Downloading the Holy Spirit?

everystudentEarlier this year we heard this encouraging story of how God used technology to reach someone in Hungary. Here it is in his own words…

My name is Balazs, I’m from Hungary, and I’d like to share my story of how I became a Christian.

One day last summer, I was at work and surfing the Internet. I saw a banner, saying “Six straightforward reasons to conclude that God exists.” It looked interesting, so I clicked on everystudent.hu.

I read the article, and it was very clear and very logical. I was thinking like “If I really click this link, Jesus will really come into my life? Does that mean that I’m – technically – downloading the Holy Spirit?”

That thought was hilarious. I wanted to test it. So I clicked. Needless to say, nothing happened. But there was a box where I could ask questions.

I had tons of questions. I started to correspond with a volunteer on the site. After a few months we met in person, along with her family, and we became friends. After a while, I ran out of questions. I accepted Jesus, not by clicking on a link, but by heart.

What has happened every since? God has made his presence known in my life in many, many ways. First and most importantly, the painful feeling of missing something in my life is gone. Now, I’m a volunteer on everystudent.hu myself. I’m answering questions for others.

If it wasn’t for the digital means, I probably wouldn’t be a Christian. I never really trusted religious people, but a website seemed harmless enough. I know that many people around my age (26) feel the same. Thanks for reading, God bless.

Marilyn Adamson, a fellow Cru missionary, started www.everystudent.com in the fall of 2000. Now it’s available in 40 languages, and God is using its various versions to draw people to Himself from every area of the world. It’s a privilege to have helped Marilyn in little ways over the years and to be serving with a ministry like Cru that is using digital technologies in life-changing ways.

Worship Team

April Update

Well, it took its time, but in Indiana, Spring has finally sprung! We just missed having daffodils on Easter, but it’s been beautiful. The mood of change suits how our lives have been shifting around, too.

Karl’s been kept busy working in lots of directions. The office rebuild is now done and the Campus Regional Team moved into our building March 26th, so he no longer has to pull cables through the floor and the walls on a daily basis anymore ☺.

While all that was happening, we were also working on developing new financial support before the official transfer to working for our new team, the Global Technology Office. I’m happy to say that we are almost there! Thank you to all of you, both faithful long time supporters and those who are brand new to our team! You all are the ones who make our service with Cru possible!

And now Karl is shifting gears to focusing on our time in Colorado. As the Tech Team leader for our Staff Conference Team, he’s busy spending time making sure all the tech supplies are purchased and shipped properly so that the moment the tech team arrives, they’ll be able to get the space set up and functional for the summer. We leave in exactly 1 month. I will be helping out with some childcare on the front end and assisting VIPs toward the end of the summer, and Anja, now 13, will be working some childcare gigs and playing even more with the teen track.

As for me, my old job with the Ops team ended when the two offices merged. One piece of my work literally left the office since it was a copy machine we wouldn’t be using anymore. Since we are merging two systems into one, there are lots of us having to relearn how to get the day-to-day stuff done. In light of that (and of us being gone all summer), I am temporarily assignment free. I’m waiting for the “dust to settle” and come August will see what gaps either team has and figure out where I’m needed.

In the meantime, having the two offices merged means I hear about twice as many volunteer needs for special events. For example, in the last month, Keynote hosted a Worship Arts Conference weekend. My job was to let 6 college guys into our house after midnight, and then to wash six sets of sheets the next day. Glamorous, I know, but it’s a great way to serve. We kept their costs way down, which made it possible for more to attend.

April 17 was the kickoff weekend for the Great Lakes Region Interns and STINTers (Short Term INTernational missionaries). They needed to get tons of materials from the office to the hotel, so this is where having a minivan comes in handy. We got everything loaded and unloaded and prepped to register 145 of them that afternoon. These students will be working for the next year on campuses all over the region and 9 separate global teams from Europe to Asia.

Most recently (and my personal favorite), we had Cru’s semiannual Day of Prayer on Tuesday, and I got to help lead worship! So fun working with this team!  (see picture at the top of this post)

Cru Worship Arts Conference

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On March 21 and 22, our office hosted Cru’s first ever Worship Arts Conference. These 22 students from Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan learned that successful worship leading depends on their character, skill, and dependence on God’s Spirit. Everyone had a blast, and Liesl and I got to help by giving 6 guys a place to sleep on Saturday night.

