CRU Update - February 2015

May 4, 2015 | by: Ashely & Heather Holleman | 0 comments

Posted in: Missions

 Dear Team; February 2015
   We've always encouraged Christian professors to identify themselves as Christians on the first day of class. It's often a great act of faith for a professor to do this. Because I've feared directly talking about Jesus in class, it's in office hours that I am much more direct; I will talk about Jesus or things I'm learning in Scripture, and this is where most of my spiritual conversations with students happen. In office hours, students have asked about Jesus, and I've seen many students come to faith in Christ through materials I offer them, whether More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell or The Reason For God by Tim Keller.

This semester, I felt God leading me to be direct, obvious, and clear about my faith in Christ on the first day of class. But I chickened out on the first day. I was scared! I, the neighborhood evangelist, was terrified of this class of 24 seniors!

On the second day of class, I prayed that God would give me courage. He did! I
Asked students to share their name and some activity they were involved in on campus. "I’ll share, too," I said. "I'm Dr. Holleman, and outside of this class, I help direct a Christian ministry to graduate students and faculty. My Christian faith is very important to me. In fact, part of my professional life is my Christian speaking and writing. I'm actually fascinated by Greek verbs in Scripture, and I write about them."

Before I had a chance to catch my breath, a student, "Carlos", raised his hand and said, "How did you choose to be a Christian instead of another religion? I ~ am really thinking about these things! I really want to know!" I talked for a ~ minute about Jesus' divinity and resurrection. I told them that in college I studied the truth claims of every religion, and I found that Jesus was the one true God.

Every student was staring at me, so I quickly tried to start our class writing lesson. But Carlos asked, "Where does one start reading in the Bible?" The whole class seemed very interested in talking about these things. I said, "Do you really want to hear about this?" Several students shouted yes!

When I shared that I read my Bible every day and I especially love the Psalms and Paul's letter to the Ephesians, a young woman in the front row said, "That is so cool." I ended this whole exchange by saying, "I would love to talk more with any of you about my faith outside of class at a coffee shop."

I witnessed two amazing reminders from this day: students are searching for Jesus, and professors can have incredible impact for the gospel just by being themselves and identifying themselves as Christians. I am having such an adventure with Jesus as I grow in my boldness, courage, and joy in talking about my Savior. Please pray for these classes and for my student, Carlos, who raised his hand to find out more about Jesus.


What We Don't Say Outreach
On February 19th, four of our key, professors will be on a panel at the, weekly Cru meeting for an evangelistic outreach that Cru is hosting during their weekly meeting. We will be asking the panel of professors questions about their lives as professors and their faith in Christ. Basically, we will be asking them questions that a non-Christian student would perhaps ask a Christian professor about Jesus and Christianity were he/she given the opportunity to do so. Please pray that God will use the evening to draw many students to Himself.

The Dominican Republic (DR)
Ashley and two other Faculty Common staff members (one on our team at Penn State and one at East Tennessee State University) are going to the Dominican Republic over spring break (3/11-3/14) to explore launching a partnership with Cru's campus ministry at Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo (USAD). We hope to take teams of professors, grad students, and undergrad students there over the next several years to assist the local ministry to bring the gospel to the whole campus. USAD has over 100,000 students and is the major university for the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America. Please pray that we will make great connections with the DR Cru staff there. Please pray that we will secure invitations for professors and grad students to speak at the university in the future.

Ashley & Heather

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