May was a busy and exciting month in the Meritt household. In addition to all the regular end of the school year activities, we celebrated Julie’s high school graduation. In addition, we were thrilled that she was honored as Female Centurion of the Year for Circle Christian School. This award, given for sportsmanship, character, and service, had never been awarded to a soccer player before. Julie is looking forward to attending Covenant College in the fall where she will continue her soccer career as a member of their soccer team.
Several weeks ago, in Chicago, Cru’s college and high school ministries partnered together for a launch week. The purpose of the time was to launch new ministries in the city. The mornings were used to do practical training and cultural engagement with local leaders and pastors. The afternoons were spent prayer walking and finding key people (students, administrators, teachers, pastors, and janitors) who wanted to see God work on their campuses. As a result, the team launched two new high school ministries and are ready to go with three more as God brings more capacity. It is exciting to see how the Lord continues to grow the partnership between the college and high school ministries to see more students reached for Christ.
Expedition Los Angeles (LA)
Cru is also thinking differently about how to get new ministries started. Team leaders in California have developed a plan to do a six-week Expedition (an initiative to see new movements launched) this coming fall in LA. Destino (the movement focused on Latinos), high school and local collegiate ministries will all be involved in surfacing key volunteers and church partners who want to start movements on their campuses. At the moment, there are six full-time staff and several others who will give time to provide lift to the ministry in LA. Local teams will work for the rest of the year to see these contacts turn into new movements.
Thanks for your partnership in the Lord’s work that allows us to be a part of taking the gospel to new places.
Dave & Lynn
Praises and Prayer Requests
- Praise God that He has provided almost all the financial support Julie and Lynn need for their mission to Spain
- Pray that God will use Julie and Lynn to impact young people in Spain with the good news of Jesus
- Pray for all those whose lives have been and will be changed through the Expedition teams Cru is sending out
- Pray for our oldest, Justin, to get a job. He has prospects, but nothing definite yet.
Harvey Relief (Update)
Last month we shared a little about Dave’s trip to help with rebuilding in Houston. This month, we thought we would share one specific story of what God did there.
“Edgar was a part of the four week Cru spring break relief mission that drew over 1,000 collegiate volunteers from over 50 campuses around the US. In total, 35,244 volunteer hours were given to serving the Rosharon community outside of Houston.
Five new homes, framed and almost complete, now stand in Rosharon. Dozens of other homes that needed new walls, new ceilings, and a fresh coat of paint now serve as the visible testimonies of the deeper stories that emerged over Spring Break.
Students like Edgar walked into the bigger story of God at work in Rosharon. One day, while working on the foundations for a new home, Edgar decided to take a break and see if he could meet any residents. Along with Cru staff member Brandon Boyd, Edgar ran into Kim. She and her husband Pang have been living in a corrugated tin roof shack since late August when the floodwaters of Harvey destroyed their home. The new foundations that Edgar and the Cru volunteers are working on will soon be Kim and Pang’s new home.
The conversation with Kim soon includes her husband Pang. Edgar and Brandon ask about their faith. They are Buddhists. But they are also interested in hearing more about Jesus. Here in the shadows of the new foundations, under the din of power tools, Kim and Pang hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. At times, Brandon wonders if his Cambodian audience understands all the words. Thanks to Edgar’s quick thinking, the Google Translate app now illuminates his phone. He finds Khmer, the language of Cambodia. Edgar wants to make sure they understand the promises of Jesus in their own heart language. Kim and Pang indicate they want to receive Jesus in their life. Right here. Right now. Edgar and Brandon hesitate. They explain the invitation of Jesus again, not wanting to pressure or force or misunderstand. After praying out loud in Khmer, Kim and Pang ask if all of the volunteers working on their new foundations can gather together. They want to make a public profession of faith.”
Thanks again for your partnership with us in the Lord’s work which allows us to be a part of God’s bigger story.
Dave & Lynn
During the second week of March, Dave got to lead students who were helping rebuild a community in Rosharon, TX, called Little Cambodia. You can watch a recent Weather Channel report on this community. View at: https://tinyurl.com/Harvey-Cru
Over 400 college students spent their spring break joining in this effort. During this one week project, these students were able to demolish four houses and help start five new elevated foundations. Dave and his team also built a handicap ramp for one of the residents in the community. Please pray for this community that they would experience the love of Jesus and seek to know the God of the universe. Thanks for your impact.
Dave & Lynn
We hope you all are doing well. All is fine here. February has seen the beginning of club soccer for Julie and the continuation of gymnastics season for Jamie. Both of us celebrate our birthdays this month as well. For the 20th time, Dave celebrated his birthday with a card’s tournament. Twenty guys came to play Spades this year. They all had a great time.
As you know, Dave helped to bring The Four gospel bracelets to the United States from Europe. It is exciting to see how the Lord continues to use them to help students share the gospel with their friends. Just last week, at a local middle school here in Orlando, the following happened:
“Thanks for praying. It went FANTASTIC!!! I showed the video with the guy who shares it (how to use The FOUR) so enthusiastically. They (the students) really listened. I gave them all a bracelet and asked them to pair up and try it out. Then I asked two girls who were doing a good job if they would role play for everyone and they did. Finally, we challenged them to share it with someone in lunch period this next week and tell us about it next Friday. It really was great.”
