I love what the Lord has called us to do. It is not all easy – getting stood up for appointments, having people say “no” to Jesus, meeting with people to ask them to partner with us prayerfully and financially, spending summer away from our home and friends,etc. – but it is all worth it.
The Lord is so gracious to remind us of the worth of what we are doing over and over again throughout the year, but I think we especially feel it at this time of year. When we meet new freshmen who are searching so desperately to fit in and are torn between what they grew up believing and the “new” and “exciting” ideas and choices that seem to await them at college. Or when we talk to students who came to college so concerned because they didn’t know any people, let along any other Christians, and are so overjoyed to find other believers who desire to share about Christ with others. Or when we meet a student who grew up in a home with parents who don’t personally know the Lord and they haven’t really ever heard about Christ but have so many questions and are crying because we are sharing with them something they are so desperate for. Or when I hear from Samantha, one of my teammates, about a conversation she had on campus with a Muslim student that lasted multiple hours and resulted in the Muslim student wanting to connect again to ask more questions. Or when we meet the Vice President at Bladen College (a college where is impacting many other students and faculty) and he says that he really believes in what Cru does because he was involved in Cru at Campbell University (a small university that we are currently reaching out at) and we are reminded that we don’t know what the Lord has planned for these students or the impact they will make after they graduate.
Let me just be honest…last year was tough. We faced a lot of administration struggles, drama between a student and her ex-boyfriend who was harassing our students and our staff members (including Ed), and just learning to lead and work together as a team. This year has already started out much better and we are excited to see what is going to happen. Let me share really quickly a few fun things that have happened:
1 – Mariah, a student leader of ours with Impact at UNCP, got to see a girl place her faith in Christ! It is fun to see that happen – period – but even more fun when it is a student seeing it happen with another student.
2 – After filling out lots of paperwork, we have been approved to go to on Wake Tech’s campus. We aren’t allowed to just walk on anytime we would like, but we can come for Bible study and special events. We have to go to campus next week to get our official IDs. This is a huge answer to prayer!!
3 – Ed met 4 guys at Campbell University who are believers and are interested in being involved there. We had all girls and 1 or 2 guys last year, so our prayer has been that we would find solid guys who would attract other guys and want to make a difference. Pray that they get involved and Ed can continue meeting with them!
4 – Ed met with a faculty member at Wake Tech north and we are going to start mentoring their student leader and equip them to reach their campus. They already have two faculty members and 20-25 students involved and saw 5 students come to the know the Lord last year. I love when we can step in and be a part of where the Lord is so very obviously moving!
5 – We had a student leaders day this past weekend and were just reminded how great our student leaders are. Because we have so many campuses, it is so very crucial that we have great leaders who want to reach their campus and are aligned. They sacrifice and put in so much and we are so thankful for them!
6 – UNCP is a school that was originally started for Native Americans who reside in Pembroke, NC as part of the Lumbee Indian tribe. Because there are so many Lumbees there, we are trying to launch a ministry called Nations geared toward Native American students. We have a few volunteers who are Native American (one is even planning on joining staff this year!), one student leader, another potential student leader, and are planning on launching a bible study in the next few weeks. We have been dreaming about launching this ministry since we got here and it is fun to see how the Lord is beginning to make that dream a reality!
I could go on and on with all the Lord is doing!
This is an excerpt from an article explaining the importance of the first few weeks on campus and why this “fall rush” is such a big time for us:
The first few weeks on campus offer a unique opportunity that will not be duplicated during any other time during the school year. The harvest is never more plentiful than it is during the opening weeks of school. Studies have shown that students are more responsive to the gospel in September than they are in May. During the first couple of weeks on campus, students are looking for friendships. Peer groups and schedules are formed in these critical first few weeks. Christian students come to campus looking for a place to plug in and grow.
Please pray that the Lord would move mightily and would work on students’ hearts as he allows us to interact with them and share about who He is! Pray that we would have persevere and that the Lord would provide energy for us to do what He has called us to do (Ed worked multiple 12 hour days this past week and that is taxing on the whole family!). Pray that we would see fruit and growth in students’ lives, in the movements we currently have, and in the ones we are trying to launch!