Anu (left) and a friend demonstrate an Indian dance.
For many around the world the epitome of education is a US university. But only the brightest and most wealthy international student can study in the US.
Unfortunately, 70% of these future world leaders are never invited into an American home or church while they are in the US. Many feel like unwelcomed outcasts.
Bridges, a ministry of Cru, exists to welcome these students and invite them into relationship with Jesus.
Many Bridges staff find they can build relationships with international students by inviting them for a meal that is sensitive to their dietary customs.
Bridges staff at Kansas State University recently hosted a “Halal BBQ” for Middle Eastern men. Twenty men enjoyed the food and discussion on how the Five Love Languages could help their marriages and other relationships.
Meanwhile at the University of Illinois, Anu, a biology PhD candidate from India, attended a Bridges Thanksgiving Dinner outreach. As a little boy he would go from temple to temple in India seeking the truth. But he never found an answer that made sense.
At the dinner Ashley, a senior from China and former Buddhist, shared her story. She mentioned faith and science. Anu was suddenly struck that a logical, educated person could believe both.
Anu recently said, “I’m no longer agnostic. I know God is real. The most compelling part of Christianity is the compassion. I’ve never felt such love.”
Thank you for partnering with us to provide the behind the scenes help necessary for Bridges staff to reach Anu!
Cru students pray in Indianapolis.
They came from all over the United States to gather in 10 locations. These 7,000 college students could have rung in the New Year anywhere, but they wanted to hear from Jesus and have an impact on their communities as 2019 turned into 2020.
In Denver a student said, “I came to the conference with people I barely knew and was not entirely sure about my own faith and relationship with Jesus. But God worked in my heart. Just minutes before an evening session, I prayed and gave my life to Christ. I found the community of friends and family that I’ve always prayed for. If I didn’t attend Winter Conference, I am not sure where I would be, but I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to attend.” Hundreds of other students also placed their faith in Jesus for the first time!
Students in Dallas/Fort Worth were challenged to follow Jesus as Afshin Ziafat, a Frisco, Texas pastor, spoke of his journey from Islam to following Jesus. “If the cause is worthy, the cost is irrelevant,” he said.
Heather Holleman, a Penn State English professor, invited students in Indianapolis to reflect on the reality that they are seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and also sent to carry God’s message to those who don’t yet know him. She said, “I talk to people like they are already believers.” She shares what she’s learning from the Bible, offering to pray with and for people and normalizing spiritual conversations.
These students are now introducing friends on campus to Jesus. Thank you for being a part of the gospel going to the world as we serve behind the scenes to free other Cru staff for more direct ministry!
Cru students in Chattanooga invite others to give their perspective on God and the world.
There are infinite ways to view God, right? While many people believe this, there are really only 6 ways to view God’s nature:
- Polytheism—there are many gods.
- Agnosticism—it can’t be known or it doesn’t matter if God exists .
- Pantheism—God and the universe are one.
- Deism—God is unable or unwilling to interact
- Monotheism—God is able and willing to interact
- Atheism—no God
Recently, college students in Chattanooga were invited to express their perspectives on the nature of God, the meaning of life, the nature of people, the nature of Jesus and the source of spiritual truth.
Students involved with Cru quickly realized that even in the “buckle of the Bible Belt” most students had very inconsistent perspectives on these topics.
Sarah was so overcome by the answers she was hearing that she began to cry.
She sought out a Cru staff member, “I’m really heartbroken about the girls I just talked to because of what they shared, and I just want to pray.”
Just a simple deck of Perspective Cards began this conversation. Students have continued to use them to initiate conversations with their friends.
Thank you for praying for these students in Chattanooga. You are part of making a difference in the lives of students around the world!