Author Archives: Karl

Leaving Cru for a New Adventure

We sent this announcement out in July via email and snail mail, but I just realized that I never posted it here.  Apologies to anyone who is subscribed to the blog but not our email list!

We feel like we served people well in Colorado at Cru17, the conference for all Cru staff in the U.S.  The theme of the conference was WITH: a time to connect with God, one another and the greater body of Christ.

There’s so much we could say about the conference, but …

We have big news!

For the past year or so, God has been building a sense of restlessness in me (Karl).  After much prayer, career assessments, and counsel, we have decided that it’s time to move on from Cru and try something new.

This is a huge step for us – this summer we celebrated 26 (Karl) and 24 (Liesl) years with Cru.  Both of us joined Cru right out of college, and we met at Cru’s headquarters.  The idea of moving on is full of sadness and anxiety, but also excitement and anticipation.

Thank you so much your partnership WITH us in the gospel!  Your prayers and gifts have yielded much fruit as we have built and maintained systems that keep Cru’s ministries going and help our field staff share the gospel more effectively.  We continue to be humbled by the dedication that you have shown us, and look forward to keeping in touch.

If you are giving through direct deposit or an automated credit card gift, please consider transferring that to another Cru missionary.  Let us know if you’d like some suggestions.  You can contact the Cru donation team at (888) 278-7233.

Regarding our next steps, my original plan was to start looking for a job in August after we got back from Colorado.  But an amazing series of events has led to me accepting a job offer at Liberty Mutual Insurance about 20 minutes from our home.  I’m really enjoying the work and my new team.

If you have any questions, please call, email, or use our contact form.  And once again, thank you for your involvement in our decades of ministry with Cru!

Serving at Cru17

Tech Team: Mike, me, David, and Jason

Thank you for praying for our time in Colorado! We are enjoying friends that we haven’t seen for a long time, and our calendars are full of opportunities to serve our fellow Cru staff.

Liesl has been coordinating the worship for our staff meetings, and has received very encouraging feedback. Worshiping our great God together keeps us focused on why we’re here – to equip our staff to take the gospel to the world!

Many of our staff have just completed two weeks of Bible and/or leadership classes, and others have just arrived for the final 2 weeks of classes. My team is now beginning to plan how we’ll get Internet connections to all the places that will be set up for the all-staff conference at the end of the summer: coffee house tent, staff help tent, partnership tents, and the Moby arena for large group meetings.

We will also be welcoming 3 more members to the team to help us with everyone’s tech needs. Please pray that we stay healthy and serve well!

Liesl, Nate, and Glen leading worship

Tech support

Heading to Colorado

It’s time again for our biannual Cru trip to Fort Collins, Colorado. We will be part of training and equipping 200 new Cru missionaries, preparing another 150 through cross-cultural training for global assignments, and helping another 1,000+ expand their knowledge of the Bible and develop leadership and ministry skills.

The training tracks begin June 12, but the conference team shows up early, and a few more of us show up first to begin the setup. I (Karl) will start driving on Memorial Day so that I can start work on June 1. Liesl and Anja will fly out the following weekend, since Anja will still have finals after I leave.

Once again, I’ll be leading a small tech team that helps keep everything running smoothly. Liesl will help out with my team and coordinate worship for the conference team meetings, and Anja is going to work in the Cru-run coffee house.

From July 16 to 24, all the Cru staff in the US will gather for “Cru17”, our time for training, connection, and encouragement. This is also a time when many staff who don’t have a technology person near them bring their broken equipment and tech questions to my team.

Please pray that our team serves them well. And pray that everyone leaves Colorado better equipped to serve God and to be used by Him to draw many to Himself.

Hacking for Jesus

makedisciplesWhat does the word “hacking” mean to you? In the popular press, it often refers to the act of breaking into computer systems. To me, it usually means “creative programming”, which is the meaning that we’re referring to below.

Cru founded a project called “Indigitous”. The names comes from a combination of “Indigenous” + “Digital”.

  • Indigenous because it reflects our desire for locally-generated strategies that work in each generation, language and culture.
  • Digital because we believe digital tools, resources, platforms and strategies can accelerate God’s mission.

Indigitous is a partnership between several missions organizations and aims to “Connect you with people on a common mission, strategies that are effective and projects that are on the cutting edge of missional innovation.”

November 4 – 6, Indigitous is sponsoring a worldwide hackathon that will bring people together in 28 different cities to work on 14 global challenges. People can also participate virtually from wherever they are. This will involve people with talents in coding, problem solving, business planning, social network savvy, graphic design, understanding people, storytelling, and more. Since one of the cities is Orlando, many of my friends at Cru’s headquarters will be helping to facilitate the event or work on a challenge.

Mike Novak, President and CEO of Educational Media Foundation, says “The goal of K-LOVE & Air1 has always been to expand the reach of our faith-based messages, with an ongoing emphasis on the younger generation. We use music, short-form educational ministry features and on-air personalities who tie it all together. K-LOVE is extremely honored and excited to be part of Indigitous #Hack. This is the place to be, for anyone wanting to impact the world in a powerful way.”

Please pray that significant progress is made on these technical challenges, so that God’s kingdom is advanced. Also, even though time is short, please forward this opportunity on to those who have digital talents and a heart for the gospel. If they can’t help with this one, perhaps they can connect with Indigitous and get involved in the future.

Read more about Indigitous and the hackathon at Indigitous.org/hack.

Current Projects

We have some big projects happening in Cru’s Digital Products and Services office right now, and I’m involved in two of them:

Going Google
google-logoIn 2013, Cru in the US started using Google for mail, calendar, contacts, document sharing, and video conferencing. I love how Google’s tools allow us to work together across great distances.

Now we’re encouraging our ministries around the world to join us in the Cru Google system. Last weekend we migrated our Czech Republic staff, and we’re making plans for Latin America, South Africa, and other areas. Please pray that we plan carefully and communicate clearly as we work with teams around the globe to make this happen.

Redesigned Online Giving Site
new-give-siteAn increasing amount donations to Cru come through our online giving site at give.cru.org. The site works well on a full-sized computer, but doesn’t resize well for use on mobile devices.

As more and more people interact with the web on phones and tablets, we need to make sure that all of our web sites are “responsive” – that is, they respond to the screen size. It’s never good when you have to scroll left and right to view an entire web page or fill out a form online.

Here’s a fun experiment: browse to www.cru.org on a laptop or desktop, then gradually shrink the width of your web browser. Images that were beside each other will shrink, then stack on top of each other or disappear.

We would love to have this project done before the peak end-of-year giving season. Please pray that we can build all of the features and get rid of all of the bugs quickly!