Reaching the World

August is a big sending month for Cru. As I’ve seen pictures on Facebook of friends’ children heading off to college (and Anja turns 15 tomorrow!) Cru staff and students gear up to welcome them. Pray for students to come to Christ and learn to love walking with the Lord this year.

Our family has been involved this month in sending teams internationally! Karl went to Chicago to work on the staff and STINTers’ (1 year interns) computers that needed to be configured to work securely from within closed countries. We had a total of 697 participants of various types go through the doors of the Global STINT Briefing! This includes 98 STINT Team Leaders and 311 STINTers who are being sent to 43 countries, plus 14 International Campus Staff (ICS) who attended.

Stone Australia 2016Even Anja got to help by babysitting for the keytarist of the band “Stone” so that she could get in practice time before a month-long tour in Australia. They are able to do outreach in the schools, which is an incredible opportunity. As you’ll see below, they’re having amazing results and heartbreaking challenges on this tour and would be grateful for your prayers.

 

August 24
Show #1: 88 students attended and 12 indicated decisions to trust Christ!!!! Three wanted more info and the rest just rocked out with us like rockstars. Halfway through our set, this one kid started yelling, “One more song!”, which was good since we had about 7 more songs. Glad we were prepared for that. Whew!

Show #2: 201 students were in attendance and 34 accepted Christ!!!!!! Go God!!!! This was a seriously truncated set since we had only 30 minutes from bell to bell. I was quite amazed that we had so little time to build rapport and share the gospel, yet still got such a great response from the students.

-Continue to pray for favor with all those we play for
-Pray that we will love one another well, even as the days get busier
-Pray for our van situation. It’s still not operational and we’ve been having to arrange different rides, which separate us as a team.

August 28
Hey everyone. Well, while ministry is going great here, we’ve hit some snags and hiccups along the way that have the potential to be very discouraging.

While our van finally made it to the shop, it will not be ready in time for the next leg of our journey to the Outback. Thanks to some amazing people, we’ve worked out rides so we’re grateful for that.

We received news yesterday morning that our host for today’s four shows has died suddenly. We were all in shock and very saddened by this news. It turns out that he was the lone person at this school who was reaching these kids, so this is quite a loss for them. Please pray for this school as they hold a memorial service today to celebrate his life and mourn his loss. Pray that God will use this situation to draw students and teachers to himself in a way that our concerts never could have.

Multiplying Disciples on Campus

Dr. Bright would often say, “Win the campus today; win the world tomorrow”.

Here is an encouraging story of the fruit of our work and your gifts and prayers…

Troy-and-RyanRyan and Troy were best friends in high school, and naturally became roommates when they arrived at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan.

A believer coming from a solid youth group, Ryan was eager to get involved with Cru. He enjoyed having the Cru community and Christ-centered direction in his life.

Troy had a different experience. Finding friends was hard. College-level academics were hard. The final straw was when Troy’s long-time girlfriend broke up with him. One night in October, each lying in his dorm room bed and talking across the darkened room, Troy finally told Ryan, “Sure, I’ll go to one of those Cru meetings with you.”

After a few weeks, Ryan came up to staff member Dennis Leskowski. “Hey, Dennis! Troy has been joining us at Cru and he loves it. He’s learning a lot about Jesus. He wants to know how to accept Christ in his life. Would you meet with him and share the gospel?”

As a Cru staff missionary, Dennis was excited. Immediately, he looked Ryan in the eyes and said, “No, I won’t.” Ryan looked stunned. “How about you and I get together?” Dennis asked. “I’ll teach you how to share the gospel, and you can introduce Troy to Jesus yourself.”

A few days afterwards, Ryan stood next to Dennis after a Cru Thursday night meeting. They faced a crowd of people where Troy, talking lively, was in the middle. Both men smiled as Ryan commented, “I’ve seen Troy happy over the years. But I’ve never seen him have joy like this. He is a completely different person, because of Jesus.”

Ryan and Troy grew and developed over their years as students. Ryan became an instrumental leader as Grand Valley State University’s Cru movement grew from 35 students during his freshman year, to 650 students during his senior year. He led people to Christ, taught others about sharing their faith, led small groups and led in other ways.

As a track athlete, Troy helped to form and lead the Grand Valley Athletes in Action movement that eventually saw more than 40 student athletes involved on a regular basis. He too learned how to share his faith and led others to Christ.

“Today,” Dennis said, “They have graduated, love Jesus, and are making an impact in their companies, communities, and churches.”

Celebrating 25 years of ministry with Cru!

