Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Interns for Next Year!

As we look towards next year we are extremely encouraged by the number of interns that will hopefully be serving with us here at Cornell!  Each of us is laboring to raise our funds this summer, but if all goes well there will be 7 of us (including Stephanie and I) working as a team here on campus next fall.  I'd like to introduce our three newest interns so that you can be praying for them asap! We've got three new interns and two returners; all of whom are Cornell alum.

Sam Rabkin
Sam graduated with a degree in Engineering Physics.  By faith he turned down at least one lucrative job offer with IBM in order to stay here with us for a year ministering to college students.  Sam became a follower of Jesus while he was a student.  The community of Cru was instrumental in enabling Sam to understand the gospel and his desire is to help others experience that same blessing.  

Sam is an incredibly loving guy who is known for serving and helping others.  As a student leader he was instrumental in (consistently) mobilizing our movement to help serve the homeless in our city.
 On campus he was on the Taekwondo team where he not only excelled athletically, but he also facilitated an incredible community group where both Christians and others were able to explore the Bible and the Christian worldview.
Sam has an incredible heart for kids and last year he and I got to serve together in Haiti.  Although engineering internships are important for career prospects, Sam spent a couple of his summer's serving kids in both the U.S. and Bolivia.

Kelechi Umoga
Kelechi Umoga is an inspirational man!  Specifically because our ministry here is so international, I am really excited to have a team member who is from Africa; Kelechi hails from Nigeria.  Kelechi is a man of conviction and faith and sticking around to intern with Cru is just one more demonstration of that.  Usually, when a student comes from another country to study in the States, it is so that they can get on sort of "fast track" to success, wealth and even power.  Slowing that momentum down in order to humbly ask others for financial support  so that you can hang out on campus talking about Jesus and hosting Bible studies is not normal!  And in fact, according to common opinion*, it's considered stupid!  When people ask Kelechi why he is doing this, the tone tends towards concern, confusion and even pity.  It's a "what happened?   Or "where is your focus?  Did something happen to you?  Don't you remember what's really important?"  haha!  The answer to all of  those questions is Jesus!    Kelechi has a powerful and personal relationship with God and that certainly affects everything!

As an international student it's scary to even attempt the fund raising endeavor because he doesn't have as many relationships here in the states!  I'm grateful for Kelechi's courage!  

He's not afraid to walk a different path even if it seems completely "out of the box."

Kelechi and Sam are actually really good friends and so it's going to be awesome to have them both on campus for another year.

I wrote a blog post on Kelechi back in January.  Link to it here. 

Anna Thompson
I often tell prospective students that THE BEST REASON to come to school at Cornell is to be a part of the awesome things God is doing here on campusAnna whole-heartedly agrees!  She first plugged in with us when she was attending the local community college in our area.  After getting her associates and working for a couple of years in another city she felt lead to pursue more education  -specifically at Cornell.  One of the driving motivations for her applying to come here was the chance to spend  more time serving and being  involved with our ministry!  

She told me; “Cru was truly instrumental in my life  – it made a huge difference while I was a local community college student and [was again when I transferred back!]  Because of the way that God used Cru in my life, when people ask me how I came to Cornell, I have a natural avenue to tell them about God and invite them to Cru
Anna and her brother doing the "Tough Mudder" adventure race!
Believe me, God has been using Anna to make a huge difference in the lives as others as well!   She's very social and extremely friendly and it seems every single week she has the chance to talk with somebody about her faith and how the gospel brings life and joy.  

Anna has a lot of energy and it's going to be good to have her spending time with younger students; mentoring and helping them to walk by faith.  She has an adventurous spirit and I know that our female leaders age gonna be so blessed! 

Nick Biebel will be returning as an intern.  His new wife Ronkui will also be here of course! 

Mercy Gbenjo is also going be here serving as part time field staff! 

* depending who you are talking to it is very common to hear negative perspective towards the idea of graduates raising funds and serving for a year in ministry.  Why?  Many think it poses too great a risk to one's career advancement opportunities.    Even some Christian parents consider the Cru intern option a foolish decision that can have an adverse affect on a person's educational or professional and economic future.  This despite the fact that every single one of our former interns has in fact gone on to pursue/obtain a graduate degree and/or a job.  

Ben Hutton M-Div (Westminster)
John Sullivan M-Div  (Westminster)
Edgar Lei  Currently in Med School at Tufts
Charlene Chan  Currently in Med School at Loyola
Larry Lin (interned in D.C.) Currently in Seminary pursuing M-Div at Southern 
William Poon  Currently in business in NYC  Still has plans to pursue an MBA

No comments:

Post a Comment