Monday, January 27, 2014

A Global Ministry....

Our hope and vision is that Cru at Cornell would be a global ministry.  Certainly, we are a local ministry, situated in Ithaca, New York, but as our God is a global God, we want to be used to make world-wide impact.  We want to zealously GO, anywhere that he would call us.

May we be a "Global ministry based in Ithaca New York" 
Over the break, I got to join a group of Cru team leaders from around New York and New England along with some regional staff and one guy from our international headquarters on a one week "vision trip" to the other side of the world.  It's a big world, I know but it's important for me not to specify exactly where we were hanging out because the world is full of countries that are not open to very much overt Christian ministry.  (Charmayne Yun was the lone woman on the trip.....props to her!) 

We visited a place where God is doing a lot of cool things, and we hung out with numerous in-country full time Christian workers talking about how we can support them best.  In the past we've sent students there over the summer, and this coming summer we've already got a group getting set to go.  

The trip was unbelievably inspiring for me personally.  For starters, it was incredibly refreshing to hang out and do some ministry with some of my friends from around the region.  I think we were all surprised at how fruitful the trip was even though we were there for such a short time.  We were able to hang out and initiate conversations about Jesus with local college students pretty much every day.  There was a lot of openness among the students and we were able to connect those who were interested with Christian students who are involved in Bible studies.  At least one student expressed an enthusiastic desire to put his faith in Jesus Christ right there, and so our friend Dan prayed with him and got him connected with a fellowship of Christians. 

Beyond that though, the trip was characterized by prayer.  We prayed often as a team, but even more, I got to pray with my room mate John Yelverton.  John is the team leader at Syracuse, and each morning we would get up, kneel on our beds and spend extended time praying for all kinds of things!  

Here we are again enjoying some delicious shish-ka-bobs.  I put a red bandana on one of our friends because he's a student who talks to lots of people about Jesus in a place where not everyone is cool with that. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kicking Off the Spring Semester

Of course it's easy to start the semester well, the real trick is finishing well!  I hope that we can persevere and keep this blog a bit more updated this spring than we did in the fall. 
Classes started yesterday at Cornell, so please pray for our Spring Semester.  We kicked off with a leadership meeting last night.  Some 50 students showed up to catch up and share about how God met them over the Christmas break. 

Our Epicenter conference was good.  We had 12 Cornell students along with two girls from SUNY Cortland and one guy from Ithaca College. 

One of the speakers was Doug Pollock, a man who is extremely passionate about engaging people with the good news of Jesus.   Rather than just talk about that though, he thought it would be best to actually do it.  So some of the staff arranged for a couple of guys who are atheists to come out and have a conversation with Doug right there on the stage.  Adam, one of the atheists challenged Christians who don't evangelize because they are afraid of social awkwardness to "get over it"   

Doug demonstrated well how important it is to really care about and listen to people.  He modeled how to be respectful and how to strive for productive dialog when sharing the gospel.  You can watch the session on this video.  (skip ahead to the 7 minute mark to get right to the dialog)

(if the embed code doesn't work, just click on that link... The one your looking for is titled Doug Pollock on Outreach, and you'll see a picture of him sitting in a large leather chair.