Faith, Prayers, and Motorbikes

To put a four-person staff team on each of the 50,000 college campuses around the world, we would need 200,000 campus staff. We must depend on the Lord for the wisdom and creative thinking needed to accomplish the mission He has given us.

One local team in Asia began doing a lot of creative thinking in the area of broadening their scope. Ben’s campus team discovered there were 67 universities in their city. Their hearts broke for all the unengaged students outside their current reach. So by faith, they broadened their scope.

The team went out and bought several motorbikes, and divided up the city: each team member took responsibility for around 10 campuses. They began zooming around town, exploring campuses, sharing the gospel, and praying the Lord would raise up key volunteers and movements on every campus.

By the end of their first year, they’d personally visited 55 campuses. They surfaced 24 key volunteers who began to share their faith and follow up others until nearly 180 students across the city were involved….and none of those 180 had ever met Ben or his team! The movements were truly student-led.

These are the people and projects that Liesl and I get to support with effective systems, and you are making it happen by standing with us!

Cables Everywhere!

remodelAs we prepare for the Cru Great Lakes regional team to join us in Keynote’s office space, everyone’s routine has been disrupted.

Here, workers are building new meeting rooms and a new hallway to the café (lunch room and large gathering space).

 

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My part is to organize all of the data cables (under the floor and in the ceiling) and move some power from where there was furniture to where there will be furniture.  We’re saving the ministry a lot of money by doing the parts of the work that we can handle.

Please pray that this project stays on schedule – the regional team really needs to move in before April 1.  Also, please pray that I balance my time well between this project and the financial support raising that needs to happen before we can officially transfer to Cru’s Global Technology Office.

Going Global!

It’s a new year and all around us are things going on globally.  We’d like to share a few of the global stories Keynote, Cru, and we have happening.

First, Keynote has a team out right now traveling the globe. Literally, they will circle the world in 3 weeks.  First stop has been Spain as they lead worship for the STINT (1 year) teams serving around Europe.  Then they’ll be in Turkey to lead worship for another group of staff.  Finally, it’s off to Thailand to lead worship for the staff serving in Asia.  You can’t imagine what it’s like to be in a room full of people who have had to worship God quietly and carefully for months now being able to shout praise songs to the Lord.  Please pray for health and safety for all travelling and for God to work in the hearts of all of our staff, that they would be blessed and refreshed at these conferences.

Second, let’s head back to Spain and hear from our friends who lead ministry in the ports.  Many North Africans travel back and forth between Africa and Europe on ferries leaving from  port cities in Spain, France and Italy.  The lines can be long and so there’s a great chance to share gospel packets with those waiting.

In Marseille in 2011, a 50-year-old North African businessman accepted a gospel packet from Operation Transit volunteers, even though he said he was an atheist.  He started reading the New Testament and his heart softened: he thought its message could be from God.  He read Josh McDowell’s book “More Than a Carpenter”, and he became convinced: he placed his trust in Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. Seeking more help and wanting to connect with other believers, this man got onto Facebook with an alias. He said he was Christian and a national of his North African country: so another Christian in that country friended him and helped him connect with a local house church. That same church was organizing a team to send to one of our port projects. One member had taken part in our outreach a few years earlier, and found the experience so great that he was returning and bringing a team.  The businessman, now a Christian for two years, came along on the team.  He gave away gospel packets and learned to be bold in telling people about Jesus. He has been sharing the good news of God’s love and grace through Jesus Christ ever since: with neighbors and with relatives: including people in a very fundamentalist Islamic sect. Last month he also participated in some discipleship training in his home country.

global-technologyLast, but not least, we too are shifting our ministry focus.  After 6 years serving full-time with Keynote, Karl will be limiting his time with Keynote and begin serving remotely with the Global Technology Office (GTO) of Cru.  Based in Orlando but with some remote staff, GTO brings innovative technology to leaders and leadership development to technologists.  Karl will be helping to make sure that our ministries around the world have access to systems like donations processing and general ledger.  We’re excited to be shifting our focus to the international side of the ministry, which is where I started with Cru.  I will continue to serve in the local office, which will be growing soon as the nearby Campus ministry regional office moves in with Keynote.

Please pray that we balance our time well between Keynote work, some remodeling in preparation for the office merger, and financial support raising that needs to happen before we officially transition to GTO work.  We appreciate your partnership in ministry!