The school year approaches....
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

ServeUP 2016

ServeUP is the most exciting, most tiring, and most fruitful ministry program I've ever been involved with. Every year, InterVarsity staff around New England pile into charter buses with students from all over the region, to volunteer over their Spring Break weeks in the city of New Orleans. And every year, those staff and students emerge from the week as transformed people.

The group pictured above is the group of students and staff that I had the pleasure of co-directing last week in sunny New Orleans (I am in the top left corner).
 
Remarkably, over half of that group were not Christians at the beginning of the week, but they entered the experience desiring to learn more about what the God of Jesus has to teach them about justice, service, and the brokenness we experience in our world and lives.

As I was helping to lead the group conversations each night, I was struck by the earnest desire among the students to learn. Many people don't know what to do with the current generation of college students - they may think they are too "entitled, spoiled, immature, etc." to be the next generation of leaders. However, what I experienced in New Orleans was a community of young people who expressed a deep thirst for justice that was birthed from an honest search for answers. Because of the experience we shared through the week, 10 of the individuals in the above picture publicly decided to either seek Jesus for answers, or to openly follow Him back on campus. Another 6 expressed a desire to return to a Jesus-led life, and 12 committed to a life marked by service!

Much more could be said, but I will tell those stories as they continue to unfold in communities back on campus. Finally, as I press on to the quickly-approaching semester end, I am also looking to raise about 5% of my budget for the ongoing fiscal year (about $4000 total, ending June 30). If you feel so led, please click here to donate to this ministry.
 

Much love,
Joel

But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (John 21.25)

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