Written by: Susie Richardson, Cru Senior Writer
Featuring: Cru at University of Connecticut and The Philadelphia Project
The Vote & The Challenge
Giving the student leadership team ownership of the process, the Thomsons asked them to brainstorm spring break mission ideas that would be “in line with Cru values and movement strengthening.”
By December the student leaders had narrowed the options down to four. They presented these to all the UConn Cru students, asking them to vote for their favorite, which resulted in the considerable dilemma of a tie!
Half voted for an evangelistic mission on a Middle East campus, and half opted for a service oriented trip to Philadelphia. To do both would require more leadership than the 3 Cru staff members could provide.
Once again, the Thomsons appealed to their student leadership team and once again this team rose to the challenge.
The Thomsons began laying the groundwork and building momentum for the overseas mission back in the fall. Eventually eight students cleared the hurdles and boarded the plane to the Middle East.
The Philadelphia Project
Chelsea in particular began to run point on the The Philadelphia Project trip, offering a unique twist: inviting other UConn students to come along.
Together these UConn students blessed the low-income homeowners in “German town,” stripping wallpaper, cleaning, painting and the like. Working side by side helped create a sense of belonging among the 37, which has continued after their return to campus as they’ve tried to connect on a weekly basis. And some of the 19 came to believe in Christ as Savior. Like Rochelle, for instance.
“Rochelle peppered me with questions from the get-go...She was overwhelmed with the idea of grace, exclaiming, ‘Don’t you feel guilty that He would do this for us when we’re so unworthy?’ Rochelle had a keen awareness of her sin.” - John (UConn Staff)
The Project culminated in a creative altar call on the last night, involving paint and a canvas. When Rochelle, amidst tears, told John that God was calling her to make a commitment to Him, John asked, “Are you ready?” Rochelle’s painted handprint joined others on the canvas that night, signaling her newly placed trust in Christ.
Ten new students from the Philly group have now plugged into Cru at UConn.
Lord, strengthen the faith of both these spring break groups, that they might lead still others into Your Kingdom.
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