August 16, 2015

The Field is the World


Francis Chan @ 2015 National Staff Conference

YTD Indicated Decisions 14,201,056

Road Trips are always better With Friends

Beautiful Colorado

What is this meeting you call “CSU?”

Emily's Community Evangelism Project for her student conference: gospel cards given out with heart-shaped bracelets

Dear Family and Friends:

This year marked 10 yearssince we attended our first “National Staff Conference” in 2005. We first saw it live on the Internet in 2003. It was the first one to be broadcast this way. It was also the last for Dr. Bill Bright, CCCI's founder, as he gave his final charge to the assembled staff. He passed away the next day, after a long struggle with pulmonary fibrosis.

It 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.

Friends from FL, the Hackney family, met us in Texas and traveled with us to Colorado.

NASA test pilot and Astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore told about his six month space station mission and the greatest challenge he’s ever faced: being bold for the gospel.

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 is ours! 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,

(Cindy Skinner - signature)

Mike & Cindy
One Day Closer! (Romans 13:11)

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