How we love spring! It is one of our favorite times of the year! With it, comes fresh, new life ... and with this new season of spring this year, comes a very exciting announcement, an answer to many prayers over the years!
Jake Loftis Applies for Full-Time Staff!
We are so thankful for Jake! He came to Christ in our Cru Blair movement (back in the "Student Venture" days!), grew consistently in his faith, became a student leader, graduated from high school and then from Grace University, all the while staying involved as a Cru volunteer. Jake then married another former Cru high school student, Chelsea, who was also volunteering with us in various ways.
After their marriage, and with a full-time job, Jake applied with Cru as a part-time staff member and began taking on more and more responsibility with our Cru Omaha area movement. In all this, Jake has been so dependable with a natural instinct about what to do to lead high school students to Christ in ways the students love as they are drawn to more and more involvement. He has become an indispensable part of our work.
As many of you know, we have prayed over the years for more full-time staff to assist us as our Cru Omaha movement has grown to 8 and sometimes 10 campus movements. At times we asked you to join us in praying for a certain young person we had "on the string". For several years we did have one other part-time and one other full-time staff person with us for awhile, but nothing stuck. (Thankfully, God has provided many faithful volunteers over the years!)
Through much of this time, we have prayed for Jake specifically, that he would sense God's call to become full-time with us. He continues to be such a key component of our area ministry, and Chelsea is such a great co-worker with him, even as she cares for their two beautiful daughters, and works full-time.
We are so thankful now that Jake & Chelsea have sensed this call of God on their lives. It is a huge step for them to take. It means that Jake will be resigning from his position at Castelar school in early May and will travel to Cru headquarters in Orlando for up to 10 days of New Staff Training. When Jake returns he will need to give priority for a season to raising the funds needed to devote full-time to reaching and discipling teenagers for Christ.
Please pray for them during this time. We would even ask that you would pray about committing to be a financial partner with them to enable him to become fully involved in the work as soon as possible. Most of all, join us in praising our all-powerful, loving God, who knows our needs and provides for us so masterfully!
In Personal and Family News ...
We have had an interesting and unexpected turn of events in the past six weeks. Many of you may be aware of the fact that Gary had a stroke on Feb. 28. We are thanking and praising God that there was NO lasting damage as a result of the stroke! You can read more about the circumstances and details of the stroke by clicking on this link: An Unexpected Event.
There have been many doctor appointments and tests done since then in an effort to find the cause of the stroke, and also to find ways to prevent a repeat stroke. We invite you to click on this following link to read more details: Six Weeks Later. Also within this link article on our family/ministry blog, you will see a list of things we would love to have you join us in prayer for - all related to the findings from the medical tests after Gary's stroke.
In other family news, we are looking forward to celebrating Cherry's father's 95th birthday one week from today! He lives nearby in an Assisted Living facility. We are also looking forward to welcoming one of her brothers (from Portland) for a visit over this special birthday time.
THANK YOU for your prayers as we serve with Cru! Another school year is drawing to a close already. We appreciate your prayers for each of our eight campuses, and each of our 25+ volunteers as they continue building into students lives in the weeks ahead. God is at work. At a recent outreach event six students indicated decisions for Christ!
With our praise and thanks to God for His faithful love and care,