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Monday, November 14, 2011

Treasure Hunting

A couple of our favorite movies to watch on occasion are Disney’s National Treasure series.  We are always captivated by the incredible discovery of treasure at the end.  It’s as if we become obsessed with the treasure hunt along with the crew, and we desire to find more.
  In the Bible, however, God teaches us not to store up treasures here on earth, but to store up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). 
  So, what are those heavenly treasures?  For those of us serving in Crosswalks Coffee, those treasures are found in our ability to love, serve, and disciple students well.  We are obsessed with this treasure.  It is what drives and motivates us.  And, it is a whole lot more exciting and rewarding than seeking earthly treasures.  We know that when these students find Jesus as their treasure, it will be the best treasure they ever find!
  Here are some treasures we’ve discovered already. 
  Charity, a sophomore at BSU, and our student organization president, said: …“The girls' Bible study that started last semester was small, but through it, we all grew closer to God and to each other.”
  Tori, our Vice President from New York, has made four new friends within this group and recently informed us that she’s finally been plugging into a local church.    
   The Towers dorm was hosting a caramel apple event which Tami ended up “crashing” prior to their Bible study.  Rather, she stepped up to help the hosting RA’s. While doing so, Tami met and served Keith, a freshman, who responded by saying “Wow! I’ve only known you five minutes and I like you more by the minute. Thanks for helping!”
   Friends of Jared (our treasurer), received Care Kits full of food (see pg. 2 for their reactions).
  These are the treasures we store up in heaven, but thankfully also get to enjoy here, at BSU, now!
(From the Nov2011 Newsletter)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My heart is breaking!

I want a broken heart.  But not in the sense we've come to know the phrase.  I want a broken heart that motivates me, that moves me, that changes me, that convicts me, that makes me more like Christ.  I want a broken heart like Paul had. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Campus Ministry is like washing dishes

I learned something today.  Campus ministry is a lot like doing dishes.  At my house, one of my chores is washing the dishes--by hand.  We don't have a dish washer.  And today, it struck me how much campus ministry is like doing dishes--you never seem to get done, it means getting your hands dirty and serving, and when you think you are done, a whole new load or batch of dishes is ready to be washed at the next meal.  Sometimes, I have to scrub hard, and there are students that need a good scrubbing.  Sometimes, dishes need to soak awhile.  That's true for students--they may not respond right away to the good news of Jesus, until they've soaked in it awhile.  And for us, in the beginning of this ministry, it seems like all we do is the hard, gritty work that never ends.  One day it will be worth it, just like seeing a sparkling glass--a student will sparkle as they share their lives with others.  Honestly, I hate doing the dishes and would gladly give it away, but I love campus ministry.  What other ways can you think of that (campus) ministry is like doing dishes.  Write a comment and let us know.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saving our own kids

From NCN News Facebook Photo page.

This map shows an interesting statistic.  In 2009, Global Ministry Center asked the following question:  Quickly: This info was taken from the local church perspective. Of your students in college, how many are in Nazarene schools? Non-Nazarene?
While it is not surprising that the districts with the highest percentage of Nazarene students attending Nazarene schools is the host district, it is surprising how low the overall percentage is.

This graphic helps me see the great mission field right before us.  Most Nazarene teens in local churches do not go to Nazarene schools.  Two thoughts come to mind.  1)  We must do better at encouraging our students to be discipled at a Nazarene school.  2)  What are happening to the over 70% on average that are not attending regional universities.  What an amazing opportunity.  

What's more amazing to me is that the Church of the Nazarene has less a ministry presence on less than 25 campuses.  The United Methodist Church has nearly 600.  And, if you take away local churches (i.e. Sunday School Classes, etc.), our number goes down and the number of UM ministries rises.

While many who see the above graphic are saddened by the number not attending Nazarene schools, I am burdened by the responsibility and opportunity to reach these "other" students.  

And that is why we are here at Boise State, and why others are on the mission field at other universities.  More thoughts on this will be coming later...but until then, I close with this thought from Benson Hines:
"If we reach college students well for the next 5 years, and then stopped, we would effect the culture for the next fifty years."  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ask and I'll give the nations to you.

Today was missions Sunday at our home church.  We have a favorite song that we sing, called "You Said" by Reuben Morgan.  It's based off of Psalms 2:8.  Here are the lyrics.

You said, "ask and you will receive whatever you need."
You said, "pray and I'll hear from heaven,
and I'll heal your land."

You said Your glory will fill the earth
like water the sea.
You said, "lift up your eyes;
the harvest is here, the kingdom is near."

