A Full Staff Conference

We returned last week from our bi-annual staff conference in Colorado for all US Cru staff. It was a very full week–full of seeing staff friends, hearing from encouraging and challenging speakers, and various staff responsibilities. We especially enjoyed hearing from Alistair Begg, and from some of our National Cru leaders (like Steve Sellers and Steve Douglass), who continue to lead with strength and humility at the same time–only possible, I think, for those who follow Christ and understand that He is our strength. They all challenged us to cling to the truth of God’s Word and to continue to reach out in love across cultural and philosophical barriers to those who do not yet know Christ or experience His grace and truth.

Jeremiah helped with security for the conference, so that kept him running around and meant we didn’t get to sit together much. But it was a great opportunity for him to serve fellow staff, and I (Lori) was encouraged by his servant’s heart in it all. He also served me by taking a lot of responsibility in watching the kids after childcare ended while I had some extended legal meetings regarding some campus access issues we are having around the country.

I did enjoy connecting with the whole legal team during the day and a half when the ministries split up to have ministry-specific meetings. Jeremiah went with the Campus Ministry and I went with the General Council’s Office. It is always nice to have some face-time with the second team I am part of, since they are far away from me in Florida the rest of the year.

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We also enjoyed some fun time with the kids during the conference. There is a great pool on campus at CSU that we took the kids to a couple times, and some great parks in Fort Collins too. They also had the chance to experience dorm food for a week, and, amazingly, even our 7 year old commented that he was getting tired of the dorm food at the end of the week (Poor college students that have to deal with it week after week).

We took a day on our way out to Colorado to see some sights as well, visiting 4 Corners (Isaiah had to try putting his feet and arms in all 4 states) and the beautiful city of Durango (with a beautiful river and fun downtown). On our way home, we briefly stopped in Arches National Park too, and it was so fun to see the kids so excited about the amazing arches and rock formations.  They enjoyed hiking up to the Window arches and imagining dragons and sphinxes and all kinds of creatures in the rocks as we drove around.  They were sad we didn’t have more time to explore and hike around.

 

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A few pictures from the San Diego Express 2013 summer project

Traveling to San Diego

Traveling to San Diego with all our kids, including our ‘daughter’ Annie, who is a student at NAU and joined us on the summer project.

We wanted to share some pictures of some of our favorite events and memories from an exhausting but very rewarding 2 weeks of ministry.

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Mexican food of course…one of the best things about California.

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We were blessed with being able to go to Sea World for only 1 ticket purchase! We enjoyed the shows and exhibits and a few rides too!

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Choco Tacos at Belmont Park

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Jen, my co-director, and Kelsey and Stephen Collins, Cru interns transitioning to church planting in Tucson

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Annie (NAU Student) and Arggi (Cru intern)

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Andrew, and intern from Jeremiah’s alma mater, Cal Poly SLO.

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Perhaps it’s times like this that induce students from all over the country to come to San Diego for the summer. This is during our initial bonfire.

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Worship, Beach, Bonfire. Yes please

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Giant Pizza. Isaiah and Lori are shocked!

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Judah is shocked as well.

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Bethany is shocked as well.

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Men talking on the beach with amazing sunset. Check.

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So happy we got a visit from Great Grandpa and Grandma Kepner. They are some of my heros, having been married for 60 years and in full-time ministry for ~55 years.

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Evangelism on the west coast ‘boardwalk’. We approach people hanging out and ask if we can engage in spiritual conversations.

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We want to listen to student’s stories and engage them with the Gospel.

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Annie caught me taking pictures.

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Jeremiah during a teaching time

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Overlooking Mission Bay with my beautiful bride.

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The animals at the SD County Fair

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Enjoying a bit of time at the pool

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Lori’s process group. Meeting about every other night to talk about their experiences on project.

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Seeing the Sea World fireworks from the beach by our hotel room

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And the picture of our whole summer project. A great time with some students we are praying will bring God glory in this world.