Students bring back excellent reports.
While they make an effort to win the lost and encourage believers, the church people encourage the students! Pastors instruct and advise them. The Crusades are a life-changing experience for many. I'll let them tell the story:
Susie, a second-year student said, "The church we went to was so open... so hungry for God. And yet they ministered to us so much."
Cisco, a young freshman who feels called to inner city work said this after returning from New Hampshire: "The Lord touched us so much. The Lord blessed us so much. We did a lot of street witnessing, and we handed out tickets for the play, 'Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames.' The first time we went out witnessing, we were rejected many times. We were walking down the street that day, discouraged and feeling the enemy's power. Then, we decided to stop and pray - right there on the street. After that, we still experienced rejection, but by the end of the day one soul - a 12-year old boy - had come to the Lord!
"The next day we went into food stores, handing out the tickets. I handed one to a man who then walked away, but as he did, the Lord spoke to me: That heart is wide open!"
"'Sir,' I said, 'Have you asked Jesus into your heart?'
"'Well, yes,' he replied, 'but I think I need to make a recommitment.' Right there in the food store, we prayed together!"
Harley and his team were sent to another inner city church - this time in New Jersey. There, the students were involved in a lot of personal witnessing, as well. "I have done personal evangelism before, but never before have I experienced God using me like this. Although I personally did not see any souls saved, I know the Lord used me to plant seed. I thank the Lord for using me."
Another testified, "I never really had a chance to gain experience in various ministries in my home church, but this crusade I led the song service for the first time. I thank the Lord for that."
"When we go witnessing, we knock on each door, never knowing just what to expect," explains Paul, a second-semester freshman from Pennsylvania. "But we did a lot of praying, and we know that God hears our prayers. He is always faithful. We go in the power of the Holy Spirit. Behind one door, we found a man just crying out to God. Andy and I got to lead him to the Lord."
"My Hyundai made it!" Andy announced. "I was willing to take my car anywhere. I was concerned, but it ran beautifully! Although I had never driven more than 300 miles before without some kind of car trouble, we drove over 900 miles one-way on this Crusade. I am thankful that I committed my car to God, as His property for the ministry."
Another student made these remarks about his first Crusade. "We didn't go on street ministry. Instead, we helped the pastor convert an old liquor store building into a church. Before I even went on the crusade, God told me He would do something different in my life. One night I got up to testify. I told how I never really had a father and how far the Lord had brought me. I sat down, wondering, questioning if I had shared the right things... Later, the pastor's wife told me that a seven-year-old girl cried when I testified. The testimony touched her because her mother told the little girl she didn't want her."
Matt told us how he had preached once before in his life, but the experience he had on this crusade was different! "I felt confident that the Lord had given the message to me and that I was sharing from my heart. I preached about how Christ went to the cross and gave everything. The title was, 'He Gave His All. Give It Your All.'"
"I had never been to the mountains before, and so at first I felt odd," said a student from the city. "After I testified about the Lord healing broken hearts and promises and using them for His glory, I sat down. Then, I found out about a woman who was wondering if she needed to forgive her mother. She said she really needed to hear my testimony. That confirmed to me that I had said the right words. The Lord showed me on this crusade that I don't have to doubt Him... Another brokenhearted woman came to me. I cried with her and felt her pain. I felt faith that the Lord will heal her relationship, even as He healed mine."
Sometimes the Lord gives students an opportunity to witness or to be an encouragement right in the home where they stay. One student shared that one of the pastor's relatives was living in the house. During the crusade the person asked for the student's preaching tape. The team prayed with him and could feel a difference.
Jen, a senior from New Brunswick stated, "I had gotten discouraged about preaching - like I wasn't able and the Lord couldn't use me. But during Crusades, I was asked to preach. God used me and gave me a message that I will preach the Word with boldness."
A soft-spoken junior young lady said this: "I had been praying for boldness. A year ago I would rather have died than stand up in front of people, but now I wanted to do something for the Lord. God has taken away the fear I once had. I still get nervous, but the fear is gone. I got to preach during Crusades. During the service, a lady came to the altar crying. At the end, she gave her heart to the Lord."
Darrell, a senior, told us that, "The pastor where we were required each one of us to spend an hour alone in prayer every morning before going out on the streets. Then, we gave out hot chocolate to kids going to school. There were a minimum of 2,000 kids on the streets in the mornings. Tiffany saw one kid walking across the street. We went to him, witnessed, and led him to the Lord."
Pastor Paul Till of Medway Church of God in Medway, Maine, shared what crusades means to him and the congregation there. They look forward to this time, each semester, when they get a chance to train, equip, and pour into lives. They view hosting crusaders as a ministry.
While students go to give, they also go to receive... to gain valuable, first-hand experience and to sit under pastors who have been in the ministry and understand what it is all about. Students return from well-planned Crusades telling us they were as busy as ever, but that they loved every minute of it. Why? Because their lives were changed, and they learned valuable lessons.
After all, when you touch a student's life, you aren't just touching one person. You are touching all those he will touch in years to come.
THANK YOU, pastors, leaders, church families... those who have made Crusades the success that they are! Our students are touched by touching others!