Author Archives: Liesl

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.

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”.

Remembering Vonette

vonette-portrait-largeMrs Vonette Bright, cofounder of Cru, passed away right before Christmas. To me it felt more like graduation day, the reward for a life very long and very well lived following Jesus.  I’ve been poking around trying to figure out how to share a piece of her with you on this one side of paper and it’s not easy! I’m hoping you’ll see that she’s just like you and me. What made her life exceptional was God working in her and Bill, and all of us can live like that with God, too.  Here are a few excerpts from an article in Christianity Today.  You can access the article at tinyurl.com/vonettebright

One sticking point in their relationship: Although Vonette had grown up in church, she wasn’t serious about her faith. She felt Bill was too serious. “I decided Bill had become a religious fanatic and that somehow he must be rescued from this fanaticism,” Vonette later wrote. “At the same time, Bill was beginning to think that perhaps I was not a Christian. He knew he could not marry me until there was a change in my spiritual life.”

[Later on at a retreat] “It was there that Henrietta Mears led me to the Lord,” The Brights married in December of 1948. Soon after the wedding, the Brights began to set a list of goals and priorities. Among those goals was a pledge to live holy lives and to become witnesses for Christ. They eventually wrote up what they called a contract with the Lord, where they surrendered their hopes for material gain and pledged themselves to God’s kingdom. 

bill-and-vonetteThey launched Campus Crusade at UCLA in 1951, with the idea that they could help “win the campus today, win the world tomorrow.” Today the organization reports having more than 25,000 staff members and 300,000 volunteers working in 173 countries.

Vonette’s ministry focused especially on prayer. “The greatest contribution that I’ve made had to be this call to prayer when there were so few leaders mobilizing people to pray,” she told CT in 1997. “Your single-minded focus on the power of intercessory prayer has been both an encouragement to my life and a model for the church,” Billy Graham told Vonette in a 2011 letter.

My personal memories of her are that she was a gracious, funny, kind woman who cared about the people of the world, loved Jesus, her husband and family, her staff family and she served us all, like when she’d dress up every Easter as Mother Goose to read to our children. Or when she got excited about going to a Harley Davidson store (really! The Christian Biker’s Association even led the procession at her funeral). You’re welcome to learn more about her life and ministry at vonettebright.cru.org.

Shifting gears here back to us, Karl and I will be in Venice attending the Christ United Methodist Missions Conference February 5-7.  We also invite you to join us at the Panera’s at 4179 Tamiami Trl S, Venice, FL 34293 between 2-4pm Saturday the 6th.  With time being short, we still want to see you if you can come!

India Update

Stone 2015Cru sent a band called “Stone” to India on September 29, and they should arrive back in the U.S. tomorrow. It was an exciting tour! Here are some reports from the field:

“Namaste everyone! That’s Malayalam for ‘What’s up!?’ We are excited to report that most of India showed up for our concert last night, including a die hard air guitarist who rushed the stage. Really though, we had a crowd of somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000, depending on who you ask (I estimate 2,000). It was an incredible show where we got to share the gospel.”

“As an aside, before we went on, there was an episcopal diocese inauguration… Anyway, several of the priests and even the bishop ended up doubling as our bouncers during the show. The air guitarist was taken down by the bishop when he tried to break though the barrier. It was…awesome! You can’t make this stuff up, people.”

stone2015-2Hear some of the feedback Stone got along the way:

“After the church show, a young woman ran up to me crying and said, ‘I have walked away from God and tonight I came back to him.’ …. Please pray for Anu, that she will become rooted and established in the Lord and walk intimately with Him.”

“Afterward, a guy came up to Seth and told him that he could relate to my testimony I shared during the show. Seth called me over and we asked him what he thought about what I shared about Jesus. He replied, ‘I think I need to change’. I then asked, ‘Did you pray with me to accept Christ into your life?’ He responded that he had indeed prayed!!!!! We got him connected with the staff there for follow up. Pray for this sweet brother!”

stone2015-3“We met a guy who shared with us that he got connected with Cru and has since joined staff, as a result of Gap Theory’s show here three years ago. We’ve actually had others share this with us in other cities we’ve been to (one guy claims it’s how he found his wife, too ☺). It’s awesome to think that God is not only bringing people into relationship with Himself through our ongoing partnership with India, but He’s using it for raising up laborers, too!”

Thank you for making it possible for us to serve these talented musicians who are taking the gospel around the world! And please pray that the new Christians in India will grow in their faith.

Thank You Notes

Hey, Y’all! School has started already (we have an 8th grader now!) and we’re getting back into the swing of things here in Indy. Hope your transitions from summer to fall are going well, too!

I took over this letter because in two days, Karl got two amazing thank yous and so I’ve declared it “Thank YOU, Karl” Month.

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His servant heart is what I noticed about him first, too!  He’s been a great husband and father, leading by example and with kindness.  However, all these wonderful qualities couldn’t be shared with others full-time if it weren’t for all of you, so really, these are your thank yous, too!  By supporting this computer guy, you make a lot of different ministry opportunities happen. So this is our big thank you to YOU!