Monday, March 14, 2011

Big Break Coming Up!

Student Leader Elaine Higashi put this video together for us. It's a compilation of footage from the past two years at Big Break in Panama City Beach. Next week, we'll be heading out to Florida with our students.

And this past weekend we heard from Korean American missionary to Japan Michael Oh. One of his first mission experiences was out in Daytona Beach!

He wrote this blog post and it is totally worth reading! It illustrates so much of why we go out to the beaches of Florida each year.

Here's an excerpt:

I was a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. If it had been one year earlier I would have been at Daytona Beach to join in the partying. As it was, God had intervened mercifully in my life before going to college, and I was there for a beach evangelism project. Christians sure know how to almost have fun......Read More

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

“Tom is with Jesus”

The team was working out and one of the guys on the team was hassling another dude about his long-distance relationship. He was just giving him a hard time because he was committed to some girlfriend so far away. Then he said “well you know, Tom’s in a relationship too.” Tom was a bit surprised, and so he chimed in. “No I’m not, I actually broke up with my girlfriend”. “Yeah, I know,” his team mate said, “but you’re with Jesus.”

And that’s the truth!

Tom was in high school when he saw the Cornell baseball team play near his hometown. He was in the process of applying to colleges, and he liked the Cornell uniforms, so he began to check the school out online. This year he arrived as a freshman, recruited as a pitcher for the team.

The Spiritual heritage of Tom’s family is a bit complicated, but he learned the truths of the Gospel while attending a Christian high school. While many people fall away from God in college, Tom told me that arriving at Cornell actually spurred him out of ‘luke-warmness’. Confronted with the hollow philosophies of the world and seeing the emptiness of the dominant idols like alcohol and sex, he realized that the stuff he had learned back in high school was solid! It became his passion follow Jesus with faith and boldness.

Tom is very honest about his faith, and strives to be a blessing and an example on the team. Tom tries to serve his team, be a good friend and witness to those around him. It’s important that he point to Christ as his Savior because otherwise he told me “people might just think I’m a ‘good kid’ or something”, when the reality is that he’s a sinful guy like everyone else, but God is working in and thru him.

Tom has been so open, that pretty much everyone on the team knows he’s a believer. The guys in his dorm also know. Tom has a picture of Jesus hanging on his wall and he wears a Gold crucifix on his neck –“and it’s not just for show” he told me. Tom is the real deal, striving to humbly exalt Jesus in everything he does.

And it appears to me, that amongst his peers, when people see Tom, they begin to see Jesus. He’s been growing his beard out a little bit, and when I saw him the other day I told him he looked like Lib Schrieber in X-men. But one of the guys on the team saw him and said “Tom. You’re looking so…so Biblical dude. You look like one of the apostles.”

Yes he does. But it’s not just because of the beard!