You said, "ask and I'll give the nations to you."
oh Lord, that's the cry of my heart.
distant shores and the islands will see

O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we ask for the nations
O Lord, we are asking for the nations

You can hear a version by Hillsong here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvuoCrDfru4

During the song, I found myself thinking that this is my heart for Boise State.  Around here, Boise State is sometimes referred to as Bronco Nation.  During the last section of the song, I found myself singing, "O Lord, we ask for the Bronco Nation."  I'm praying that God will provide for us and this ministry, that God will heal the land of this institution.  I'm praying for the distant shores and islands in people's hearts to see.  I'm praying that God's glory will be known here. God is saying to me and Tami, "Lift up your eyes, the harvest is here at Boise State.  The Kingdom is near at Boise State."  And I came away renewed in passion for a people and place that desperately needs to know Jesus.

Monday, May 30, 2011

4400 and 1 Fundraiser

We are trying to raise money for what we think is a perfect location!  We want 4400 and ONE people to buy a square foot for $80! 

For more, see our Facebook page or contact us.

Sole Support--Why PRAYer Works!

Okay God, here we go!  Let's go meet the girls for our Bible study now.  I don't  exactly know what you want me to say today, but I am going to trust you for the words and the wisdom to know what to do.  Oh and by the way, you know I don't have enough money to pay for parking in the garage, so I could really use your help finding a parking spot on the road again.  Thank you for all the other times you have provided in this way.  I know I can trust you for it.  Thank you also for the oppor-tunity to meet with these girls. I just pray that I will be your vessel and you will use me to speak for you." 

That's been the general direction of my prayers for the past several weeks as I've met with 1-3 girls in the Student Union Building (SUB) at Boise State University (BSU).  Every Friday afternoon at 12:30, we gather together for a book/Bible study using the book "
Why Pray?" by John F. DeVries.  Since we are, in fact, studying the subject of prayer, it has been quite fun to arrive at the school proclaiming thanks to God for yet another prayer answered as a parking spot opens up right in front of me.  Weekly, I get to share how my conversational prayers with God provide physical, tangible results to simple needs. 

One of the girls, Leah* has been genuinely seeking an intimate relationship with   Jesus, but not fully understanding what that meant.  She accepted an invitation to attend the revival services at Nampa First in March, with speaker Dan Bohi.  She left with a new understanding of what walking with Jesus entails.  She had a lot to think about, but from what I could tell, went home without making any final decisions.  Unfortunately, Leah soon began experiencing many difficult trials in her life.  Even while she attended our Bible study, she withdrew and was dying in agony.  I watched her every Friday as I tried to understand what was distressing her and to understand better how to pray for her.  Her verbal response was typically a 1-2 word blanket phrase, but her body language screamed "I'm hurting!".

On Friday, April 15th, I watched several prayers receive an answer right in front of our eyes.  This girl was in fact hurting, deeply.  I'd prayed my same prayer on the way to BSU, once again asking for a parking spot and to have wisdom and the right words.  This time...THREE spots were available in the free, 2-hour parking areas of the street.  WOW!  "Thank you God!!!" I said.  But, each time I tried to park, the available spot was about a foot too short.  ALL three of the first available parking spots were the same story.  "Thanks God for all the spots,” I said again, “but what's going on?" Then I finally found a spot unrestricted by time and not requiring payment.  It was a walk...but I would discover shortly why the other parking spots didn't work out.

As our study progressed, Leah sat quietly, her gaze    drifting off to other things, and her participation only    happened when she was asked to read.  Finally, we came to prayer requests for the week.  Again, 1-2 words was all she would offer.  Feeling prompted by the Holy Spirit, I asked "Can I ask you a personal question?"  A nod was her only response.  I asked "How much of this has been going on since the revival services with Dan Bohi?” "Some" she said, "but some of it was an issue before then too."  With a bit more conversation and following the Holy Spirit's lead, Leah spoke up and said "I'm just going to come out and tell you all what's been going on."  She  proceeded to describe some of the hurts and trials she'd been experiencing, confess some things she'd been    doing, and admit that she didn't know what to do.  The three of us listening to her knew we needed to surround her in prayer and to comfort her as long as she needed.

It was nearly 2:15 when all this unfolded.  One of the other girls, Kate*, was supposed to leave for her 2:30 class, but she knew she needed to stay with Leah as well.  In God’s perfect timing, as Kate looked up, she saw her professor for the next class walking by.  Quickly, she withdrew her assignment folder, walked over to her professor, turned in the assignment and informed him that she could not be in class.  Being freed up of all obligations, we were all able to sit in the middle of the SUB to surround Leah in prayer.  We prayed with great intensity for a while and when we finished praying, we knew we'd experienced God's presence, a God-Space.

