Rick and I have returned from a busy July and we are slipping into an August of promise. I’d like to catch you up on our month and give you an idea of what we are learning.
We left the 15th of July and headed to Callaway (I always feel like we are “called away” by God when we go there) Gardens near Ft. Benning, Georgia. There Rick met with the leaders of Warrior 2 Citizen as they worked to design curriculum and discover how Military Ministry could draw alongside this organization. Rick was moved by the hearts of the leadership as they sought ways to best improve the lives of our returning heroes and their families, especially those who are affected by post-traumatic stress.
From Callaway, we headed to Atlanta, where we caught a plane to Denver. (I must say, if Jesus does return through Atlanta, it won’t be nearly as delayed as some other airports I won’t mention!) Once we arrived in Denver we stopped at a sports bar and watched most of the Women’s World Cup Championship Game–disappointed in the final score, but what a great game! We learned later that there are believers on the team and some Athletes In Action Bible studies are going on with the US Women!
After the game we headed (no pun intended) to Ft. Collins for the Campus Crusade for Christ North American US Staff Conference! As we drove north I called Kathy Cleveland, my best friend, who grew up in Ft. Collins. Since I am unfamiliar with the west–especially with what I can see when I look out my window, Kathy explains it to me.I ask, “What is the short tree–hey, they’re ALL short trees– with the rough bark and the beautiful sage green leaves?”And, “Gee Kathy, there’s still snow on the mountain peaks, its been in the 90s for weeks–is that normal?” Or I might ask, “What’s a Poudre (pronounced POO-der)?” She patiently answers all my questions and I am enlightened. She loves that I’m enthralled by her part of the world. With a 360° horizon, massive blue skies, and towering peaks, how could I not be? (I have also grown in my appreciation of straight roads.)
Rick and I attended seminars about writing more effectively, helping men achieve freedom from pornography, loving prodigals, starting spiritual conversations and more. Each night a speaker from Cru spoke and the last night we were inspired by David Platt (Radical) to not look back at the staff conference, but to go forward with God in to “build spiritual movements everywhere!” We also had two days devoted to just Military Ministry: meeting staff members, sharing goals and accomplishments, and talking about every day issues that affect this specific ministry.
We spent nine days in Ft.Collins,attending the different sessions and seminars that are used to encourage and grow staff members in more than 30 ministries from around the US. We were there when Francis Chan, led by the Holy Spirit, reminded us not to depend on our reputation, but to truly be alive in our relationship with God (Revelation 3). We heard the announcement of the new US name change to CRU and given a few days we grew to embrace the change! (If you have any questions please ask us about it!)
We consider this time at the Staff Conference an investment in our future with Military Ministry. Although we remain in Military Partner Development, the conference renewed our vision, began relationships with our fellow workers. It also bestowed a sense of hope that soon this stage will be over! We also gained the knowledge that others are watching and waiting for us to be fully-funded and ready to deploy,which is a major encouragement!
I’ve already more than doubled the number of words the writing teacher (check out Writing with Flair by Heather Holleman) recommends–oh no! I still have so much to share–July Update #2 will be published soon!