Yes, we've entered the world of chaos. For the last few weeks we've been meeting with our staff team and preparing for ministry. This is the week. Classes start tomorrow. We had one of our student gatherings on Sunday to get students geared up for the week. Then we did freshmen surveys bright and early Monday morning and stood in the occassional pouring down rain for the involvement fair most of the afternoon. Today was small group leader training where we had around 100 students who are leading Bible studies around campus. After that was the dorm blitz, where we all went out to follow up the surveys and talk to students. Even tomorrow, we will be trying to get more students to fill out surveys and have spiritual conversations while doing that.
This first week is so important because it's when students really start making decisions of what direction their college life is headed. We want to share the Gospel with them and get them plugged in to the body of believers right away. Please pray for us, that we would be having awesome conversations these first few weeks and that students' hearts would be soft. Please pray for our leaders, that they would be excited about where God has them and what he's doing through them. Please pray for us during this transition time for our family. Please continue to pray for the last bit of our support to come in. We only have $210 monthly to go! God has done amazing things to allow us to get this far in such a hard time in our economy. And it will be much more difficult to finish our support now that we're on campus and meeting with students.
I had my first Action Group last night. It was awesome! The first week is always so much fun because we always go longer (since they haven't started classes yet) and we really get to dive into each other's lives and hear how everyone's summers went. I'm working with such a great group of guys. There were 11 of them and most of them I already know pretty well and am pumped to get to know them even more. Melissa made dinner for us, no small feat for 12 hungry guys. They were all excited and decided that they want dinner every week! Imagine that, college guys wanting a home cooked meal! Melissa left us to fend for ourselves so she could go to her own Action Group. She's partnering with Elisabeth (who's leading the group full-time) so that she can meet some of the girls and be involved in their lives.
Ministry is definitely different now that we have Noah. It was especially hard to leave him today, knowing that I wouldn't see him for 10 hours. Melissa and some of the other moms are trying to figure out a schedule for watching each others' kids and finding volunteer baby-sitters. We're really hoping that will work out well so that the moms can have more opportunities to get involved. Please pray for that, baby-sitters and that schedules would allow moms to be on campus.
Tonight was our first OCF/Valor planning meeting. This is the name of the ROTC group that meets every week. We're really praying that this will take off this year and that we'll have huge avenues of meeting cadets and midshipmen to have spiritual conversations. One of the Navy chaplains is actually associate staff with Crusade so he's totally on board with helping out in whatever capacity he can. We're praying for huge things for this ministry because these students will be key leaders in our armed forces, and there's such a need for the Gospel in these places where daily soldiers are sacrificing their lives. We want them to know that they don't need to fear death, especially when so many of them face it on a daily basis.
If you want to see Noah's 1 year pictures, the website is http://gretchenphotography.smugmug.com/. Just click on Noah. We'll be getting a cd to print pictures from, so we're (mostly Melissa, cause she's into that kind of stuff) excited to get some pictures hung of him now that he's one!