Every other summer, over 5000 Cru Staff members from across the United States convene at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado for 2 weeks of vision, training, worship and spiritual refreshment.
Over the years, this has been a highlight of our summer and a family tradition as we make the trek across the Southwest to connect with friends, and be challenged and motivated from God’s Word by Cru leaders and Christian leaders from around the world.
This year, Jen and I were not able to attend the conference due to Jen’s recent health issues. Back in February, the outlook for Jen’s health looked very uncertain. We were anticipating another round of chemo-therapy that would have lowered Jen’s immune system and put it in its most compromising state right at the time we would be surrounded by 5000 other people in varying states of physical wellness.
As a result of the questions we were facing, our leadership granted us an exemption from attending this year’s conference. It seemed like the wisest course of action.
Though Jen and I weren’t able to be there, we made the decision to send Jacob and Joshua so they could participate in the Cru high school Getaway program and connect with some of their friends. They had a blast flying on a plane for the first time by themselves and were definitely challenged by speakers like Josh McDowell. In addition, their faith was stretched as they had the opportunity to share their faith in the local community.
Jen and I were disappointed that we weren’t able to attend the Cru15 conference in person. You may be wondering why we would be sad to miss out on a 2 week-long conference of meetings and training sessions. After all, getting exempted from a work conference is normally like a receiving a “Get out of Jail Free” card.
Though it’s a conference, with many meetings and sessions, there are a lot of fun activities with a definite family atmosphere. We’ve found it to be a great time to connect with our friends, co-workers and even many of our former students who are now working with Cru. It’s amazing how road trips and living out of your suitcase for a few weeks can create a lot of family bonding opportunities and many lifetime memories.
Though we weren’t there in person, through the marvel of modern technology, Jen and I were able to live-stream many of the main sessions and interact with our co-workers on social media. It wasn’t the same as being there in person of course, but it was great to hear the speakers and see the direction and vision of Cru for the next few years.
A couple of exciting themes emerged from this year’s conference. One was a continued commitment to reach the ethnic scope around us and to create an atmosphere in our organization that would welcome and foster ethnic diversity.
Jen and I have a passion for ethnic diversity in ministry because of our many years of giving leadership to Ethnic Student Ministries in the campus ministry. It has been a long road of learning and growing as an organization, but we’re confident that we’re on the right path as an organization and that our leaders are leading us through the necessary changes to make sure we are relevant as an organization for many years to come to those whom we seek to reach.
A second theme that emerged was the need to humbly partner with others. If we’re committed to reaching every person, we must be willing to come alongside churches, volunteers and lay people and work together synergistically to accomplish the Lord’s work.
Partnering is one of the core values Jen and I have as we seek to reach Millennials, who have a strong desire to be mentored. Our desire is to raise up and train dozens if not hundreds of volunteers throughout Orange County who could impact Millennials by leading community groups and providing mentoring both spiritually and professionally to this unreached generation.
We couldn’t be more excited about the vision and direction the Lord has given us. Would you please pray for us and with us as we seek to take the next steps in developing our ministry to Millennials?
Thank you for your partnership with us and your ministry to us. You are a blessing from the Lord to us and our family!
Click here to access the pdf version of The Lowedown.