by name, and neighbors invite us to dinner and visit regularly. We have served on our churchâ€™s hospitality team and have hosted a small group for Northern VA couples. Weâ€™ve even found a couple to mentor us and a marriage pastor willing to meet regularly. We really feel at home here.
We love the students and schools here too. Carrie adores mentoring several women around the city. Iâ€™ve enjoyed giving direction to the campus that is slowly evolving into an â€œanchor schoolâ€ for the rest of our work in DC. Three students (and one of their sisters) are applying for summer project this year, alumni are sticking around to give lift to the movement, and one of our leaders is talking about interning with CCC here when she graduates. Even a student who has serious emotional and intellectual objections to the God of the Bible is continuing to come out to everything â€“ including two identical Bible studies every week. God seems to be moving, and this is still where we hope to be.
But life and ministry have also been difficult. In keeping with what Washingtonâ€™s reputation, God has used this time to dredge up lots of stuff in us â€“ even more intensely since December. I have struggled in my job, and (since theyâ€™re so intertwined) my personal life and walk with the Lord. I say that Iâ€™ve struggled, not stumbled, because every turn feels like new growth. God has been speaking as clearly as I have ever experienced, calling me to do and not do things that have been uncomfortable, but undeniably sanctifying.
Meanwhile, as we approach our 7th anniversary on staff (a time when many take a sabbatical from active ministry), Weâ€™ve wrestled through the where and what of Godâ€™s calling, with both short-term and long-term implications. Conversations with our leaders about both the health of the team and our own personal development have proved helpful (albeit nerve-wracking at times) as the best options were discussed.
In praying through them, it seemed that the best one for both our personal health and that of the DC Metro team long-term would be to follow our directorsâ€™ recommendations to move to Campus Crusade for Christâ€™s headquarters in Orlando for a year as part of a program called the â€œLake Heart STINT.â€
The Lake Hart STINT is an 11-month commitment that lasts from this August through June 2011. In addition to serving in a position at headquarters, participants receive personal development through weekly time in large groups, small groups, one-on-one life coaching, and hearing from Campus Crusadeâ€™s top leaders. Itâ€™s a great time to step away from field ministry for a minute and have a hand in the essential behind-the-scenes work that makes the work on campuses possible. And as neither of us have had real experience in a 9 to 5 job, weâ€™re looking forward to a more â€œnormalâ€ work environment for a time!
Several friends have taken advantage of this opportunity and have benefited greatly both personally and professionally from a year â€œoff the fieldâ€ to be developed from angles that the pace of the campus ministry rarely allows for. Itâ€™s almost like a year-long summer project for staff, a time to â€œsharpen our axeâ€ in community.
During the last couple of decades years Campus Crusade has seen significant growth worldwide.Â There are now over sixty ministries within Campus Crusade for Christ.Â These ministries share a common goal â€“ to engage with a certain part of society in order to reach the world for Christ.Â From students on college campuses, prisoners in cell blocks; refugees in Albania; businessmen and women in the corporate office; the homeless in the inner city to small far off villages known almost to no one, our staff members are there sharing the hope that can only be found in Jesus.
The growth of this ministry is made possible due to the talented staff serving behind the scenes. Whether it is in human resources, reimbursements, film production, graphic design, etc., there are needs to be met so the gospel can be advanced throughout the world. In order to sustain these advances and trust God for even more, we have a tremendous need to strengthen and enlarge the support structure that exists for our ministry at our World Headquarters. We are honored to help meet this need. The men and women who serve our ministry from Orlando not only enable us to be on the campus, but also reach just about every segment of society worldwide.
This is a chance for staff members like myself who have been on the campus long enough to learn core principles of ministry to take the next step in leadership and learn how to launch and sustain new ministries. Upon completion of the year, our hope is to return to the team in Washington, DC. Of course, we are learning as followers of a Holy Spirit who like the wind â€œblows where He will,â€ His people also hold their plans loosely.
Throughout this whole process, I am struck by the graciousness of our God to put us on the same page with our leaders â€“ weâ€™re expectant of how this will prepare us even more for a lifetime of loving our God and serving people! Thanks for your prayers and continued support that will allow us to stay focused on the mission â€“ more details to come!
Grace & Peace,
Jayson (& Carrie)
- That the transition would go well for us, students, and incoming staff.
- For student leaders who are taking new responsibilities seriously, that they would see much fruit in their own ministries and hearts. As weâ€™ve passed off more to them, theyâ€™ve had great ideas and enthusiasm for prayer and evangelism.
- That we would be expectant and hopeful as we look to this season as a chance to see Godâ€™s provision. We really love DC and weâ€™re going to miss our friends and church a whole lot.
- That weâ€™d make the most of the 5 months until we move.