National Staff Conference at CSU started out an annual conference, but it is now held every other year on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins. (That’s why we all call it the “CSU” conference.) We have attended six of them: (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015). The expense is always a faith challenge for us. This year’s first speaker said it well, reflecting on his time on staff in the 1990's: “Don’t forget the miracles… and every summer was a miracle!” (Referring to raising enough to cover the expense.) This year was an unforgettable one, as God did more than we even asked Him for.
In our April prayer letter, I admitted the overconfidence of “hindsight” as I mentally berate the disciples in the stories of their despair after Jesus’ crucifixion. Just as their grief blinded them to the coming Resurrection, during our times of testing over the past year, I’ve never been able to see exactly how God's deliverance would come. Moving has been a big test for all of us. It meant leaving our church, friends and home and seeing our support simultaneously dip to a low point. Having to replace both cars. Making payments on two houses for 4 months after the couple attempting to purchase our FL home had to withdraw their offer. Expensive medical bills… and more.
Just having healthy bodies, a safe car and enough in our staff account to attend this conference after the events of last year is a miracle for us, but God had something better in mind.
CSU is our best opportunity to hear about what is going on elsewhere in CCCI. The legacy of miracles reminds us that our own concerns are nothing compared to what others have faced. Ney Bailey told the story of her rescue from the 1976 Thompson flood and reminded us to bring God into all our negative experiences.
Izabayojean Bosco, on staff in Rwanda, told about starting large discipleship movements on college campuses in Rwanda.
Henri Aoun, Campus Crusade’s Director for the North Africa & Middle Eastern Area of Affairs, (NAME), told about baptizing over a dozen former Muslims who all had a simultaneous vision of Jesus!
After a refresher on the miraculous heritage of CCCI, the conference’s location at an educational institution (and Mike’s position in the Training division of our ministry) seems appropriate. We are still “in training.”
The Holy Spirit illuminates God’s written Word, revealing Christ as He guides us personally. (John 16:13-15) We are learning, in a deeper way, to allow Him to reveal God’s work in our circumstances, to conform us to the image of His Son and perfect us as worshipers. This makes His providence, His benevolence to us, personal, and as a result, more profound for our family than even stories of deliverance from flood or persecution. Just as we are His forever, He also isours! Thank you for the profound part you play in that story as you pray for us, encourage us, and are used by Him to make it possible for us to continue to serve full-time with this amazing organization.
Love, in Christ,
One Day Closer!