Ministry updates galore!

There has been so much good God stuff going on I had a hard time picking what to share this month!  Here are a few snapshots.

Family Life Marriage Conference: Attendance at this year’s conference in Appleton, WI had increased 200 since last year, and nearly 700 people were packed into the ballroom when the conference started Friday night.

Your prayers sustained me throughout the weekend, and when it was time to get up and share the gospel Saturday, I was definitely hurting (from a severe back problem), but able to stand upright.  My incredible wife was on Facebook garnering all the prayer support she could.  He definitely heard, because the Spirit of God came on that place.  Evaluations on Sunday revealed that 194 people had received Christ - which was 29% of the audience!

In 17 years of doing these events, we’ve NEVER seen anything like it.  Your prayer was not just a fragrant aroma, it released Divine power that flooded that ballroom!  The enemy was in full retreat!  To God Be ALL The Glory!  – Bruce and Julie Boyd, Keynote

“Thank you so much for the worship!  We don’t get to do this where we live.”

Keynote Worship Bands: Keynote team members heard this from many who attended Cru Global Missions STINT Midyear Conferences. STINT is short for short-term international internship. These interns serve for a year or more all over the world, many of them in countries where it is illegal to worship God in public. This is the first chance they’ve had in six months to worship God out loud!

160 “STINTers” came to Chiang Mai, Thailand from Eastern Asia; 250 Cru staff members traveled to Nerja, Spain from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia; and 50 went to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic from Latin America (20 were unable to attend due to political unrest in Venezuela). Leading worship for these missionaries is an incredible privilege.

Campus Ministry Mid-Year Report:  August 2013 – December 2013

Keynote is a resource ministry with Cru’s Campus Ministry. Karl and other Keynote leaders were recently at a National Campus Leaders’ Meeting when we heard highlights of what God is doing on campuses across the nation and the globe.  Apparently the harvest is really ripe right now, because the numbers of students (and college faculty!) responding to the gospel is way beyond what we’ve seen in recent years. We’ll be sharing bits of these encouraging updates over the next few letters.  I personally was so encouraged, because being a Christian in America feels like it’s becoming more difficult these days.  But I suspect that the worse the struggles on the surface the more God is accomplishing in peoples’ hearts.

5.1 million heard the gospel – 73,931 new believers
15,817 students engaged in evangelism – 2,612 campus ministry locations

 

Ministry Update

comm lab

Hello! We hope you all have been having a safe and encouraging month despite the polar vortex and all the difficulties it’s brought for so many people. We’ve also had some sump pump adventures from the warm up last week, but all is well now ☺.

Karl has been traveling a bit this month (so I’m extra thankful for safe travels with all the weather issues out there). His first trip was to meet with the rest of the Tech people in the Campus ministry. Keynote has been working under the Campus ministry more directly now for the last couple of years and so we have more regular participation in their development times. It’s encouraging for all the techs to get together and share ideas and strategies for using technology more effectively to serve our staff and reach those who need Jesus. And since many of them are young and new to their roles, Karl gets to bring his years of experience to the table to help them.

The second trip was for all of our Keynote leaders to join in with the Campus leaders from around the US. The thing that seemed to encourage Karl the most was hearing from other leaders. They share their struggles and they share how God works, even using their weaknesses for His glory. God is so good. I must say that it encourages me to hear again that our leaders wish to be humble, real, and wish to follow Christ more than their own wishes.

As for Keynote, our leaders are in the midst of praying through and planning how we should be structured and function in the future, so we would love prayer for wisdom and direction.

Meanwhile, our Communication Training Team is preparing for a large Comm Lab in just a couple of weeks. This training is so helpful in that it takes a person from having a great testimony inside them to being able to share it with increasing effectiveness to those around them. When Karl and I first joined Keynote, we had this type of training and think it would benefit every single one of our Cru staff. So we’re excited to see the increased interest and opportunities to share this with them. For that matter, Comm Lab is open to the public, so anyone who wishes to may join in. More info is available at www.keynote.org (click on the Comm Lab button). Feel free to spread the word, too!

