Acts of Compassion Open Doors for the Gospel

At times I am asked to help with projects outside of my normal responsibilities. One was to help set up the registration website for a unique spring break mission for students. Traditional Cru spring break trips focus on evangelism at a beach or resort, but this one focused on service. Each week in March, a new group of students went to the Houston area to partner with churches and relief ministries to help rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. More than one thousand college students from 57 universities in 23 states gave 32,544 volunteer hours to repair damaged houses, demolish mold-infested homes and build new ones.

Here are the stories of two students who went on the Harvey Relief Mission.

Edgar’s Story

Edgar is a student at Indiana University (IU) who loves to cut hair. While building the foundations of a new home, Edgar met the homeowners, Pang and Kim. This Cambodian-American couple had been living in a corrugated tin roof shack ever since the floodwaters of Harvey destroyed their house. With the help of Google Translate, Edgar shared the gospel with his new friends. Both Pang and Kim committed their lives to Jesus on the spot. Edgar celebrated by giving Pang a haircut, and Pang and Kim celebrated by getting baptized later that week.

Pang, Edgar, IU staff member Brandon, Kim

Brittney’s Story

Today’s college student has a huge heart to show compassion and fight for justice, so 20% of those who served on the Harvey mission were not followers of Jesus. Brittney, for example, was one of the first students from Kansas State to sign up. During her week of hard work side-by-side with students who love Jesus, she began to yearn for God as she never had before. During the closing event for the week, the speaker asked the students to compare their personal lives to the homes they had repaired – perhaps looking good on the outside, but broken and even unlivable on the inside. He challenged them to surrender their lives to Christ, the only one who can fix broken lives. The Lord moved in Brittney’s heart, and she surrendered her life to Jesus that night.

It was encouraging for me to hear these stories of God at work through another part of Cru. I’m also glad I was able to help, even though it was only in a very small way. You, however, help me in a BIG way. Thank you for your partnership!

Please Pray…

  • For the gospel to continue to bear fruit from the Harvey Relief Mission.
  • For God to open up calendar spots this fall/winter for Emcee Training and for short versions of Comm Lab in East Asia (probably by video conference) and North Dakota.
  • For Comm Labs scheduled in 2019 in South Africa (February – and no, I’m not going on this trip) Raleigh, North Carolina (April) and Dublin, Ireland (November).

Thank you for praying!

Comm Lab 2018 Report

Thank you for praying for Comm Lab! God answered:

  • He provided someone to help me with the administrative details and gave me peace during the conference.
  • He provided a total of 21 people to attend—not the 35 we had prayed for, but enough people for a good training atmosphere.
  • The Irish staff members loved the training, and together we are making plans for a training event in Dublin in less than a year!

Please Pray…

  • For the Comm Lab trainees as they put their new skills into practice
  • For wisdom as we determine when best to schedule training events in the upcoming months. In addition to our plans for Ireland,we also have requests from Cru ministries in North Dakota, North Carolina, South Africa, and East Asia!

Thank you for praying!

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Preparing for Comm Lab 2018

I am once again in the midst of preparations for our annual communication training event called Comm Lab (see the details below the photo). Cru staff members are often called upon to speak in front of groups, and Comm Lab gives them tools to grow in those skills. I would love it if you would pray for me and for the conference as a whole!

Please pray…

  • for me as I juggle many administrative details, that I would rely on God and experience His peace
  • for God to use the letters, emails and social media posts about Comm Lab to draw at least 17 more
  • people to the conference (as I’m writing this, we have 18 registered)
  • for the 5 staff members coming from Ireland (yes, Ireland!) and for our conversations about their request for us to come train staff members from all over western Europe
  • for safe travel for all the coaches and attendees
  • for God to use the conference to encourage and equip people for ministry.

Thank you so much for your partnership! I couldn’t do this without you!

Comm Lab coach
One of our trainers coaching a trainee at Comm Lab 2016

About Comm Lab

“The day of average is officially over.”

