This summer was going to prove to be a long but great one with all the work and travel involved. We were not looking forward to being two months on the road but we knew that ministry was involved—the opportunity to allow God to use us in some small way. In all we ended up logging over 5,000 miles in our car as we traveled from place to place.
The two main places we spent most of our time this summer were New York City and Fort Collins, Colorado. To get to NYC we drove up to Maryland to Kirk’s parents’ place and then took the train into the Big Apple. We had three wonderful weeks there as we worked with college art students, painted a mural, and had an art show to introduce a partner ministry to the neighborhood and create a space for conversations about God and spiritual things. It had been two summers since last we were in the City and it was a great way to re-enter.
From NYC we took the train back to Maryland to start our drive west to Colorado. On our way west we stopped off to see friends in Lexington, Kentucky, and St. Louis, Missouri, before arriving in Fort Collins in mid-July. We both jumped in to assist in the production or our National Staff Conference. Sarah helped with two things: the production design of comedic short videos shown during the main sessions, and the design of a mural as part of the prayer tent. Kirk also helped with the comedic short videos and directed the live cameras during the main sessions from the TV truck. We both count it a privilege to serve our fellow Campus Crusade staff.
After Colorado, we began the long trip back east stopping off first in Colorado Springs to see family. Kirk’s sister, Stacey, and brother-in-law, John, are due to have a son in October so Sarah attended a shower in Stacey’s honor.
We really had a great project in NYC, it was a refreshing time for both of us. The students were able to finish their collaborative art pieces in time for the show on July 6. We had a substantial turnout to see the art and hear about the project, and Here’s Life Inner City and their work on behalf of the poor. The people that came to the show were mostly from the Long Island City neighborhood where we conducted the project. This turned out to be an advantage because we felt like we were serving the local neighborhood rather than feeling like we had to invite the entire city.
During the art show, there were a couple of highlights that stood out: one, is that Sarah and I were able to have a great discussion with a gentleman who worked right next door to the warehouse. He seemed to appreciate the spirit of the show—it represented a place for people to reflect and discuss meaningful issues. He also liked that we did the show in partnership with an organization that sought to meet the needs of the poor. We agreed (it was great to talk with you Harlan – please keep in touch!).
The other story we really liked was about two women who came to the show. During the previous week, they had been approached by a couple of our students and had gone through the Soularium survey cards. (Whenever the students went through a survey with someone, they invited the “surveyees” to the show.) Both these ladies came as a result of this interaction. One commented to our friend Leigh Ann that they really enjoyed the survey, saying that they were able to have a meaningful discussion about spiritual things without it being pushy. I find that to be a huge compliment.
Staff Conference 2011
Along with 5,000 U.S. staff at our biennial conference, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ministry founded by Bill and Vonette Bright.
We also celebrated the inauguration of a new name for Campus Crusade for Christ. In 2012, Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. will become Cru. Cru is not an abbreviation or acronym. Its use began in the mid-1990s as a nickname for Campus Crusade on college campuses because the full name hindered their ability to reach every student. The decision and process to change the name was a prayerful one that spanned the last two years. At the conference, co-founder Vonette Bright shared with the staff that she and Bill knew the time would come for a name change.
Our mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth is unchanged and unwavering. Just in the last school year in our middle and high school ministry, 194,000 students heard the gospel clearly presented and 12,600 of these students made decisions to follow Jesus.
Much has been said about our name change in the news media. There is more information online at http://www.ccci.org/cru that we hope you will explore. John Piper also posted an article on his site (click here to read) that you may find insightful.
You might be excited about the change or you might have concerns. Either way, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly to ask questions and discuss your thoughts.
We hope you have enjoyed our “news” from this summer. We’re still trying to catch-up with a variety of correspondence and life in general. Through your prayer and financial support, you are part of reaching teenagers and college students with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you for giving to the Lord through our ministry!
click here to see the mural created during the project & a short video showing the process
click on one of the images below to view photos from the Tribeca Arts Summer Project 2011