Last weekend, Hans and I took two MTU international students to a regional InterVarsity conference, called Cross Training. We ventured the 5 1/2 hours south to Green Lake, WI, and joined 900 other students, volunteers, and staff workers for a weekend of being challenged by God and encouraged by community.
Most of the time at the conference is spent in tracks, different class-like groups that focus on different areas. Hans spent the weekend with the Cross Roads International track, which is designed to introduce international students to the Bible and to Jesus. I know he enjoyed the weekend, and was excited to see the response that students had while they learned about the creation of the world and the entrance of sin in Genesis, through an overview of the old testament, and hearing a gospel presentation. But he would have to fill you in on the details…
My role for the weekend, as a volunteer, was to be a small group leader in the Disciples Multiplying Disciples track. All of the students taking the track were upperclassmen – mainly 3rd and 4th year students, I think. In the track, we were challenged to view discipleship the way Jesus did – as a way to help us grow, to be ready to do the same things that Jesus did. (It was pointed out that in the gospel of Luke we see Peter’s immaturity, impulsiveness, and failures, yet in the book of Acts, we see Peter doing what Jesus did, such as healing and preaching boldly.) And the students were challenged to invite a friend to begin a discipleship relationship – not simply when they returned to campus – but to do it Saturday afternoon. There were many nervous students leaving our track right after that challenge was given.
But after free time, when students returned to track time, my group was full of excitement. All but one of the seven students had made an invitation to a friend to join them and grow together, and all of those friends had said yes. My favorite part of the weekend was debriefing the challenge with the students, to see the excitement that they had for how God was working.
It was a busy weekend away, with little sleep and a long car ride, but I am really thankful that I had the opportunity to go with Hans. The two students that joined us from MTU were challenged in their tracks and really enjoyed the weekend, as well.
Plus, on our first night, it became apparent that something funny happened with my registration and I was not assigned a small group to lead in my track. As a result, I was placed with another leader and I was a little bummed that I wasn’t really needed. I had, after all, made arrangements to be gone all weekend so I could help, and I wanted to do something that was needed. But God had everything under control, which I realized when my co-leader had to be away from one of the sessions due to a situation in her chapter and I was able to keep things moving smoothly with our group. That was my experience of the whole weekend – God challenged me (and the students) and showed me that He was in control. I am so glad we could be a part of Cross Training Green Lake this year!
Tomorrow Hans and I head to Big Bay, MI, for the UP InterVarsity fall conference (called Cross Training). It will be a time of Bible study, teaching, and recharging; of community, encouragement, and renewal for students from Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, and Lake Superior State.
Last year Hans went by himself, but this year we are taking advantage of newly retired grandparents who are willing to drive 5+ hours to spend the weekend with their grandson to enable me to help at the retreat as well. I’m excited to spend the weekend getting to know students better and to challenge them to follow God fully.
Please join us in praying for the weekend:
- That students will gain a greater understanding of what God is doing on campus and see how their lives fit into His work in college
- That non-Christians attending will understand who Jesus is and desire a relationship with Him
- That students will be recharged spiritually, physically, and emotionally by a weekend away from campus
- That Caleb and my (Lindsay’s) parents will have a weekend of fun and bonding, with little (or no) stress from mama and papa being away
Here are a few photos from last year’s Cross Training:
photos courtesy of Eric Hackney