And being an average communicator is no longer good enough. People are bombarded by thousands of messages a day, so how do you ensure your message punches through the noise and resonates with your audience?

Whether you speak at weekly meetings, cast vision for your ministry, give evangelistic talks, or train your students and staff to share their God stories, Comm Lab can help you to more effectively communicate your message to your target audience.

Don’t settle for average.
Join us for our next better-than-average event:

Comm Lab
April 9-12, 2018 in Indianapolis
Learn more at https://cru.org/commlab
Conference Cost: $269
Registration closes April 2.

God Uses Anthem City

Anthem CityLast month I told you about Hannah, one of the staff members we trained in public speaking at Comm Lab last April. As the lead singer of Cru’s band Anthem City, Hannah shared her story of how God met her in a time of deep grief. She then offered audience members an opportunity to place their trust in Jesus Christ.

I’ve been encouraged to hear how God used Anthem City (and especially Hannah’s story) during their Christmas tour. Here are some excerpts from an email they just received about their concert at Pendleton Correctional Facility.

I wanted to let you know at least some of the impact of the Anthem City Concert at PCF that I had personally heard about from some of the inmates.

Raymond – an inmate (part of the Church Inside – Kairos community) said that … it was the best concert he had heard at the prison. As well as the excitement and energy, the witness from the lead singer … brought tears to the eyes of many of the hardened inmates as they listened to her story.

The week after the concert there was a baptism for those who had given their lives to Christ and Kairos had a reunion immediately after the baptism which I attended. This is where Raymond told me about the wonderful concert and the fact that at least 3 of the people who had been baptized … had made the decision as a direct consequence of attending the concert. Praise God!

As if that was not enough I also talked to one of the leaders of the Church Inside (Chris) who had been wrestling with a decision. He had been approached by other Church leaders and asked to take on the role of Pastor. He was resistant to the call and struggling. He also attended the concert and in his words “the love of God was so obvious in the girl singing at the front”. He ended up being one of those crying (not understanding why), surrendering his resistance, and agreeing to take on the role of Pastor. …

Please let the group know that the effect that they have on those Inside is huge and that through them souls are brought to God and the Church Inside grows and becomes stronger.

Thank you so much for partnering with me in ministry! You make it possible for me to organize communication training events and resources like Comm Lab, which help people like Hannah become more effective in sharing the good news of Christ!

Tour Statistics

  • Total Attendance: 3125
  • Number of concerts: 22
  • Indicated salvation decisions: 238
  • Indicated recommitment decisions: 361
  • Total indicated decisions: 599

Please Pray…

  • That God will continue to work in the hearts of those who heard Anthem City
  • For me as I lead preparations for Comm Lab 2018

Christmas Hope

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new a glorious morn.

I listened to Hannah, the lead singer of our band Anthem City, recount how God met her during a time of deep grief when she desperately needed the hope “O Holy Night” proclaims. She told how God used a little girl to show her that He is intent on pursuing us and bringing us peace in the midst of difficulties. Her openness and genuine emotion touched my heart as she spoke.

Hannah was trained as a communicator at our Comm Lab last spring. She will proclaim the hope of Jesus in prisons, homeless shelters, teen centers and elsewhere as Anthem City presents their Christmas Experience concert to thousands in the coming weeks. I’m confident that God will use her story to touch many of those hearts and draw them to Himself.

Our world today is pining because of sin and error, and weary souls are all around—next door, across town, or on the other side of the world. They need to experience the worth and the thrill of hope that Jesus alone brings.

In 2018 we have the opportunity to engage hearts around the world with this message. Through communication training and other creative tools, we are equipping many more people like Hannah to share Christ’s hope with those who desperately need to hear.

Because of your partnership with me as I coordinate communication training events and tools like Comm Lab, many other missionaries and volunteers like Hannah will be equipped to share the hope of Jesus. Thank you for your part in reaching people around the world with the hope of the gospel!

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