Legacy: leaving one, having one

Legacy: leaving one, having one

Over the last 3 months I (Erick) have been working on a conference for Cru called “Legacy.” Legacy has been a conference brought to life 3 years ago by Adam Go (EFM National Director with Cru). The goal was to be able to have a place in the Upper Midwest Region of Cru to gather what was then the beginnings of EFM (Ethnic Field Ministries) movements and have a place for them to gather and learn and grow in their faith with the unique lens of their ethnic identity.

 

After taking over director responsibilities from Adam over the summer I started off on a journey that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do. For the conference to have the impact that Adam and I (and many others) had been praying for God was going to need to show up in big ways.

I began by praying. Asking God what I should be asking for. Number of students to attend. Staff to come alongside me in the planning process. Content. Speakers. Everything.

One of the biggest things that keep coming to my mind as I prayed was a desire to have a healthy mix of ethnic minorities represented at the conference. Then a dream began to come into view: What if we had students that represented all of the EFM movements? Epic, Impact, Destino, Nations, Design. Even though I knew that we didn’t have all of those movements happening in the Upper Midwest I knew there had to be students that would identify with those movements and that maybe we could get them to Legacy.

Another thing that God kept challenging me to was to see a diverse group of people “up-front”. I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish this, but began praying that God would “make it happen.”

As the planning went on and the conference dates grew closer and closer something became abundantly clear. God was on the move. A week before the conference I had a Hmong pastor from St. Paul, a black pastor from Milwaukee, a latino Destino staff all coming to be the speakers. I had an Indian woman emceeing. A white man leading worship. A bi-racial woman facilitating a panel. God put all of the pieces together so beautifully.

We also had students from every facet of EFM and I was so in awe of God for how mightily He moved in students lives to get them to come to the conference.

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As the conference began it was clear that God was just going to continue to make His name known to all of us. Speaker after speaker a constant theme was being tied about God’s creation and what that means for us today. But nothing repeated. Nothing seemed out of place.

A few takeaways from the conference that I had were from the first talk of the conference where Pastor Will Branch talked through Genesis 3:11 and had us all write down things that we have heard and/or believed were true about ourselves relating to our race/ethnicity/culture. He then rolled through God saying, “Who told you you were ________.” And then proceeded to walk us all through the healing process of “God created you and said you are very good. So stop believing the ‘blank.'”

We also had a panel of all of the speakers, emcee and myself and got the chance to answer some harder questions about our own ethnic identity  and to lend our perspectives toward our own experiences. We also opened it up to the audience (always dangerous territory) and got to answer some of the tougher questions that were on students’ minds.

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There was also a beautiful moment where our worship leader Joe Hanson led us through a time right before we worshiped to “Revelation Song” that we were glimpsing a moment of heaven in the room as a diverse multitude gathered to worship God singing “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.” It was probably the most moving worship moment I’ve had in awhile.

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The conference was full of moments like this. I’m so thankful for everyone who made it possible. So thankful that God gave me the opportunity to experience it and to have been used by God to lead it from beginning to end. God expanded my heart for seeing my life through a culturally sensitive lens and I’m excited for the dividends that is going to pay down the road.

February Prayer Letter

So this is later than it was supposed to be — my bad!! Totally forgot to post it on the blog! We had such an awesome Janurary — we went to California!!! Thanks for praying for us, our students and the ministry in central wisconsin.

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The blinking curser & a new year

Happy New Year.

Yes, I recognize that it’s January 23. I get it. I’m behind. I am aware that it’s been 2014 for a few weeks now, but I’m still living in the past — frantically trying to keep up and stay on top of things. I really had impractical expectations for my life from mid-December until … well … until today, really. Although life has been lovely, adventurous, and fun in some expected and unexpected ways, I’m finding that I’m just not quite caught up.

My heart, my life, and my brain are still processing 2013 — a lot went down last year. I’m doing that thing (maybe you do it too) when I have so many many many things to say that I rehearse thoughts and sentences over and over again so I can share the experience with you, but then I get all overwhelmed. I end up saying nothing. I keep it to myself because so much time has passed that the story has lost its luster. Besides…something, someone, someplace has already happened. There’s already a new story to share.

I’ve been staring at the screen of this neglected blog for months; watching an achingly depressing analogy unfold before my eyes. I was too busy, life was moving too fast, and other things were just too important for me to sit down and write.

There was so much to tell but I didn’t have time/take the time to feed words to the blinking curser flashing back at me. Too much to do. I didn’t leave space for me to write the words so I could actually live in the joy of the adventure He was allowing me to experience.

Much of my life — my relationships, my passions, my rest — took a backseat to my job these past few months. As much as I love my job there’s more to me than “Courtney, Cru staff.” And you may say, “Court, I know that!!” And thanks. Thanks for knowing that. I really do appreciate it. But honestly, I lost a bit of myself there for a bit. It was touch and go there for awhile.

I need me to know that there is more to me than this gig on staff. Yes, much of who I am is laboring with this ministry of college students. They are some of the most creative, passionate, real, and courageous people I know — these men and women show me Jesus and they speak so deeply to my soul. I LOVE that I get to see them every day as part of my job. I’m blessed. Truly. But my ministry — the life God has entrusted me with — is more than just them.

It’s my walk with Jesus, my service to the Savior who saved me and gives purpose to my life. It’s my sweet and brilliant husband. It’s the gifts God has given me to write, and create, and design. It’s relationship with friends who don’t live in my city and have known me for years, and it’s relationship with a friend who’s known me for just a few months and is just beginning to see the real story.

That’s my ministry. That’s His ministry. And I confess that I haven’t been the best steward.

So in the spirit of grace, a desire to pursue holiness out of a deep desire to make Him known to the world, and to share the stories with you, here’s a massive, rambling post about all the things that I may or may not finish talking to you about. 

I’ve planned at least 10 posts in my head — on finishing our support and reporting as full-time senior staff this fall, something we’d dreamed of for years; on moving into a house from our tiny apartment (it’s a great story, I’ll tell you eventually); MC’ing a conference, one of the favorite things I’ve done on staff with Cru; the end of the busiest five months of my life (seriously, never been busier); learning more about my emotions and how I’m discovering more about my temperament and why I cry so easily; my youngest brother graduated from college and is signing up for the Army, so many emotions; Christmas and how our life is changing and flowing and how it just felt different this year and I haven’t put my finger on why yet; the craziness and blessings of TCX and how much I love my job; parties in the new house, so many parties, and I’ve loved every moment; coming back to our staff team, only to leave soon after for a sunny, warm and lovely adventure to Los Angeles to visit some very very dear friends and hang out with 400 Jesus-loving Asian Americans who know they were made to be known and make Him known.

That’s the cliff notes version.

I think I’m ready for it now. 2014 is gonna be a good year.

January Prayer Letter

Life has been busy. Life has been going crazy since mid-December! We moved from our apartment into a house we’re renting (super exciting!!), traveled to Minneapolis for Christmas and TCX, came back to Stevens Point briefly before we headed to California for the Epic Conference.

Thank you for your prayers for us, our ministry and our students. We have a blessed life and are incredibly excited for the spring semester.

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November Prayer Letter

It’s November!! Hard to believe how quickly the semester is passing us by. It’s been a busy couple of months but the Lord has been doing so much on campus. Thank you for praying for us, our team, and our students!

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October Prayer Letter

It’s been a busy couple of months — we haven’t even had time to blog more!! Jeepers! We’ll get on that! And this is way late on posting — so sorry you guys!!

It’s been a busy couple of months but the Lord has been doing so much on campus. Thank you for praying for us, our team, and our students!

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