Thankful in Every Season

By Sandi Cross

Psalm 100
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness;  Come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord, He is God;  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good;  His mercy is everlasting,  And His truth endures to all generations. 1 Thessalonians 5:18Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

College Ministry Through a Mother's Eyes

Written by Erin Wilmoth

This fall I started attending a freshman bible study on Bradley’s campus. Now, we have been working in campus ministry with Cru for over 10 years, but its been awhile since I’ve been in this environment. The bulk of the last eight years has been spent at home with my 4 kiddos and sometimes meeting with student leaders or staff.  So it was with a bit of trepidation that I drove onto campus that first night. The last time I was in this environment was when I was a newly married, recent college graduate who felt closer to a peer to these 18 year olds. And while in spirit I sometimes feel like that same person, I feel confident that they do not see this 34 year old mom-of-an-8-year-old as their peer.

I started doubting that it was the right place for me. I’m not cool (which is even obvious by my use of the word “cool”). I don’t know the lingo. While I’ve tried not to totally fall into obscurity, my clothes aren’t trendy and I haven’t watched any current movies or TV …

Lessons from Spain

¡Hola amigas! This last semester I had the opportunity to study abroad in Sevilla, Spain. Though living in a new culture and learning Spanish certainly brought challenges, I am super thankful for everything I experienced and learned.
Before heading to Spain, and now after, it’s easy to idealize living in Europe. Despite what my Instagram feed may lead you to believe, I learned that life in Europe, in many ways, is still just normal life. While I do miss the bakeries on every corner and walks across the river to school, there were also normal challenges of daily life, like homework deadlines and loneliness and unknowns. Sometimes I loved it. Sometimes I just wanted to go home. Sometimes I experienced the full range of emotions in one afternoon. I found it easy to take for granted the history and architecture and culture and palm trees I was surrounded by and to complain about (mostly petty) inconveniences or annoyances. Through this, God convicted my heart and helped me to think about c…

Ministry in Deutschland

Written by Maureen Cunningham
Guten tag!My name is Maureen Cunningham and I am currently serving with Cru in Berlin, Germany. Cru believes that university students are a strategic group of people to reach with the Gospel. Our ministry here wants to see students come to know Jesus personally and for them to multiply their lives. I would like to invite you to enter into this city I now call home and the ministry that God has called me to for this season of life.
Berlin is an interesting city. I saw a man putting rolled up sheets of tin foil over his face the other day.
Totally normal.
They love wearing black, and Berlin is huge. It has 3.6 million residents with a landmass 8 times the size of Paris. There are 4 public research universities and 27 professional and technical colleges. Among those 31 schools, there are over 175,000 students. There are people from everywhere; people from around 180 different countries reside in this city. When I hear that fact, I immediately think of Revelatio…

Sowing Seeds Among the Sojourner — Part Two

Did you miss part one? Be sure to check it out here!
So you may (or may not) be convinced of the Biblical motivations for reaching out to internationals. But there’s no denying that befriending people that seem so very different from ourselves can feel awkward and uncomfortable. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Practice Hospitality
In our individualistic, private culture we don’t do hospitality too well. We might invite our families or close friends to our home. But when Paul tells us in Romans to “seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:13) he uses a word that means “lover of strangers.” I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and confess that I feel strange inviting strangers to my house! But much of the world has a cultural value of hospitality. Your international neighbors may not be as surprised as you might think when you invite them over for a meal compared to your American neighbor you’ve lived next to for years. Be sure to ask about dietary restrictions, understand they might…

Sowing Seeds Among the Sojourner — Part One

A year and half ago a Muslim family walked through my front door. The husband had dark, wavy hair and dark features, his wife’s every inch of skin was covered besides her hands and face, and their daughter was an adorable, brown-eyed ball of mischief. We hadn’t met them until they showed up in our living room. They carved pumpkins with us on a cold, October evening. They later retreated to our kids’ bedroom so they could pray to their god. As we got to know them that evening, we found out they had moved to Peoria three months prior to our meeting. They informed us our conversation with them was their first face-to-face, meaningful conversation they had since moving to the area. We were their first, and only, friends in the U.S.

My husband and I felt a great burden and responsibility placed on us that night. How do you care for people who have no one while you’re still in the midst of your busy, hectic life? How do we engage them in conversations about faith when they appeared to be dev…

Learning to Trust: My Journey Through Foster Care

Written by Fawn Kieser
I vividly remember that Sunday I sat on my couch at home sick while my husband and three sons were at church. I was consumed by the desire to adopt a little girl and was finally ready to confront God with it and get His blessing and direction. I don’t usually journal, but that day I found an unused one in my closet and poured my heart out to the Lord.

I started with these verses as my prayer:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting.”--Psalm 139:23-24

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.”--Psalm 143:10

“Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”-- Hebrews 4:15-16

That day, I was finally ready to confidently ask God to lead me, search my thoughts, and make known to me if adoption was His will for me and my family. I…