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We just arrived at our conference hotel here in Orlando where we will be helping to lead a conference for all our High School Leadership to be refreshed, inspired, and challenged. The logo with the theme “Refresh” is above.
- for our daughters to adjust to their new surroundings and new friends we are making here.
- for our staff to be refreshed, inspired, and challenged in their faith.
- for our staff to connect well with each other and most importantly with the Lord.
- for everything to run smoothly at the conference
We are looking forward to meeting so many people with whom we have spoken by phone or seen online in video conferences. We are meeting people right now at the registration table where they are checking in to the conference. This is especially exciting for us to meet everyone!
OUR NEW MINISTRY ASSIGNMENT!
Over a month ago we said “yes” to an invitation that will dramatically change our future: becoming the National Director of Operations for Cru High School (formerly Student Venture), Cru’s outreach to middle– and high school students. It may be simple to write that sentence, but it is a HUGE decision and a lot has gone into making it. Here’s the back story….
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 we do on the Web. Do you remember the story about the disciples ﬁshing 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 boat weren’t large enough to hold the harvest of ﬁsh; they had to call for help! Operations provides “boats” and “nets” to our staff, volunteers, and student leaders to bring the Gospel to the Nations. We knew coming into our one year leadership development program in Orlando that keeping our hands open” was important even IF that meant changing roles. After feeling drawn to operation projects, we weren’t sure exactly where we might serve in this capacity. In late February, we learned that there would be a need for a Director of Operations this summer and we really liked the position and the team we would be joining (which leads the national ministry). The more we thought, learned and prayed about it, we realized how many pieces of the puzzle really began to ﬁt for us. It was sophomore year in high school when my life totally changed and I began to walk with the Lord and relate to others in ways I had never imagined possible.
Those years were like wet cement in my life, making lasting changes on me that would impact me for the rest of my days. I’ve been investing in the lives of youth as a volunteer or with Cru since my college days in one way or another, and Ellen joined me in this after we were married.
Cru High School has a compelling vision of helping every middle and high school student encounter Jesus Christ, experience his good news, and embrace his global mission for the rest of their lives. But they only have teams in over 20 US cities. Church youth groups and other ministries also reach out to teens, yet the majority walk through the most crucial years of their lives without a meaningful gospel witness. Historically, God has used operations- minded people like us to build bigger and better “boats” and “nets” to help bring His Gospel to people from all walks of life all over the world. We began to sense that it would be a great honor if God would choose to use our operations skills and past experiences to help build infrastructure to reach teens for Christ, resulting in more high school grads showing up to college and the rest of their lives as Christ-centered laborers.
Accepting this role means a change in location. This summer we plan to move to Orlando, home of Cru’s headquarters, where we’ll be part of Cru High School’s national team and the national Operations team for the US Campus Ministry, of which Cru High School is a part. But 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. Your prayers and ﬁnancial support are still the way God provides for us to reach out to young people with Jesus’ love and good news. We appreciate you greatly and look forward to telling you more about our transition as the details become more clear. Please pray for our family as this is a major transition with a lot of emotions to process. We are making a big change, moving (the rest of our belongings) south, away from dear family and friends, and making Orlando our home for the near future.
There is really only one reason we are doing this. We believe that God is calling us. And we want to give HIM our “yes.” He has made it clear that this is His voice and His leading. Our lives are not our own, so we follow with joy. We are thankful that you are in the journey with us.
By His Grace,
• Continue to pray for healing for Ellen’s Dad who is battling with cancer.
• For transitioning well to our new roles and for us to keep pursuing Jesus.
• For deeper connections with our local church in Orlando.
• For new monthly support before August.
• For our new opportunity in Cru High School!
• For a sweet family of Cru Staff we have gotten to do life with this year!
• We found a new home to rent in Orlando on June 14th, the day before we left to go north to Albany!!!
If you’d like to see more pictures of the family and a more traditional newsletter, please click on the image below or download it here in pdf format.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and we thank you for all your prayers, love, and support this past year.
We are honored that you are a part of our lives!
Treasuring the Wonder of the First Christmas all over again,
P.S. If you didn’t receive a postcard from us, then it probably bounced off an old address, or we don’t have your mailing address at all. Please send us your address so we can update our contact info for you. =)
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
We are grateful for so many new blessings from God this year, including our new little girl Evie (pronounced “EE-VEE”) and so many new friends in our lives here in Orlando. But we can’t forget about all of our friends and family back home and all over the world (That’s YOU!) who are are so grateful for as well. We are thinking and praying for all of you today! Thank you for your support as we help bring the Gospel to the Nations with Cru!
Grateful for countless blessings,
P.S. Newsletter update coming shortly!
Dear family and friends,
We are proud to announce the birth of Genevieve Grace! She arrived over the weekend weighing in at 9 lbs 10 oz and 20.75 inches tall! We are getting acclimated to having TWO girls at home these days but it is a joy to be their parents. Labor and delivery was quick and everyone is healthy and at home. Thank you to all of you for investing in our lives in so many ways so we can invest our lives into them. Sounds like discipleship, huh?! =)
I’ve tried to attach a photo album below that you can click on to see more photos. We hope you enjoy them!