Jen and I were cautiously anticipating our trip to Milwaukee for Cru22 as it’s been 3 long years since the staff of Cru have convened together for a large staff gathering.
About a week before the conference, we started getting text messages and emails from friends telling us they were sorry that they wouldn’t be able to see us in Milwaukee and sharing their hopes and prayers that we would get better.
We were a bit confused until we realized that another Dave Lowe who is on staff with Cru (FamilyLife) had posted on a work forum that he was going to have to miss the conference due to having Covid. Our friends who saw that post had mistaken the other Dave Lowe for me.
I assured our friends and colleagues that the news of my demise had been greatly exaggerated and that we were indeed planning on attending this much-awaited event.
The mood and the atmosphere of the conference was much different than years past.
Not only has it been several years since being together, but our location, which was the same for nearly 50 years, was completely different.
There have also been quite a number of leadership changes in the past two years. Cru has a new Global president (only the 3rd in our 70+ year history), a new U.S. Ministries Director, a new Campus Ministry Executive Director and a new City Executive Director (the division we work in).
Still, it was great to be together with friends and co-workers, many whom we haven’t seen either in person or even virtually for at least 3 years.
The emphasis was on revisiting our roots and reaffirming our calling, which is to help fulfill the Great Commission by Wining others to Christ, Building them up in their faith and then Sending them out to do likewise.
We spent the first few days with our specific ministry where our leaders crystallized our unique calling and mission to 20-Somethings: to transition, holistically form and launch 20-Somethings to find their place in God’s story.
Jen had the opportunity to share a story about her friend Grace (whom we highlighted in last month’s letter) and how Jen has helped Grace to uncover some of her unique gifts and discover her passion and calling for ministry within the art community.
As our conference shifted from smaller gatherings among the different Cru ministries to the large group sessions with all of our staff together, we started to get reports that people whom we had been in close contact with early in the conference had gotten sick and tested positive for Covid.
Sure enough, I (Dave) started feeling some mild cold-like symptoms after the first full day of large group sessions. As a precaution, we stayed in our hotel room the next day and watched the sessions online.
We were able to secure a Covid test that next day and I tested negative. I assumed I just had a cold. Still, not wanting to get others sick, we isolated ourselves and finished out the conference by watching online in our hotel room.
While we were encouraged by the speakers and the different reports about how Cru ministries are reaching people around the world with the good news of Jesus, we were a bit bummed that we weren’t able to connect with as many of our friends and fellow Cru staff as we had expected.
After returning home, I suspected I might be developing a sinus infection, so I went to an Urgent Care where I took another Covid test. This time I tested positive. Jen then tested positive as well.
Fortunately, our Covid symptoms were mild and never too serious. We’re glad to share that we’ve both recovered from our Covid experience, though perhaps I should’ve taken the work forum post from my namesake (Dave Lowe) more seriously!
As our summer winds down and we transition to the Fall, we would appreciate your continued prayers as we seek to transition, holistically form and launch 20-Somethings to find their place in God’s story!