Building Bridges

Felipe shares his story. The Jesus Storybook Bible is changing Sophia’s life.

After a week in a mental health unit, Sophia* was returning to Penn State University. When Cru staff member, Meagin, took this Southeast Asian student to the hospital she gave her a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible.

This Bible was a refuge for Sophia as she struggled with depression and anxiety.

On the ride home Sophia told Meagin, “For so long I have felt like I can’t get out of the darkness; the only way to escape would be to die. One night in The Jesus Storybook Bible I read how no matter how great the darkness is the light can overcome it. I realized maybe I don’t need to get myself out of darkness but the light can reach me while I am in it.”

Meagin also kept Sophia’s parents connected while Sophia was in the hospital. She is praying that both Sophia and her parents would know Jesus.

Meanwhile, at the University of Illinois, Felipe shared his story with 40 other international students from 10 countries at Cru’s Lunar New Year Dumpling Party.

This past August he had said goodbye to Ecuador, thinking he was finally done with God and religion.

He continued, “My first day on campus I went to the union to get my ID, and I saw three people holding a big map. They said they were with Bridges, a campus Christian community. I thought, ‘Oh no, not this again.’ I gave them my number to please my mom, but I knew there was a deeper purpose in that.”

Felipe became a Christian this fall. “My feeling of emptiness was replaced with understanding. Now, I want to study God’s word. I understand the importance of having God first—and of loving each other. In the past, I thought I was happy, but I was lost.”

Thank you for your role in helping people move from lost to light!

* Name changed to protect privacy.

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Seven Simple Questions

An “in-person” socially distanced Cru Bible Study on a college campus.

Students are starving on college campuses around the US—not for food but for meaningful social interaction. After nearly a year of isolation and a semester of virtual classes they are returning to in person instruction hungry to connect with others.

Cru staff members around the US report that in spite of requirements while on campus to sit six feet (or more!) apart, wear masks and no physical touch (handshakes, fist bumps, hugs, etc…) students are willing to talk for hours.

There has been great desire for in person Bible Studies, even if “in person” means meeting in a classroom like the one pictured above.

There are probably many people around you who are also hungry for connection. Consider leading a Bible Study to build community in your neighborhood. Invite people. Pick a book of the Bible. Ask these seven questions when you meet:

1. What do you like about this passage? Why? (Reveals when our heart is in line with God’s word.)

2. What do you not like or find challenging about this passage? Why? (Reveals a growth area.)

3. What do you not understand? (Encourage the group to answer. Maybe assign someone to find the answer for the next time you meet.)

4. What do you learn about God (or people) and His character?

5. How will you apply what we have discussed this week?

6. What verse or phrase will you “take with you” to help you apply our discussion?

7. How can we pray for each other this week?

You are making a difference in the world! Thank you!

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Caring for Professors

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students say thank you.
“Teach from Home” care packages delivered to New York University professors.

After a year of teaching via Zoom, many professors need encouragement. Cru staff members with Faculty Commons are creatively facilitating expressions of thankfulness from students.

Students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo thanked over fifty of their professors via one minute videos. They told their professors things like, “I just wanted to encourage you and say that you’re doing an amazing job with these lectures. I know that you work really hard, posting them at 2am! Thank you so much!” and, “I’ve learned so much being in your class. All the work you’ve done is so appreciated; it really shows you care about your students.”

Professors responded enthusiastically, “Wow – I’ve been teaching at Cal Poly for 16 years and have never experienced such a meaningful thank you.” and, “I seriously got tears in my eyes watching your video — that was one of the most special things ever!

At New York University, Cru staff members invited Cru students to write digital thank you notes to their professors. The Cru staff members emailed each professor for their home address. Seventy-five professors received care packages with student thank you notes and goodies. They were also invited to virtual round tables: God and the Human Mind and Living & Dying in the Time of Covid.”

Faculty Commons is a ministry of Cru that helps grad students and professors walk with Jesus. While students leave campus to share Jesus with the world, professors remain on campus to reach the next generation of students.

Thank you for caring for both students and faculty on college campuses!

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