Author Archives: Liesl

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)

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!

Boxes of Love

Box of LoveHey, Y’all! We just heard from some of our staff friends in Milwaukee about a great way to reach those in need and to get believers involved in the process. Check it out…

Empowered to Share

Last November, Kara, one of our Cru staff members, met with a woman named Lonnette, a member of Resurrection Church.  Lonnette saw a need in her community but lacked the tools to do what the Lord was calling her and her church to do to meet that need.

Lonnette heard from Kara about the opportunity to partner with Cru in the Boxes of Love outreach, which would help their church connect with the people in their community through a full Thanksgiving meal.

Additionally, Lonnette learned of the evangelism training provided by Cru.  Her eyes widened with excitement as she explained what a timely answer to prayer this opportunity would be.

The morning of the outreach came and Lonnette joined about 40 other people to learn how to share their faith.  Afterward, Lonnette shared, “I’m so excited!  I love to spread the gospel of God, but I’ve always had a fear and the training has taught me some things I didn’t know.  I can’t wait to share this training with others!”

Please join us in praying for this year’s training to help equip and launch many to share their faith!

What Goes Into a Box of Love?

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Summer Project; Watertown visit

On June 23, six eager and talented college students arrived in Indiana for the 2014 Keynote Summer Project. Over the last 20 years Keynote Summer Projects have equipped students to effectively communicate the gospel, taught them to use creative platforms to start spiritual conversations and challenged them to grow in relationship with the Lord. The same will be true this summer. However, these students won’t be in a band and they won’t tour around the country or overseas.

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Reed-far left, is a Cru staff kid whose parents and grandparents are coworkers and friends of ours. He came to the U.S. to start college after growing up in Hungary. We’re so glad to have him here this year. Please pray for his adjustment to college and the U.S.

These students with a variety of skills and abilities (music, dance, film, spoken word and more) will work together to create resource tools – from scratch – to help start spiritual conversations about Jesus. Their projects could be anything from a short film or online video to a new and engaging outreach strategy. In fact, Karl, Anja and I worked past midnight yesterday being a part of a video shoot for one of the projects.

Over the next few weeks they will continue brainstorming sessions, Bible study, individual discipleship, communication training, fellowship, outreach opportunities and lots of time to work together on their projects. Please pray for the students and the Keynote staff who are shepherding their hearts and giving leadership to the creative process.

International Communication Training

A few days ago, coworkers Denise DiSarro and Dana Russo will headed to Bulgaria to assist with an English camp hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ. During the camp the students attending (likely unbelievers) will go through our communication training taught by Bulgarian staff members with coaching from Dana and Denise. Dana will teach our story curriculum which has been adapted for a secular audience. We look forward to what God will do in the hearts of the attendees.

We’ll Be in Watertown!

Thanks to a family gathering, all three generations of Bucks will be in the Watertown-Clayton area for a couple days. We will be at Parkside Bible Church Sunday morning August 3 and my parents and we would love to see you there.

Comm Lab update

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“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 4:10-11 (ESV)

This is the theme verse for Comm Lab – a four day intensive communication training Keynote conducts each year in Westfield, IN. At Comm Lab, attendees receive one-on-one training from experienced coaches as well as instruction from communication experts. This year’s 28 participants included Cru staff members, church pastors and community leaders.

Eric Maitlen had this to say about his Comm Lab experience:

My wife Jillian and I lead worship at Mercy Road Church in Carmel, IN and have done music evangelism for the last 10 years across North America, Central America, parts of Europe and Asia. This month we attended Comm Lab for the first time and were blown away by the level of teaching and practical skills training for better communicating the gospel. I found the week to be very challenging as I became aware of and began to break a lot of bad speaking habits I had formed over the years. I also felt as though my eyes were open for the first time to the postmodern mindset that is sweeping our country. There is a way to reach and impact this next generation with the gospel but it will take new methods of communication and evangelism. Thank you Keynote for using your time, resources and manpower to equip me and so many other harvest workers to become more effective evangelists in 2014!

As you can see, Keynote’s Comm Lab was a great success. Karl helped run tech for the meetings and we even housed one of the participants (who happened to be my close friend-bonus!). As promised, below is another Campus Mid-Year Report excerpt. God is moving! Thank you for being a part of our ministry team.

An Entire Pledge Class

To say it’s rare to find a Christian in the University of Alabama Greek system is an understatement. However, recently a junior in Chi Omega organized an outreach in the football stadium to this year’s pledge class. Over 1,000 pledges heard the gospel!