January 2009 Update

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After talking to some friends the other day, I realized that I hadn’t posted our January Prayer Letter here at all! Yeah, I know, it’s March. Here it is. I’ll have the February one up a.s.a.p. as well!

Transformers

Ready or not, the new year is upon us, and the DC Cru team is squarely into Semester #4! As usual, with the change come signs of growth and just as many new questions, now with more eyes looking to us to have a plan.

If there is one thing that God is convincing me of these days, it’s that as the Author of all good stories, He is quite fond of suspense, and will reveal what I need to know no more than a chapter at a time. And if every chapter has a heading, this semester’s seems be “Transformational Community.” This concept  will sound  glorious concept  on paper  – the  power  of the  Risen Christ reworking distant, suspicious, selfish individuals in a city of isolation and racial tension into a gracious, truthful, humble community celebrating the God Who Came Near. It’s beautiful.

In real life, everything we do here starts in the hearts of our greatest asset, a staff team of nine people in absurdly close proximity, all of whom are different, most of whom are roommates, half of whom are spouses… let’s just say it is a workout!  But as we work it out together  with a faithful God, bleeding Romans chapter  12, we are seeing women who say “I don’t bond with females” plan women’s lunches with students from across the city. We’re seeing our (white) staff guys so welcomed in unusual places that they’re being mistaken for members  of historically black fraternities. We’re seeing students  at schools were everyone is too busy and important to give the time of day give up their afternoons  to meet  with friends across the city to talk with strangers about God. We’re seeing non-believers volunteering to plan prayer meetings and giving Christian books to friends. We’re seeing momentum build as people who say “I’m normally not that into God” keep surfacing to see if this community is for real.

Over and out

One of the key marks of a community genuinely transforming in the power of the Spirit is a contagious outward focus, and we (with the help of four visiting Australian summer project students) have been pitching the thought of living on mission wherever the Lord takes us. I wish  I could say I am not surprised to see what I pray for.

Of the 20 students who came out to our last citywide event, at least 6 are seriously considering doing a summer project with Campus Crusade, and 3 have already been accepted to go internationally! Summer project is the best thing Campus Crusade for Christ has to offer, but it is not for the faint of heart. Considering that summer project involves fundraising and spiritual conversations with relative strangers, this is a big deal! As it now stands, DC Cru students will be serving and sharing the story of Jesus on four continents this summer!

Guess it’s that time!

The irony in this story is that the Whelpleys have yet to travel abroad. With the exception of day/weekend trips to Canada, neither of us (or our team leader) have ever been out of these fine United States. The opportunity has come up for several members of our staff team (and extended community) to take a week-long vision trip to North Africa over spring break! More details to come as the time gets closer. Thanks again for your prayers and generosity!

Pray For:

  • Vision for structure – pray that in the midst of a ministry that’s changing every semester, we would follow God’s lead, see the big picture, remain flexible and give the structure needed.
  • Renewed hunger for God, desire to understand His word, and confidence in His promises in our Cru community.
  • The upcoming “neXt” conference for juniors and seniors about how to walk with God and make good decisions after college. February 13-15. Over 200 students registered, 4 from the DC ranks.

P.S. Make sure you’re visiting our website pretty regularly, you can read (slightly) more frequently and see pictures that don’t end up fitting into our monthly prayer letters. You can even sign up to get those updates by email! It’s at Whelpley.org! (Good job, you already know all of this!)

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