AIA – Road to Sochi

Road to Sochi

You can do more than just watch this year’s Winter Olympics! Athletes in Action, Cru’s ministry to athletes, is planning fruitful ministry around the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. While you might not be able to attend the Olympics, there are plenty of ways for you to be a part of the ministry.

1. Pray for athletes, coaches and Olympic officials

AIA is enlisting people to serve as Olympic Prayer Partners for the 2014 Sochi Games. Each person will be assigned the names of 3-5 Olympic athletes to pray for during the weeks leading up to and during the Games.

You can then take each specific athlete before the Lord and ask His blessing over their Olympic experience, His provision for their physical health and safety, and His dominion over their spiritual lives as they have the opportunity to encounter the various chaplains and ministry personnel who will be present at the Games.

2. Pray for the chaplains and others working with the athletes

AIA leaders and staff representing over 10 countries around the world will be ministering to Olympians. AIA staff will have direct access to the athletes while acting in unique positions in Sochi: chaplains, advisers, counselors, coaches, trainers, and other administrative positions.

3. Use BeyondTheUltimate.com and social media to share the athletes’ faith stories

Look for these athletes in Sochi, and check out their stories of faith at www.beyondtheultimate.com.

also, see the story of Paralympian Bonnie St John.

You can also follow AIA on facebook and twitter.

We hope that you’re inspired to pray, and perhaps are able to share some of these stories with your friends who haven’t already decided to follow Christ.

Spiritual Conversations in India

StoneHappy Thanksgiving! Hope y’all have a blessed time with family and friends. God has given us every spiritual blessing in Jesus, so we never lack reasons to be thankful. And we hope the update on our India team will give you even more reasons to be thankful. Having two ladies on this team gave them a much better platform to reach women in a still caste-driven society. Just take a look at this entry from the Keynote Connection blog.  (And for more pictures, see stoneofficial.com).

Knowing God Personally

Hey, y’all! Do you remember a couple of months ago when we told you about a campus where Cru was having major trouble being allowed on campus? Then God used the digital contacts they had to bust the doors open for their first meeting. Well, here’s another tear jerker of a story coming out of a student from that campus and her phone.

“Your brother is being flown to the hospital for a collapsed lung. Come right away.”

These words stopped junior Cru leader Sarah (names changed for privacy) dead in her tracks. Her brother was in the flight for life helicopter and there was nothing she could do…nothing but pray…and drive. Sarah had come to know Christ during her sophomore year. So as she started the drive to the hospital she talked to God, and pleaded with him for her brother’s life.

Storming through the doors, she eventually waded through the hospital maze to find the correct waiting room. Hours passed with no news about her brother. She continued to pray, and that’s when God threw her a curve ball. Alongside her in the waiting room, Sarah noticed a 6 year old girl playing with Barbies. To pass the time, Sarah joined her. Curiosity and compassion welled up in her and she asked the little girl “What brings you to the hospital tonight?”

God_Tools250

“God didn’t want my sister to leave us yet, he wasn’t ready for her in heaven, so he made her puke up all the pills she took.”

Not long after, Sarah was ushered into a hospital room containing not just one, but two patients – her brother and the little girl’s sister, Libby, who had attempted suicide. After comforting her brother, Sarah went to Libby’s bedside. “Tough night?” she asked. “You have no idea.” replied Libby. After getting to know more of Libby’s story, Sarah asked if she could share some hope with her.

Sarah went on to share how she met Christ during her sophomore year of college while battling cancer. Libby was leaning in, almost falling off her hospital bed. Sensing the desire for more, Sarah pulled out her cell phone and pulled up a Cru app containing an electronic copy of the Four Spiritual Laws (now called “Would you like to know God personally”). In four easy to understand points Libby quickly understood the gospel.

When it was all over, Libby said, “It’s people like you who change the world. You save lives by showing people like me there’s something worth living for. You introduce people to Someone who is everything everyone needs. Don’t ever stop, even when you’re turned away, remember those of us whose lives were saved because of you.”

God saved Libby’s life from suicide so that minutes later he could save her for eternity.

Wow. Don’t ever doubt how God uses all circumstances to work good for us. In case you’d like to have these same tools on your phone so you’ll be ready in all circumstances, go to www.godtoolsapp.com.