Sharing the Gospel in 2021: CRU comes to North Myrtle Beach

ODPC is pleased to have partnered with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ International) for over 25+ years as a host church for thousands of collage age missionaries over the years! Coming from all over the United States, students from all walks of life answer the Command of Jesus to go into the world and spread His Gospel to the lost. What a blessing CRU and it’s students are to our community here in North Myrtle Beach!

All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org

Although Summer Mission 2021 to NMB has ended, we wanted to share this interview with Cru Team Leader Ben Newton about the awesome things God did this year!

 

All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org

This is CRU‘s first year back after 2020. How does it feel to be back?

It feels so, so good to be back. A word that myself and others are using to describe this summer is “redemptive”. After not being able to come last summer, we were asking the Lord to do the things we could not – provide authentic community, have the hearts of our students be humble and teachable, give us hearts that break for the lost, and give us a reliance not on ourselves but on the Spirit. All of these things have happened. I have been on many summer missions, and this particular one is special, because we have a very special and tight knit group of staff and students that are individually and collectively stepping out in faith in amazing ways.

 

All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org

What is a “God showed up” moment that really made an impact on you?

There is a student here who was paralyzed in High School.  He is now going to be a senior in college.  His name is Luke, and he goes to the University of Wisconsin Madison.  If there was ever a student that had an excuse to not come to Summer Mission, it would have been Luke, due to all the complications that being disabled and traveling across the country for a month brings with it (not to mention during a pandemic!)  One of the barriers Luke faced was that his care taker fell through weeks before he came to NMB, meaning that his brother, Matt, stepped in and was with him here for three weeks of the summer.  Matt is a Christian but has not been walking with the Lord, and because of Luke’s faith steps to still come this summer, Matt was exposed to an authentic Christianity that he had never known existed.  He has been able to go sharing on the beach with our students, has sat in on discipleship times, and has recommitted his life to Christ and wants to go back and live on mission. Amazing.
All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org
To this point, with three days left, we have initiated conversations with 3,654 people! Of those, 2,727 have turned into spiritual conversations (where we ask them about their desire to have a personal relationship with God, to tell us more about their spiritual backgrounds, etc.). Of those, we have gotten to share the gospel and lead people to a chance to respond 1,487 times, and we have seen 95 people indicate placing their faith in Christ!
All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org
Our goal for gospel conversations for the summer was 1,000. Last week, our biggest evangelism week during the summer, we saw the Lord use us to share the gospel 735 times alone. Those numbers are just numbers, but they represent people. We like to say that “we count people because people count to God”. These are thousands of lives that God is working in, and we have had the privilege to have front row seats to what He’s doing.
All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org
That is incredible!! God is so good! How can we help/ continue to partner with you all in the future? How can we pray for these students?
This summer is unique in that all of us (students included) are leaving in this next week. Normally, students only have a couple of weeks before they head back to school. This summer, they will have several months. Please pray for them to walk closely with Jesus and be intentional to stay missional and walk in community as they have an extended period of time at home.
All photos courtesy of CRU West Coast, CRU International 2021, cru.org
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God is on the move! These are miracle times we are living in! If you’d like to know more about CRU, visit their website at: cru.org
Thank you to Ben Newton and the entire CRU team for being the hands and feet of Jesus!! See you all next year!!!
-ODPC Family
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