Please continue to pray that more and more students would have opportunity to learn more about The FOUR and how to use them.
Thanks for your partnership with us as we work to help students share Jesus with their friends.
Dave & Lynn
- Over the next four weeks, hundreds of college students will gather in Panama City, FL to be challenged in their faith and to share the good news of Christ with their fellow spring breakers. They will be using 750 sets of the Snapshot cards that Dave helped to develop for evangelism. Please pray that many students come to know Jesus during this time.
- From March 3-10th, Dave will be going to Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery. He will be joining a team of hundreds of college students who are helping rebuild a Cambodian refugee community outside of Houston.
This has been a busy month for us as Julie completes her senior soccer season with Circle Christian School. It has been a bittersweet time as five years on the varsity team winds down. She is currently the leading scorer on the team and was recently named 1st team All-District. In addition to soccer keeping us busy, Jamie’s competition season has begun. She is competing as a level seven gymnast this year. Please pray that the girls would honor the Lord through their sports.
Here is a video clip of one of many Julie’s great shots this year. (It might take a minute to load.)
We are so grateful to the Lord for the opportunity He has given us to serve Him in vocational ministry for so many years. Over the past year, the Lord has given us a renewed vision to see every middle, high school, and college student in our nation and around the world have the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. Students are so needy. Here is just one example:
“I started carrying drugs and dropping them off at the age of nine,” Stephan said. “My dad wasn’t around, my mom was busy doing crack, and I had to step up to be the man of the house,” Stephan continued. “How long did this last?” I asked. “Until I was fourteen,” Stephan replied. I sat opposite Stephan, not so much in shock, just deeply saddened by the generational cycles still plaguing our inner-city neighborhoods and young people. I met Stephan last year when he was cutting class. I immediately knew that there was something different about him. People were drawn to him like a magnet. A natural-born leader without question, but with so much wasted potential. He was without direction and without Jesus.
Unfortunately for Stephen and other students like him, church and parachurch ministries are, for the most part, focused on the suburban areas of our nation. This means that thousands of students in both rural and urban areas are much, much less likely to have the opportunity to hear the gospel and grow in their relationship with Christ. Please pray for us as we seek effective ways to bring the gospel to these needy areas.
Thanks again for enabling us to be a part of helping reach students for Christ.
Dave & Lynn
We trust you are well. This has been a somewhat crazy season for us. Justin has been experiencing some health challenges this fall and so Dave has been spending a lot of time with him in Tallahassee. Fortunately, Dave has been able to do his work from there. In addition, Dave’s dad, who spends several months with us each year, experienced some of his own health issues recently. We would appreciate your prayers for complete healing for both Justin and Dave’s dad.
Recently, Dave has been helping the high school ministry as they focus on developing a Gap Year program. Cru High School Global Missions Gap Year takes high school graduates on a mission to three different continents over nine months to serve and minister to high school students in various countries across the globe. Students taking a year after graduation explore who God has created them to be and to grow in their relationship with the Lord as they serve students in other cultures. Students will see their lives transformed as they have opportunities to trust God in greater ways and to share the gospel with high school students across the globe.
The high school ministry of Cru is sending the first Gap Year team in the fall of 2018. Students will start with training in Orlando in late August, travel to two other continents, and then return to Orlando for a time of debrief at the end of May. While in Orlando, students will have an extended time of training while at the International Headquarters of Cru in Orlando. They will also work with local high school students here in Orlando. Next, students will travel to two other continents, spending about three months in each location and taking the gospel message to students from other nations.
Gap Years have been proven to have a positive impact on academic performance in college. Research shows that students who participate in gap year programs often perform better in school, have a better sense of direction in their lives, and have higher employability than those who go directly to college after high school. Please pray that God would use the Cru gap year program in students’ lives, both those who participate and those who hear the gospel through them.
Thanks for your partnership with us in the Lord’s work as we help send students to the world.
Dave & Lynn
Fall is slipping by. Before we know it, the holidays will be here. A few weeks ago our youngest, Jamie, turned 14. We are thankful for all the joy she brings to our home. We are also thankful that life has been fairly calm since the hurricane hit last month. We are trusting that the Lord will continue to keep things calm. We are praying for all those affected by the hurricanes, fires, and the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas. It has been a tough season in our nation and around the Caribbean.
For almost her entire staff career, Lynn has played a role in ensuring that high school staff, interns, and volunteers are adequately trained for the work they do in reaching and discipling students. In the beginning, when she was directly working with students, she trained one or two women at a time. As time passed and we began to have children, she began to oversee those doing the training. Over the years, she has also been involved in helping gather and create training curriculum.
For the past three years or so, Lynn has been on a “Training Guild” composed of staff working in a variety of settings. This Guild has overseen the creation of a whole new Core Training Program that will be utilized by full-time staff, interns, and volunteers on both high school and college campuses. In addition to the general Core Training, Lynn spent a great deal of time this past spring and summer designing and helping create a High School Supplement for this training. Finally, earlier this fall, the new Core Training and the High School Supplement were completed. It has been exciting to see the fruit of so many hours of work.
Please pray that this material will result in thousands more students having the opportunity to hear and respond to the good news of Christ.
We are grateful for your partnership with us in this work!
Dave & Lynn