Making sure Leah was okay before we all departed, we wrapped up our session with a laugh.  As we shifted in our seats, we bumped feet under the table.  I curiously looked to see who I'd bumped and the sight made me laugh.  We were all wearing the same kind of shoes (see picture).  I pointed out our common look and we all started to laugh...and take pictures of the sight of course.  (I later told Ben we were connected in soul [sole] in more than one way that day!)  As I walked back to my car thanking God for what he had just done, I realized why all three of the original parking spots did not work.  I had been there for more than three hours!

God knew what we needed that afternoon.  He provided extra, free parking, a timely professor, similar shoes, laughter, relevant scriptures, courage and mostly His presence!!!  The prayers have continued to be answered in the following weeks.  The wall that's been keeping Leah from fully understanding a living relationship with Jesus Christ is being chipped away.  With a gift of four tickets to the Easter drama, “No Greater Love”, (provided by a generous supporter of Crosswalks), Leah finally heard, and understood, what the Easter story is all about.  On Easter Sunday, the following day, Leah’s comments on Facebook were "GUESS WHAT GUYS?!?!? IT'S EASTER SUNDAY!!!!! I LOVE EASTER!!!!! I blame Lynne*, Marie* and Tami Moore specifically.  But only because God loves me enough to have put these awesome people in my life! Arigato (Thanks), God!"

why pray?  Because God is working and passionately seeking the students at Boise State!  We've been called to this ministry specifically for reasons like these...to love these students the way Christ loves us!  Keep praying. Thank you for joining us in this     journey.  Your prayers are being answered.  We have many more similar stories we could and will share with you in the future!
fictitious names used to protect identity

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Video from Destinations

Here is a video from the Campus Ministry at the University of Nebraska. They visit the Potter's House in Springfield, MO. Some great stuff!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stories...becoming a part

When people tell stories, their stories may be personal tales, a recounting of historical events, a search for life within their community, nation or other parts of the universe, and everything in between. In our short time of preparing this ministry, we have heard some fascinating stories. Here are a few we would like to share with you. All of the stories are true.
· A back-up quarterback at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) moves to Boise to intern with the football team at Boise State. This move was featured by the Nazarene Communications Network. We were contacted by different people about the pending move and the new possible connection with the football team. Fortunately, one of the coaches at MNU is a friend of mine and with a simple call, he provided contact information for us. We were able to contact the new intern within a week and fellowshipped with him and his wife over dinner at our house. What a great way to welcome new members of the BSU community! How many more students are at BSU that we haven’t contacted yet because we don’t have names and/or contact information?
· A BSU student was recently sharing a personal story about his life in which he professed to be an atheist. The campus minister speaking with him asked how this came to be his belief system. Was it due to the church background? No, the young man grew up as part of a Baptist church. Was it from a bad church experience? His response—“No, it was great.” Was it from his time in the military and his deployment to Iraq? The student replied, “No.” Finally, the campus minister asked what made him choose to become an atheist. His response: “After I became a student here at Boise State.” If this student had a safe place, like a coffee shop, to express his doubts openly, would his story change?
· Matt became a Christian and is now actively involved in campus ministry. When asked how that came to be, he replied: “On the outside, I was the person no one thought would be interested in spiritual things. I partied, acted cool, and all of that. But someone shared Christ with me. They didn’t know how interested I really was.” Can simple conversations over coffee pique an interest about God in the lives of students like Matt?
· Hilary was arrested in high school for driving under the influence (DUI). She received court-appointed community service which she completed at the Potter’s House, coffee shop ministry in Springfield, MO. The ministers there introduced her to Christ and continue to disciple her today across state lines. How many students need a place that won’t judge their past, but provides prime opportunities to change their future?
· A young girl casually attends a Nazarene church from time to time. Her family life is challenging and sometimes results in her being kicked out of the house. While attending BSU, she often spent the night in her car. With no food, no place to get ready and the ability to stay in a dorm only twice in a semester, “life” is pretty challenging for her. Crosswalks dreams of providing a safe place for students like this girl and others to turn.
Stories like these keep us moving forward in this ministry to Boise State. And the reality that there are nearly 20,000 similar stories make this ministry vital to growing God’s kingdom at BSU. We can’t wait to see how the stories we hear merge with the story of God!
How can you become a part of this story?
We will find ways to serve and minister to the BSU campus with or without a coffee shop. But, as you can see from the stories, a coffee shop provides a safe God space for students to explore and question their beliefs in a place that may also lead and guide them to a true relationship with God.
· In the next few months we will be seeking out 40 people who will pledge to give $100.00 monthly. Do you want to be one of them?
· We will be seeking out grants to purchase property. Several are in the works now!
· We will continue hosting fundraisers. The next is the Party-On Marathon, April 30th.
We need your help! Together we can grow this ministry to BSU