke english well and seemed to be his host on campus. She even left her cell phone number on the survey he filled out because he didn’t have his own number yet! But her name is Jaime* and she is actually his girlfriend since she went to China last year as an exchange student for a year! Well when students indicate on their survey some kind of spiritual interest and that they would like to talk more with someone from our ministry, we try to follow up with them. I called Leon and set up an appointment and when we got together I realized I would have some explaining to do, as he is an international student who has never heard most of the background stories in the Bible. So we talked for over an hour and I shared alot of background about my spiritual journey and then God’s greater story through history culiminating with Jesus’ fulfillment, death and resurrection and eventually coming back for us who have entrusted our lives to him. I asked him about his spiritual background and he said he never grew up with any spiritual background, and this is when he shared that he felt sad that in his country it seems like everyone just lives for money and is selfish because they have no hope and no God to believe in. I asked him if he thought it was possible to know God personally. He said he believes in God but isn’t sure about knowing him personally. I asked if I could share with him in less than 10 minutes how to know God personally. He said sure. So I pulled out a Knowing God Personally Booklet, otherwise known as the Four Spiritual Laws booklet that has been printed in the millions by Campus Crusade and used around the world in tens of languages for approximately 50 years by thousands of people and many different ministries. We went through it explaining alot of the terms, etc and at the end I asked him if the sinners prayer in the booklet expressed the desires of his heart. He said yes but wasn’t ready to pray it. He said wants to be a Christian but wants to learn more first. We met again a couple Fridays ago  and had a great conversation and I ended up giving him the Chinese/English bible I had been given years ago by Ginny and Gerry Winn, an elderly couple in my church, over 10 years ago when I was a recent college grad but it never found a home. He was grateful and I asked him if he wanted to go through some studies to discover more about God. He said yes and so we’re beginning to journey together spiritually. Pray for Leon. Ironically, Jaime, his american girlfriend, is also VERY open to spiritual things, and Ellen has been meeting with her and some other girls in a small group for ladies who want to know more about Jesus and Christianity. It’s not often we find a couple like this! Please Pray for Jaime too.

*Names have been changed for anonymity.

Below you will find our newsletter for September and October. We hope you enjoy more stories we have to share inside!

Sharing the Gospel? There’s an App for that!

Seriously, there is! Let me explain:

“You know it was only in the last couple months that I’ve become more serious about my faith…”

…said a freshmen athlete at UAlbany named Roger* who I met yesterday after he had filled out a survey at one of our Cru table outreaches in the freshmen dorms. I had followed up with a phone call to get coffee in the Campus center, and the first time I called I simply invited him to one of our first meetings on campus and he said he would probably come by, but honestly, I’m glad he didn’t because that first meeting had only one student show up! Such is life in college student ministry, even after inviting and talking with students who had shown an interest: sometimes very few show up. On the other hand, when they do show up, and we get to know them and have a cup of coffee to follow up, they often come back, like Katelyn* and Nancy*, two girls Ellen followed up with after they filled out surveys, and who came to our last meeting at UAlbany. This is the power of relationships demonstrated: when you have an opportunity to share your life with someone new–even once–it is sometimes enough to pique their interest into further depth of authentic community.

After hearing more about his church background and his spiritual journey, I shared a little of mine, but not being sure of whether he really understood the gospel or not, I shared with him about Knowing God Personally (or “KGP” for short). I briefly searched around in my bag and realized I didn’t have any of the booklets with me and mentally kicked myself for forgetting to bring one to this appointment on campus until I remembered that “there is an ‘App’ for that”.

Both on Iphone and Android! So I pulled out my phone and clicked on the “Godtools” app and began to go through the same content, only this time with an interactive format on the screen, which simplifys the process of explaining it to students.  It is more of a conversation piece for dialogue than a monologue. That is the design of this tool we have in our ministry. It was great to be able to find out he had prayed the sinner’s prayer (can be read right in the app) before, but at the end, he shared that he felt his life wasn’t really like the diagram of which showed a life centered on Christ, with self in submission to Christ.

He didn’t think his life looked exactly like the life of a lost person spiritually dead either, with Christ outside the life of someone who is Self-directed and “in control” of their own life.

Roger felt somewhere in between right now. So I opened a second part of the Godtools App called “Satisfied?” which explains how it is possible, after beginning to follow Christ and surrender control of your life to him, to then take control back, while Christ is still in your life, but letting us direct ourselves selfishly. There’s a little diagram in the “Satisfied?” portion of the App that is a picture of this kind of life, which some might call a “carnal christian” or maybe eventually a “back-slidden christian”.

Yes, there is Grace, and we are still justified, but as I explained to Roger, it is so important that on a daily, even momentary basis, that when he realizes he’s sinned in any area, to submit that sin to the Lord, ask forgiveness in prayer, and by faith, ask the Holy Spirit to lead him once again. This is by no means a new idea. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. But then he was filled again in Acts 4:8 and once more in Acts 4:31. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 9:17 and again Acts 13:9. We all need to be re-empowered by the Spirit on a regular basis, since we all sin regularly.  So when I asked Roger if he wanted to pray to God to forgive him and re-empower him, he said yes, and we prayed right there together at the table, discretely. After Roger was done, I prayed the same thing, because I was needing to make that step too! I’m looking forward to getting Roger plugged into our “Athletes in Action” ministry at UAlbany where he is an athlete.

 Its a great ministry for helping athletes live out their faith on and off the court or field. We have a small group meeting once per week for this purpose, filled with athletes from various teams on that campus. Thank you for praying for us and going with us by extension of your partnership in financial and prayer support to reach the campuses of the Capital Region of New York! It was a good day yesterday!

*Names have been changed for the sake of privacy.

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,

Kyle met Jesus the first night of the Epicenter Experience here in Albany!

We have had quite the beginning to 2012. It started off with the Epicenter Experience (Winter Conference).

One of our students in our movement at UAlbany said “I think I experienced the only time in my life where I slept next to [my roommate at the conference] in the same bed for the first time and also save them in the same night!”  He was speaking of his spiritual conversation where he and his roommates led Kyle to meet Jesus.  It was an awesome way to start the conference. Read more about this story in our attached newsletter! Click on the graphic below. It is a two pager! You will need to go to the second page for the specific story about Kyle, a student from western New York.

We look forward to bringing you more updates soon.  Thank you so much for your partnership with us reaching lost students and turning them into Christ-centered laborers.

Watch Video Testimonies of our students

Watch Video testimonies of present and past students that we recorded on our “Digital Day of Outreach” using the internet to share how Jesus has changed lives.  First is one of our current students, Anja, and second is a former student, now Cru Staff member named Sasha.


Anja Barnes from CCCNEHQ on Vimeo.

Sasha Hallock from CCCNEHQ on Vimeo.

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