Category Archives: General

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!

Worship and Prayer

worship-arts-weekend

Imagine hosting 11 college students! We had the privilege of hosting the Ball State University students who attended the Spring 2016 Worship Arts Weekend.

Some comments from the students:
“It is so helpful and transformed what worship looked like on our campus. It also helped to reorient my heart towards God in a powerful way this year and I am so thankful for that.”

“Just thank you. You guys challenged me this weekend, helped me grow and connect with God. You guys taught me so much this weekend and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Boehlke-Kranich

Tuesday was Cru’s semiannual Worldwide Day of prayer, and we were joined by Jeff and Jo Boehlke, our friends from southern Indiana.

Jeff and I both work remotely for the same team in Orlando, and spend a lot of time working together on Cru’s Google system.

Our team is also working on projects to improve Cru’s financial system, web hosting, and other systems. We appreciate your prayers for wisdom and the ability to make quick progress!

Operation Transit

Operation Transit-web

How would you react if you saw hundreds of cars backed up trying to get to a ferry port? I would probably just get stressed, but the founders of Operation Transit saw an opportunity for the gospel.

Each year, thousands of North Africans travel from their workplaces in Europe back home to visit family in places where the gospel is not easily shared. But as they wait in European ports, ministry teams with Operation Transit (a partnership that Cru is involved in) pass out gospel materials. Our friends Allen and Deedee Iobst help lead this ministry and report that teams distributed almost 220,000 items in 2015.

They’ve also been experimenting with different types of technology, which always gets me excited. They’re working on USB thumb drives that will contain gospel materials, and even portable wifi routers that create mini web sites from which passersby can download films and books.

They’re always looking for families and church teams to join them for 12-day sessions throughout the summer. If you’re interested, contact us and we’ll connect you with Allen and Deedee.

God produces a constant stream of encouraging stories from Operation Transit. In their latest newsletter, Allen and Deedee report:

“Recently, five ladies from a couple of churches in Madrid came down to help us with our outreach. One day they faced a day-long downpour. But something extraordinary happened: exactly when the cars drove off the ferry boat, the rain stopped just long enough for effective Bible distribution. Then the rain would start up again, until the next boat arrived! On another day, the same team met increasing opposition from the port police. Then one of the ladies explained: ‘What we are doing is helping you. We are sharing the love of Jesus, and if they accept it, it will change everything for the better.’ The official agreed, saying ‘I didn’t realize that.’ He went on to explain our outreach to his colleague. After that, the same port police who had been discouraging the work began actively encouraging travelers to accept the gospel packets!”

Because of the location of this work, they have also been wrestling with how to respond to the refugee crisis. “We can respond to the newcomers with fear, or we can respond with love. We can realize that the Lord may be sending people into Europe not just to find safety or jobs, but also to find God’s grace. We can choose to take the opportunity to share God’s love in truly helpful ways.” Please pray for these opportunities!

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.

Giving Thanks for You!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thess 5:16-18

I (Karl) have read 1 Thessalonians several times lately. It’s amazing how much God and Paul packed into a letter that fits on 2.5 pages of my Bible and can be read in 15 minutes!

Paul starts by telling the Thessalonian Christians how he thanks God for them constantly, and ends with the exhortation to “give thanks in all circumstances”. We have so much to be thankful for, and you are at the top of the list! We are so thankful for your prayers and giving. We’re thankful that we have this job of equipping missionaries to share the gospel effectively, and you make it possible.

Thanks to your generosity and God’s grace, August 2014 through July 2014 has been the most fruitful year of evangelism in the history of the US campus ministry. 16.2 million people heard the gospel, resulting in 234,662 new believers!

ministry fruit

One of those new believers was Kristopher, a student and former atheist who found Cru’s site www.everystudent.com last year.  He said, “I was an atheist until about last night when I chose to take a shot at connecting with Jesus. The life of an atheist is devoid of any real hope and that just wasn’t the life for me. I am ready to have a relationship with him. I look forward to more emails.”

Let’s thank God together for his grace and love!