Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why we are Here

A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out at the Mott House on North Campus. I met a guy there named Michael. He was a Cornell grad class of 1978. We got to talking and he informed me that he is a missionary in Northern Europe and he’s currently studying in the U.K. When I told him that I was on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, he cordially said “I have to thank you! It was through Campus Crusade that I came to know the Lord.” We praised God together.

A bit later I learned though, that in fact Michael did not come to know Jesus Christ at Cornell. Though God had used our ministry in his life, it had been in Japan some years later. That’s a cool story, and God gets all the credit for sure, but there was also a sad and tragic part to the tale. While Michael was in school here at Cornell over 30 years ago, no one ever talked to him about God. He studied and lived in Ithaca for 4 years without ever being exposed to the glory of the Gospel!

Compelled by the love of Christ, we labor together so that doesn’t happen! Our hope as CRU is to put the Gospel within arms reach of every student. We want to be a group of people who make Jesus known all over campus. Jesus said plainly that HE is the way, and the truth, and the life and nobody can come to know God except through a relationship with him. (John 14:6) Jesus died on the cross so that we could be reconciled to God and we want everybody to know that. It is our goal that every student at Cornell would know someone who is truly following Jesus.

What would our campus look like if everyone who followed Christ was truly living out their call to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light?” And beyond that, what would the world look like?

Cornell is an extremely strategic place to declare the good news. At the end of his time on earth, Jesus commissioned his followers to go out into the whole world and make disciples. When Bill Bright started Campus Crusade for Christ at UCLA in 1951 he did so because he recognized that the college campus is a place where the leaders of the future are gathered. He said “reach the campus today, reach the world tomorrow”. Over half of all Cornell students are from outside New York and 7% of our undergrad population is from outside of the United States. If more students can come to know Jesus while here at school, we will see the love of Christ leave here and go all over the place!

We want to spread out all over this campus, extending the love of Christ into every corner and culture. As one senior staff shared with me about a year ago; “we want to be like the vendors at Yankee stadium.” We want to be all over campus making the gospel so available, that no one would go four years here never hearing the name of Jesus.

As a ministry, we want to help students live for God make the most of the opportunities that college affords. CRU exists to help students live lives that count for eternity; to help each other to not waste our lives!

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