Cru had some exciting things going on during the month of March! We started the month with our students serving on two missions trips. One was to North Africa, and gave students a taste of what it would be like to do long-term missions work there. The other was to Philadelphia, PA and the students partnered with Mission Liberti to serve the inner-city population of Philly.
There were also some exciting things that happened in Cru’s weekly ministry. Jerry Riendeau, one of the Ministry Team Leaders, came back from sabbatical and kicked off a large group series on how the Bible tells the same story from start to finish. In it, he discussed the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and how the tree of life in the garden is also mentioned in the last book of the Bible, which was written thousands of years later.
Lastly, a new classroom-style series started last week before large group. This series, called Sunday School Revisited, features pastors from local churches coming to JMU’s campus to teach willing students about classic “Sunday school” stories in the Bible. Last week, Pastor Chris from Aletheia Church taught about David and Goliath. The main takeaway? That this story isn’t about an underdog named David, but is instead about a sovereign and mighty God who fights on behalf of his people. (Also, books are given away at every session so come on April 5 and April 12!)
Spring (Break) Into Action:
Over spring break, five JMU Cru students attended the trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to spread the gospel to the students and community living there. They went to the campuses without a Cru movement to ask people if they would be willing to partner with Philly Cru to start one at their school. Later that week, students and staff traveled to Gloucester, New Jersey to volunteer with service projects with a pastor planting a church there. The students worked with the church to repair homes for people who were unable to do the repairs themselves.
Adriana Nicely (junior) enjoyed using a tool called perspective cards to start a discussion with college students at Drexel University:
“It was so awesome to really lean into God’s strength, goodness, and faithfulness as we shared with the students on the campus…Sharing on Drexel’s campus made me even more excited about sharing here at JMU. Philly was awesome, there were so many testimonies of what God is doing there and how He is changing hearts and lives for Him.”
The staff of Liberti Church worked with the students throughout the week. Their hard work and passion for sharing the gospel impacted how students viewed evangelism. Even as a freshman, Jesse Settle has already noticed a change in his life:
“This trip definitely changed my view on evangelizing because before the trip I was hesitant to engage in that, but now I am even willing to do it on JMU’s campus as well because it is really fun.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Mission Liberti, talk to one of the students or staff who went!
Student Spotlight: Haley Connor
Haley Conner is one of our amazing student leaders in Cru! She serves as a freshmen small group leader and as the Conference Team leader. She is very sweet and loves to get to know other people!
What year are you?
I am a junior!
What is your major?
I am an IDLS major, elementary education minor.
What made you choose JMU?
JMU was not originally my first choice, but after touring here one time (although I was pretty indecisive), I definitely realized that the atmosphere here is different than anywhere else. There are so many friendly people and it just seems like a happy place. That’s what drew me in, and now I can’t imagine being anywhere else! #GoDukes
How did you get involved in Cru?
I remember getting an email from Cru at some point, and also being invited through text by my small group leader! My freshman roommate, Leana and I decided to go to large group one night, and we were hooked ever since then!
What is your favorite part of Cru?
My favorite part of Cru is the learning and growth that you experience through the incredible opportunities that come with being in it. Cru has such a welcoming atmosphere, and once you decide to step into it, there are so so many opportunities to learn and grow in your faith. From joining a small group or tribe, getting coffee with people, going on retreats and conferences, getting to know staff members, being discipled, and stepping up to leadership positions, God really works through all of these things and draws you closer to Him through it all.
You’re on a servant team this year- what team are you on and what is your role?
I am the conference team leader! With that, I get to work with my awesome team to plan and promote the Spring Break Trip, Fall Retreat, and Winter Conference. In addition to that, I get to work with all of the other wonderful members of servant team as we collaborate and support one another.
You went on the Spring break trip with Mission Liberti this year. What was that like? What was your favorite part?
Mission Liberti was an absolutely incredible experience for me. We had the opportunity to learn to serve those who serve, to be trained and get experience in looking for key volunteers to start Cru movements on college campuses, and to learn about and get practice in sharing our faith. No matter what we were doing, it was just awesome to be surrounded by so many staff and students who love the Lord and could encourage one another as we took on new experiences. My favorite part was going to Drexel University and spending some time sharing my faith there. We used Perspective cards to do this, and it was awesome to kind of just jump out there and trust that God would provide and give us the words to say as we talked to people. If anyone has any questions about any of this or what it means, or if you’d just like to hear more about it, please let me know! I’d love to talk with you!
Have you been on any other mission trips through Cru?
I have not been on any mission trips with Cru yet, but I am going to be going back to Philly this summer for the summer version of Mission Liberti! It’s from May 26th-June 23rd, and I cannot wait! With that being said (shameless plug), come with me!!
Women’s Retreat Recap!
Almost every JMU Cru woman will agree that Women’s Retreat is the most anticipated event of the year.
For those who don’t know, Women’s Retreat is an annual event that is 100% student run. The senior women spend the entire spring semester planning and preparing this retreat. The goal is to create a Christ-centered weekend where the senior women have the opportunity to share what God has taught them over the last four years and how we as underclassmen can use these lessons in our own lives.
Each Women’s Retreat weekend consists of 3 main talks, multiple break-out sessions based on more specific topics, worship music, crafts, great food, and vulnerability. All talks, breakout sessions, and worship sessions are led by the senior women. The theme this year was “Live Surrendered”. The seniors shared their experiences with surrendering everything over to God and gave practical ways for us to devote ourselves completely to Him.
These women did an incredible job of showing God’s love to all of us and demonstrating what a godly community looks like! We would all like to thank the senior class for serving us with kind and open hearts and for inspiring us to be vulnerable with one another!
This post was written by the JMU Cru Media Team- a group of students dedicated to sharing the love of Christ through media on JMU’s campus.