Friends at New Staff Training with Dr. and Mrs. Bright, 1991

Friends at New Staff Training with Dr. and Mrs. Bright, 1991

caught mid-sentence while shutting down the mainframe, 1999

caught mid-sentence while shutting down the mainframe, 1999

On July 25, I will celebrate 25 years with Cru! In July of 1991, I was in Colorado for Campus Crusade for Christ’s New Staff Training. In August I started to find my team of ministry partners, and by December I was in Orlando. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since I packed my things into a U-Haul truck and embarked on this wonderful adventure.

Some of my favorite memories include:

  • working with an amazing group of talented and committed missionaries
  • a guys’ Bible study group that encouraged each other and had amazing adventures backpacking together
  • many other wonderful friends in Florida and later in Indiana
  • experiencing grace from my coworkers when I messed up or things didn’t go according to plan
  • helping to install the first Internet connection at CCC’s headquarters (the first Orlando headquarters, “Sunport”)
  • retiring the mainframe
  • building the infrastructure and moving into our current headquarters, Lake Hart
  • meeting Liesl, marrying, and having Anja!
  • moving to Indiana to work with Keynote
  • tech-missionary trips to Hungary, Turkey, Thailand (and Xenia, Ohio)

All of this was made possible by you, our faithful team of ministry partners! Thank you so much for standing with us financially and with your prayers – some of you for 25 years. We have each been blessed so that we can be a blessing to others, and God is using us together to extend His kingdom throughout the earth!

Celebrating & Supporting Marriage

wedding-200Karl and I just celebrated 18 years of marriage! As someone joked, we’re finally legal now ☺. We’ve had heartbreaking times and wonderful times as well, but thanks to good counsel and a foundation in Christ we’ve been able to weather it all together and come out more connected and in love than we started. Some of that good counsel came from Cru’s FamilyLife ministry. One couple we work with here in Indy speaks at many FamilyLife events, so we wanted to share a taste of what God does through them.

Bruce says: “Julie and I have been speaking at these FamilyLife ‘Weekend to Remember’ events now for nearly 20 years. Every Friday night as conferences begin, we look out at the crowd and realize there are so many untold stories in the faces we see. As the weekend unfolds, prayer requests start getting turned in, couples begin approaching us with questions, and it’s then you begin to crack the surface. You begin to realize the magnitude of human drama represented in the room. There are definitely stories of those who experience pain, brokenness and even hopelessness – but there are also the stories of joy, gratitude, and restoration. What’s amazing to us? God knows every one. And He divinely draws each couple there to accomplish His eternal purposes in their marriages and families.”

Comments from attendees:

Before this weekend, I was positive my marriage was over. This conference has breathed God’s life into it. Our relationship has been renewed. Looking forward to see what God has in store for us. We both have decided to surrender our lives and family to God.” – Married 9 years

This was a great reminder to not take my commission as a husband and father for granted. Anyone can be my replacement at work and even do a better job, but I am the only one that God has put on this earth to be a Father to my children and husband to my wife.” – Married 18 years

I had no idea what it meant to be a wife and did not know that I should put my husband before my children. I learned so much and am excited to go home and try out my new tools.” – Married 9 years

Rescued us from drifting too far into “isolation” and bringing us back to the oneness we both so desire and pray for.” – Married 13 years

As a second time attendee, I had my hesitancies that it would be just a replay of learned concepts, but much like the Word of God which is fresh and new each time we study it, there have been new revelations and commitments that I have made to stand in the gap for my marriage and family.” – Married 12 years

We hold marriage in such high regard for the sake of our walk with God, our children, and our witness to the world. It’s worth investing in. As you can see from the comments, it’s not just for marriages that are on the rocks, but for everyone who wants to grow closer to each other and to the Lord. We highly recommend it. If you are interested in learning more, check out www.familylife.com and click on “Events”.

Worship and Prayer

worship-arts-weekend

Imagine hosting 11 college students! We had the privilege of hosting the Ball State University students who attended the Spring 2016 Worship Arts Weekend.

Some comments from the students:
“It is so helpful and transformed what worship looked like on our campus. It also helped to reorient my heart towards God in a powerful way this year and I am so thankful for that.”

“Just thank you. You guys challenged me this weekend, helped me grow and connect with God. You guys taught me so much this weekend and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Boehlke-Kranich

Tuesday was Cru’s semiannual Worldwide Day of prayer, and we were joined by Jeff and Jo Boehlke, our friends from southern Indiana.

Jeff and I both work remotely for the same team in Orlando, and spend a lot of time working together on Cru’s Google system.

Our team is also working on projects to improve Cru’s financial system, web hosting, and other systems. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom and the ability to make quick progress!