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I recently heard the following encouraging stories from elsewhere in Cru. Even with summer mission trips canceled due to COVID-19, God worked in exciting new ways this summer.
On Campuses in The Middle East
“Faith-stretching. Awe-striking. Thrilling.” Planted amidst Middle Eastern students this past year, that is how an international intern described unprecedented gospel advances built on three years of pioneering work by her team.
“The pandemic didn’t stop but rather accelerated the mission.” the intern explained. Three impossible countries now have campus movements where none previously existed.
The team led 119 to Christ over the past 11 months, and over 100 of these new believers were coached by team members. Using digital strategies, their scope encompassed universities in two adjoining countries. As the pandemic continues, the number of new believers has grown to 389, with 270 of these the fruit of the new believers’ witness! One new believer from last May led 23 others to Christ, and seven of them led 41 more to faith!
In the Lives of U.S. Students
Thousandsof U.S. students were ready to go on mission with Cru before COVID-19 shut down all summer ministry trips. “When I heard the Jersey mission was canceled, I was devastated … I felt trapped at home,” said Sarah (University of Iowa ’21).
But Sarah didn’t give up on using her summer break to grow. She participated in Summer of Theology – a ten-week course adapted from training content used for new Cru staff. Offered specifically for students during this unprecedented summer, the course bolstered Sarah’s understanding of Christian doctrine and equipped her for a lifetime of following God and living on mission.
Another student, Isaiah (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ‘22), was excited for the opportunity to prepare for ministry this fall: “I’m leading a freshman Bible study next year and I want to have a better grasp on what we believe so I can be a better leader.”
Students met in small groups via Zoom for interactive sessions covering topics like the nature of God and humanity, redemption, sanctification, the Church, the Bible, and the Great Commission. The staff members who organized the class thought 50 students would sign up, but over 500 students joined Summer of Theology!
I hope you are encouraged as I was to read of how God is changing lives through Cru during this unusual season of pandemic. Praise Him with me for how He is working!!