In case you missed it on the way in, click below to view Noah's review of 2013-14...and our first eighteen months at UW-Whitewater!
While planning and praying today in Laurentide Hall, I noticed something: campus is quiet! Eerily quiet! Like the calm before a storm.
Must mean there's a storm coming!
Indeed there is!
Two weeks from yesterday is freshmen move in here at UWW! In the days leading up, campus will start to buzz with more and more activity....RAs, athletes (like one our students on the football team!), student orgs, etc. Our student leaders return late next week for vision-casting and training leading into our Fall Kickoff, one of the most important times of our ministry year.
In the meantime during this calm, I'm praying. Asking...begging the Lord to move mightily in the coming weeks. There are freshmen coming to campus whose whole life trajectories will be altered (for better or for worse!) simply based on the people they meet in the first couple weeks of campus life.
Who will we bump into while we're walking and praying on campus? Who will we carry boxes for on move in day? Who will fill out one of our spiritual interest surveys? I'm asking the Lord that the students He brings us into contact with will be like the good soil Jesus talked about in Matthew 13:8, 23.
I rejoice at your word
Oh that the Lord would bring us students like this...now or in time!
Please join in praying for us and the Whitewater students. Use the above passages and watch your mail for a new prayer card from us. (if you're not on our list, you can join it here.)
Thanks for sharing our heart for God's Kingdom!
Last Thursday we celebrated the end of this semester's PURE group. PURE is an opportunity for men (there's a group for women as well!) to find encouragement and help to forsake sexual sin that has dominated them for years. God's done a wondrous work in their lives, as they've forsaken internet pornography, masturbation, and sexual activity outside of God's good design. Our world teaches that unbounded sexuality is the key to happiness. These young men found freedom and joy in their hearts as they've embraced God's design.
As a part of our closing ceremony, we had men share "two-word testimonies." Who they were before PURE and what they are now. Here's what I heard from these men...
With these words come stories of struggle, hopelessness, and shame....followed up with light, truth, and healing. They wrote their old identities on pieces of wood and burned them, symbolizing their death to sin through Christ's death on the cross.
These men are putting into practice Paul's words from Romans 6:12-14...
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
We ended our time by allowing them to take some genuine, somber anger out on the devices that have enslaved them for so long. It was truly a solemn exercise...a joy to see them exercise their power as men, no longer as slaves but as masters. We then held each other up (literally!) and prayed for one another.
Please pray that God would continue to deliver university students from bondage to sexual sin. Pray that these six men would continue in purity, and would help others to find freedom as well.
Thanks for praying with us!
Spring Break is just a week away and the university police are handing out these spring break "safety tips" to students passing by.
It's tempting to be cynical. The message is, "enjoy the American spring break party experience...just do it safely." It seems comparable to giving students a sheet of safety tips before they gather with a whole bunch of people to play with gasoline and lighters.
These safety tips seek to address the danger to student's bodies as they head to the beaches in Florida to party. What's missing is the "safety tips" for these students' hearts.
GK Chesterton said, "Meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain. Meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure."
Please pray for Whitewater students- that they would experience the weariness that comes with seeking worldly pleasures. And pray that on the beach or back on campus, God would bring one of His people into their life to share where true meaning, purpose, and life can be found.
Thanks for praying!
Hey friends! Hope you are staying warm.
Speaking of warm, sometimes people ask what our work looks like in the summer when most of the students are gone from campus.
Sometimes we have a specific summer assignment like staffing a training program or overseas trip. Other times, like 2013, the summer holds a variety of responsibilities including lots of planning and preparation for the upcoming school year, shepherding students from afar (phone, etc), regional or national responsibilities, support raising, and PRAYER.
Prayer is never something we want to neglect, even during the busiest times. But the summer can provide a unique opportunity (and warmer weather!) to spend extra time asking the Lord to move in mighty ways on our campus. I enjoy preparing the campus for students' return by walking around campus and asking the Lord to work.
Recently I saw the beginning of an answer to one of my summer prayers that brought me back to those sweaty days of anticipation and faith, reminding the Lord what He called us here for and asking for His help.
One of my summer pleadings with the Lord: that the dining halls and university center would be teeming discipleship relationships: staff and older students meeting younger students to pass on things they've learned and help them grow in Christ.
This was my view from the 2nd floor of the University Center on a recent Thursday. The white, green, and red circles highlight Navigator students and staff passing on the things they've learned to the next (spiritual) generation. I didn't set this up. We all happened to be meeting at the same time.
The Lord is clearly moving as you and our staff team and students pray. Would you please continue to pray?
After a recent conference, I've added a prayer to my list: that we'd be a WINNING campus. No, not that we'd win competitions, but that we'd be raising up laborers from among students that we'd WON to Christ. We'll help all the already-Christians God brings us, but we're trusting Him for a vibrant mix of these and those who we've recently shared the gospel with.
Would you join us in praying that our ministry would WIN souls? At least three have received Christ this year. We're hoping for more!
Thanks for standing with us!
*sigh* My heart is sad at the moment.
Some of you have seen my conversation journal that I use as an evangelistic tool on campus. I ask people "if they could write a note to God and He would read it, what would you write?"
It's been a great well to have spiritual conversations with people, to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone, and open doors to new relationships.
Today we bumped into Sam. Here's what he wrote.
Phew. Deep stuff.
I could see pain in his eyes as we talked briefly with him. He's had six open-heart surgeries, and is currently on a waiting list for a heart transplant. He doesn't go to church, but believes in God. I offered to pray for him, and did. Would you pray for him today, that God would grant him a new heart, and that if he doesn't have one now, a new spiritual heart?
Yours on campus,
Found this while working in the University Center on campus. I think they're promoting this as good news. But look at some of the percentages!
Seems like UWW students are thirsty, but haven't found the right place to drink. John 4:13-15.
Pray that they would!
Super quick recap of the first week of class at UWW!
Best part of the week:
The best part of the week was seeing Almighty God at work. We made so many connections with students who are hungry for community and Christ. Thirty came to our first NavNight. The coolest part: 20ish were new!
We're already starting to see a community of faithful freshmen join us. We designed new tshirts for our students this year, and five new people bought them. They're already excited to identify with the UWW Navs, and that's an exciting thing! We're working hard, but can see clearly that the Spirit of God is enabling these connections to actually happen. He's bringing the people around!
Biggest challenge of the week:
Go go go! The week was pretty much non-stop. We're planting a lot of seeds, and not sure which will grow. It's easy to get emotionally wrapped up in the process, with high points of excitement and encouragement and low points of fear and discouragement. In both, we've encouraged each other to turn to the Lord in prayer. Those moments have been some of the sweetest of the week.
Top prayer of the week:
FF! Faithful freshmen.
Ask the Lord on our behalf to bring a class of faithful freshmen to our ministry. We're eager to get started in helping them to grow in Christ. We just don't know yet who will stay around. Tonight's our first freshmen-only Freshmen Connection meeting. We're trusting the Lord will bring several freshmen to come.
We long for a generational movement of the gospel to continue here. In order for that to happen, we need "faithful men" (and women) to join us.
Thanks for praying that they will!
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