Welcoming Refugees

Zofia and her family are welcoming Ukrainian refugees to Poland.

Cru staff members working with Bridges regularly welcome international students to the United States and befriend them while they are here. The Bridges staff at Pennsylvania State University recently glimpsed the impact of their ministry.

A few years ago, they befriended Zofia and her family while Zofia’s husband did postdoctoral research at Penn State. Two years ago, Zofia’s family returned to Poland.

They didn’t hear from Zofia until refugees began to pour across the border of Ukraine into Poland, fleeing the Russian invasion. Zofia and her family had the opportunity to help. They wrote:

I just want to let you know that you’re on my mind recently. You are one of the people who made me feel very welcome in the US. The meal you brought and all the help and friendship you offered really meant a lot. I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you when now I’m trying to help the Ukrainians fleeing their homes and make them feel welcome.

I remember how hard it is to be far from home and family and it must be nothing compared to running away from your home, with no preparation, being parted with your husband who has to stay and fight and not knowing if your loved ones are all right. I’m trying to pay forward the kindness I experienced being in the US. Thank you again for that, and if you happen to know about anyone heading to Poland who might need help let me know. All the best for all of you!

Thank you for your partnership with us! Because of you, these Cru Bridges staff were able to serve Zofia’s family without distraction. Now Zofia’s family is changing the lives of Ukrainians fleeing Russia. You are having an impact!

Posted in Bridges, Campus, Disaster, Evangelism, Family, international, Poor & Needy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stories from the Field

Nick (left), a Cru intern, shares a donut with a University of New England student.

God is working in the lives of students this semester.

From the University of New England in Maine: Our team hosts a weekly table in the student commons. We give out free doughnuts.

To help start conversations we ask students to respond to an engaging question.

We have asked, “What are some of your needs on campus?” and, “If you could ask God a question, what would you ask?” So far, it has been a success. We’ve had students return multiple weeks to grab a doughnut and engage with us.

Through doughnuts and questions, we’re getting to know students.

From a high school ministry in California: Mr. Preacher man, do you mind if I roll this blunt?” David, a Cru High School Staff member, had just joined a group of eight students at Poly Burger, a block from school. He approached this evermoving bundle of humanity, offering a burger to anyone willing to play a survey game using Snapshot Cards.

His offer accepted; David was now navigating the chaos. He answered the young lady, “Sure, go ahead, don’t let me stop you.” But she put the weed away and began to respond about her life and faith.

Two other young men heard the gospel. They assured David that they had accepted Jesus in the past. Both are struggling with faith and want to join the Cru club on their campus.

Thank you for being a part of changing lives around the United States and the world!

P.S. There are many Cru staff in Ukraine, Russia, and surrounding countries. Please pray for their continued witness for Jesus during conflict.

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Video game evangelism  

What would you do to reach three billion people united by the common cause of video gaming? They are heavily invested in video gaming, spending an average of $40 per month and playing an average of 7 hours per week.

Cru is seeking to reach this community by partnering with video gaming ministries and through a video game focused summer mission trip (see sidebar).

Nathan is one student reached through video gaming outreach.

When they were high school sophomores, Nathan’s friend Matthew repeatedly invited him to youth group. Nathan finally visited after Matthew told him that they played a popular video game before and after the meeting.

Nathan began attending regularly. Later that year, the youth group leader asked the kids to name someone who is a good disciple of something.

Nathan spoke up: “I’ve been through a lot this year, and Matthew has loved me. He hasn’t judged me or acted preachy—he has just played games with me and loved me.” Through tears, he continued: “I lost my dad this summer, and since then I have felt a hole in my heart. The only time that hole feels full is when I am here, around people who love Jesus.”

Now grown, Nathan is a youth leader and has led his mother to Jesus. God used video games as a platform for Matthew to love Nathan, and that love has spread to others.

Thank you for being a part of changing lives around the world!

A few resources for sharing Jesus with those in the video gaming community:

Ministries Reaching the Gaming Community

To learn more about Cru’s Video Game focused Summer Mission Trip watch this short video:

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