Thursday, November 19, 2015

Growth at Marrs Middle School

Cru after-school club at Marrs Middle School is growing every week!

More than 55 students filled the classroom at a recent meeting. It took every ounce of my (Gary's) energy to keep their attention as I shared the Gospel with them. But God was obviously at work because they stayed with me ... even asking good questions along the way!

Many of them raised their hands saying they wanted to believe in Jesus! We then asked those students to pray along as I led a prayer to receive Christ. Although we didn't get a count, the level of interest and understanding was high, so we believe that many were genuinely praying to believe and follow Jesus!

Please pray for these students to continue to grow in Christ as Heidi and Nathanael continue to lead them week after week. We thank God for these volunteers. 

Please pray also for more volunteers as the group is growing fast!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Renewed Interest at Cru Accelere

It has been a semester of renewed interest in Cru at Accelere!

Accelere is an alternative school in north Omaha for 18-21 year olds who are coming back to get the diplomas they missed out on earlier. We are seeing exciting interest and interaction with 25 or more students often joining us for our Friday lunches.

Their spiritual interest is definitely a step ahead of previous years. They are asking great questions and it's evident many are really thinking about what a relationship with Christ would be like.

Please pray for the students and our Cru volunteers 
who so faithfully and passionately minister to them.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A New School Year of Cru

The summer has flown by, and another year of Cru ministry to high school and middle school students is here! You can see the excitement of these students at South High as they gathered together again the end of August for their first Cru meeting of this new school year!

There were familiar faces, and new faces ... each one full of potential, and each one loved deeply by God. Please pray for many students to come to know and follow Jesus during this new school year at South, and also at each of our other area campuses. 

All signs reveal that God is preparing us for a great school year ahead. Thank you so much for your prayers as we reach out to so many active, impressionable youth!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cru Volunteer Gathering

We love our volunteers! And it is always such a treat when we can gather them together in one place. They are busy people, many with full-time jobs or full-time college classes, while also volunteering of their time to reach high school and middle school students for Jesus! Cru Omaha could not exist without them; they are an integral part of what God is doing in the lives of students here in our area.

The group above (a portion of our volunteers) met with us recently in our home. We shared hopes, dreams, ideas, and plans for the various campuses we each work with this school year. We then prayed together for God to anoint movements for Christ among students at each of these campuses.

Please join us in these prayers! Pray for all our volunteers. They are such a dedicated group. They love teenagers so much and passionately want them to know the joy of following Christ! 

Please pray also for more volunteers. There are some campuses where volunteers led ministries last year but where we won't be able to have Cru groups this year unless we find willing capable volunteers!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Cru Summer - Final Event

Time is fleeting! Every moment we have with students is critical. "Teenagers are like wet cement, just waiting for someone to make a lasting impression" is a quote used often in the Cru - High School ministry. That's why we determine every summer to take advantage of some of those hours teens often waste or use unproductively.

God used our Cru Summer program very productively again this year to help area teens focus on God and His plan for their lives. We discussed topics like: Our Identity in Christ, Listening to God, Peer Pressure, Sexual Sin, Suffering, Forgiveness, Pride & Arrogance, and Temptations. Each lesson was created by the college student volunteers who based the lesson around a character of the Bible. There were great, in-depth discussions where students were really connecting with each other and with God in ways that were life-changing.

Our closing Cru Summer event was a Tournament of Champions, with teams competing in fun, creative competition. As always, the students really got into it, with the winning team really hamming it up!

A huge thank you goes to Jake for leading this effort so well, and to all the college students who really gave themselves to this project and to these high school students this summer.

Now we transition into restarting our Cru groups on 10 different campuses! Please pray for each campus, and for our staff, volunteers, and student leaders. Pray that God would work mightily in and through them to create movements for Christ on every campus!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cru Summer College Volunteers

The summer is quickly drawing to a close, with many high schools and middle schools starting up in the next few weeks.

