I wanted to let you all know that with this prayer letter from the end of October we have redesigned our prayer letter to be smaller to download as a PDF, it’s less than 2Mb. You can download it here.
Also, I wanted to ask for prayer from all of you. As of this week I am going to step back for 2-3 days a week from my Regional IT role and work on shoring up our support base. We know that the financial “crisis” is affecting everyone and we’ve seen that in the amount of financial support that is now consistently coming in comparison with a year ago. We’ve seen some rather large and unexpected gifts that have been keeping us afloat, but like I said they were unexpected and it would be more responsible of us to be sure that there is the support base there. At the same time, those gifts have seemed to be assurances from God that He is indeed caring for us and is aware of our needs – and He provides for them in abundance!
For those of you who prayed for my personal retreat, it went wonderfully as you’ll read below. I was able to stay in a very nice log house by myself (under the “watchful eye” of neighbors who happen to also be financial supporters) and center my heart on the Lord. If you have any questions about it please comment on the post (there is a link at the bottom of it that says something about comments).
Thank you all for your prayers! Here’s the update letter:
This year marked a huge jump in numbers for our annual Fall Retreat! Since the DC Cru movements are all still small and with the Cru group at the University of Maryland, but we also added two other schools – Towson University and Salisbury University. With these additions the total size of the retreat doubled from just over 100 last year to more than 220 this year! In addition to the total numbers we from DC brought 5 times more students than last year – we went from 2 to 12!
The retreat included a lot of powerful things – worship (two of our students helped lead in music), teaching (the DC team, including Carrie and I, taught seminars on a number of subjects), prayer (Saturday night was a “concert of prayer” that included two hours of musical worship and focused prayer for our schools and our world)… and the Norovirus! Two days before it was discovered that a Georgetown cafeteria had somehow spread it to a number of students and faculty, one of those students came to our retreat and began “erupting” as soon as he arrived… only one more person ended up getting sick – thank God!
We had a number of students who have not begun following Christ that came from our schools and experienced the Gospel in a community and saw what real worship and prayer can look like. Pray that the messages given by the speaker and our staff would stick in students’ hearts and minds to draw them closer to Christ even as the conference fades from their memories.
Two weeks after the Fall Retreat I (Jayson) followed God’s lead and took a week-long retreat to get alone to pray and hear from God. Over this past semester I have had some adjustments to my position that has taken some responsibilities from my plate that I was enjoying, but it was intended to free me up to focus on campus and the CruTech responsibilities that I’ve taken on in the past year. In this I have had a hard time giving up things that I was falsely believing gave me worth and value in life and ministry.
The personal retreat was wonderful. I was able to listen to recorded sermons, pray, read, hike and be alone with God and was able to visit with another minister that I respect a bunch who helped me work through some of these things. In the end I came to a point where I realized that God has called me to this position at this time for a specific reason and that I need to trust that He is working in my life exactly what He is intending. As I have returned to “normal” life I am still wrestling with what this means in my day-to-day work and ministry, but I keep coming back to God’s goodness and sovereignty as the places where I am able to rest and know that this is right.
While I have a responsibility to God (and all of you who pray for us and contribute financially to our ministry) to steward my time well and make the most of every opportunity; my value is not based in my ministry or what I do, but on Christ and His work in my life and who and what He has declared me to be.
A Family Passing
This past weekend marked a sad/happy occasion in Carrie’s family. Her “pappy” Don Regi passed away peacefully in his sleep at home with family all around. He was diagnosed just a week-and-a-half ago with brain cancer after going to the hospital with pneumonia. Pappy was known all around that area as the epitome of the strong silent type, but also as a great friend. As the casket rode from the funeral to gravesite we passed the car dealership where he worked for 45 years, I have to admit that I teared up as we saw that every employee was standing in a line outside to pay their respects even though it was about 33° and raining.
While it has been sad for us to say goodbye, it’s more than happy to know that he now sees his Savior face-to-face, not to mention his wife (“Mammy”) who passed away two years ago on November 4. God is good, even (perhaps especially) in all of this.
Grace & Peace,
Jayson & Carrie
Please Pray For:
Our Team – as the restructuring of the team continues, pray that we would all find our place in roles that God has indeed intended us for and that we would encourage each other and find our peace in Christ, not in our work or title.
DC Cru movements – pray that we would begin reaching the “critical mass” necessary to see some of our movements begin to become multiplying and self-sustaining (students doing evangelism and discipleship by themselves).