Saturday, December 31, 2011

TCX update #2....outreach day

Hilton spa!
Maggie had a special 'Hilton spa' last night before bed.  Not sure if you can tell from the pic, but the bathroom sink made the PERFECT bathtub for her!

To challenge students (and staff!) out of our comfort zones, we have a day of outreach every year at TCX.  This has several different facets.  Some students do internet outreach and respond live to questions posted on our evangelistic websites.  Students with spanish language abilities can opt to share in hispanic neighborhoods while others engage with people in English. We do all of this through partnerships with local churches and with Here's Life Inner City, the inner city ministry of Cru.  Students also hand out 'boxes of love' filled with food, a New Testament, and info about the partnering church in their neighborhood.

Yesterday, through these different avenues, students were able to share the gospel 635 times and saw 91 people make a decision to give their lives to Christ!!!  Last night we had a sharing time and Maggie and I listened from the back as student after student shared how God had used them to engage people from all ages and walks of life with the Good News of Christ.  What an incredible thing to welcome 91 new souls into the Kingdom! Praise God for His work in the hearts of many!

This morning, our speaker, Tom Henderson, challenged students to examine themselves and think about what is keeping them from walking more closely with Jesus.  He specifically emphasized a need to look at your past and what 'secret sins' you may be harboring that create distant between yourself and God. A few students and staff shared up front about how they've struggled and found freedom by confessing sin to trusted friends.  Then a time was provided for students to confess to each other or to staff if there were secret sins they've been struggling with. I had the privilege of talking and praying with one girl and love knowing that she's going into the new year with a new found freedom that walking in the light can bring.... as Paul wrote in Galatians 5, "it is for freedom that Christ has set us free...." 

Please be praying for these students to continue to walk in the light in these areas. Pray that the enemy wouldn't pull them back into the darkness in these areas.  Thanks so much for joining us in prayer - your prayers MATTER and we've gotten to see the fruit!

Tonight we head out to dinner with the Mankato students who are here.  Later, we'll  have our final session of TCX and then bring in the New Year with worship and a dance party.  Blessings to you as we ring in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

TCX and some fun news...

Just wanted to give a quick update from TCX.  The conference is at the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis and right now Maggie and I (Kristin) are hanging out at a Caribou in the Minneapolis skyway system to catch up on email.  We got to see the beginning of the first session last night before it was Maggie's bedtime ;)  She LOVED the lights and worship music.  We had a great view standing at the back of the ballroom full of over 1500 college students from around the Upper Midwest.  I've loved reflecting on the ways this conference has impacted my life...I did a little math and realized this is my 10th TCX...sooo much has happened here. My decision to go into full time ministry. Preparing to leave for Brasil. Introducing Brasilian students to Upper Midwesterners. Meeting Matt (4 years ago!).  Lets just say the Lord has used this conference in ways I never would have imagined since I first decided to come as a sophomore at the U of Iowa.  Please be praying with us for the 1500 students to make memories of their own and feel the Lord challenging them in specific ways during their four days here.

We also got to meet up with our teammates, Jake and Hilary Mlsna, and talk a bit about what our lives will look like now that we're reporting to work FULL TIME on campus in Mankato!  We start officially meeting with our team January 5 to plan for the semester and iron out our roles.  It would be an understatement to say we're EXCITED! :) Thanks so much for your prayers and faithful partnership that allows us to be part of this important ministry.  We're so blessed and humbled to be in a position to share the Good News of Christ with college students as our job!

Also, if you'd like to experience the conference along with us, check out to see the full schedule and to join us as the conference streams live online.  Tom Henderson will be sharing his second message tonight.

I'll try to get a few more updates out during our time here....until then, enjoy the last few days of 2011!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Awesome story...

Just saw this story come up on our staff web page and wanted to share it. I always get excited to hear what God is doing at my alma mater, but this story is incredible! Check it out:

Amber is a freshman [at the University of Iowa] from Troy Mills, Iowa. During the first week of school I briefly introduced myself to her and invited her to Bible Study. A few days later, I stopped by her room to say hi and get to know her. When she opened the door, she immediately exclaimed, "You! You were in my dream last night! Or at least you were mentioned... I had a dream that Jesus came to me and said, 'Amber, Anne has something very important to tell you this year. Listen.'" One week later, Amber gave her life to Christ!!!

Since then, Amber and I have been meeting for coffee every Tuesday afternoon to look at what it means to be a follower of Christ and how to study the Bible. We've been going through the book of John together and she has been absolutely amazed week by week. "I had no idea this was what the Bible actually said! I've gone to church my whole life and grew up hearing Bible stories but never actually read the Bible for myself. This is like discovering hidden gems!!"