And with the close of another summer, comes the completion of another summer of "Cru Summer". Our part-time guy, Jake, did an amazing job of leading our college volunteers (pictured above), who in turn, led our summer ministry with high school students here in the Omaha area. (Jake is to the right in this photo, third from the front, with the gray t-shirt.)

Jake, Andy (affiliate staff), and Gary met with these college volunteers each Sunday evening throughout the summer, building into their lives, and coaching them to lead the high school "Cru Summer" Monday events.

These college volunteers did an incredible job! We are so proud of them, and thank God for their hearts for Him, and for high school students. They gathered for final time together this summer ... starting out at Aroma's coffee shop, then moved to Five Guys (photo above), and then to a late-night bowling activity together. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cru Ministry Days

Cru Omaha is a part of a larger group of Cru staff who work specifically with high school and middle school students across the nation and around the world. We all gathered last month in Fort Collins, CO, for a few days of "Ministry Days" together before the Cru15 conference (the 10-day staff conference for all of the thousands of Cru staff together). 

There are several hundred "Cru - High School" staff, focused on reaching high school and middle school students. And Cru Omaha is just one of the many locations where staff serve. If we could add to these several hundred (pictured above), and include all of the many, many volunteers who are coached by our staff - we would be overflowing into many photos! A key part of "Cru - High School" and what makes it so impactful in the lives of high school and middle school students, is the partnerships and volunteers who are an integral part of this movement of reaching students for Jesus.

We are thankful to be part of this amazing group of staff, and were greatly encouraged and motivated as we heard from our leaders and as we connected with other staff while in Fort Collins. We love how the focus of our time together is always, first of all, on Jesus - not on strategies or plans, but on keeping our main focus on the main thing.

Click to read more about the ministry of Cru - High School.

(Photo: courtesy of Jim Trewin)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cru Summer

Cru Omaha continues to function during the summer months, but it takes on a different form. Instead of the students meeting as groups on their own school campuses, they gather together in two different locations. Five of our campuses are in Omaha, and five are in Washington County. So during the summer months the students meet once each week at these two locations. 

May 22nd was the big day to transition! And everyone met all together at a location mid-way between Omaha and the hub of Washington County. Todd & Angela's beautiful acreage was the perfect place for students to come together for some fun activities, some food (of course), some inspiration, and to hear the scoop of the summer plan.

Our part-time staff guy, Jake, does an amazing job of leading Cru Summer. He starts months ahead, and carefully gathers a group of college students, many who have been discipled through their high school years by Cru. Jake coaches them and trains them to disciple the high school students throughout the summer. 

In the photo above, you see one of the college student gatherings. As volunteers they meet together with Jake and Gary each Sunday evening. Then they divide up into two teams to lead the student meetings on Monday evenings. They are on mission, and are being equipped to lead and disciple high school students. And they are also experiencing discipleship and lasting connections between their own peer group of college students. It's a win-win situation for these capable and amazing college kids, and we are incredibly thankful for their hearts to love on and to draw high school students to Jesus.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Snapshots of Students

The school year is flying by, and here are some photos from a few of our Cru campuses ... snapshots of students as they are part of Cru in our area.

Accelere Alternative in Omaha ... students gather each week over their Friday lunch hour. In this photo Ron, one of our Cru volunteers, shares the Gospel with the students.

Bellevue East in Bellevue ... still in the beginning stages, Cru volunteers are gathering students together in their home while seeking permission to meet on campus.

Central High in Omaha - besides their weekly student gathering on Monday evenings at their high school, other gatherings occur as well. Here Gary meets with two students to connect and build into each other's lives.

Marrs Middle in Omaha - two of our new volunteers, a teacher at Marrs together with a UNO student volunteer, have started up student meetings this spring at this multi-racial middle school. 

South High in Omaha - students gather each Monday after school to learn and grow in their walk with God. The two students in front are key student leaders.

Please pray for these students, and the students in our other Cru campuses in the Omaha area.