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.

First Field Test for “Students Reaching Students”

The training material I helped edit recently called Students Reaching Students is now being field-tested at Taylor University. (Those of you outside the midwest may not know that Taylor is a prestigious non-denominational Christian liberal arts college here in Indiana.)

A small group of students is going on a school-sponsored mission trip to Ecuador during their January break. Cru staff member Darin Buffkin is using Students Reaching Students to equip them to share the good news about Jesus Christ with Ecuadorian students. After the trip, Darin will let us know how well the material worked and if we can improve it in any way.

Please pray that the materials will be effective in preparing the Taylor students for their mission trip and that we will receive valuable feedback as a result of this test.

“Students Reaching Students”

In July I spent a week in Colorado attending Cru’s U.S. staff conference. The theme of the conference was “WITH” – connecting

  • WITH God
  • WITH one another as staff members from different backgrounds and ethnicities
  • WITH people who don’t know Jesus as their Savior
  • WITH other ministries outside of Cru to partner in the work of the gospel.

I was particularly encouraged to hear about some of the partnerships we have been building with others in the body of Christ. God has been bringing together churches and mission organizations worldwide to help give everyone on the planet an opportunity to hear the good news about Jesus.

Cru has started a growing partnership with Christian colleges for short-term international mission trips for their students. Before the trip, Cru staff members train the students in some practical ways to share the gospel in another culture.

"Know God Personally" booklet
A Cru evangelism tool used in “Students Reaching Students”

Our team is pulling together the content used by different trainers and combining it with a few new items into a packet called “Students Reaching Students.” Our goal is to produce a resource that is attractive, engaging, and practical for both students and trainers. I’m excited that I can use my editing skills (for both content and video) to help further this partnership and train new short-term missionaries!

Prayer Requests

  • For the “Students Reaching Students” team: Pray that we will be sensitive to God’s guidance so that we will produce material that will meet the needs of those who will use it
  • For Charlottesville: In light of the recent tragedy pray that God will use His people as beacons of His love and justice, both in Charlottesville and the nation, and that many will turn to Jesus who alone brings true reconciliation with both God and humanity.

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