40 Years with Cru

40 years with Cru

Forty years. When you’re young, forty years can seem like an eternity. Now, it seems like a blink of an eye. So many life adventures and so many things have happened. What I remember most are the wonderful people I’ve had the privilege to take this journey with.

In 1979, I sensed God was calling me into full-time missionary service with Cru (known as Campus Crusade for Christ in those days). I was about to graduate in Computer Science from Penn State. Fortunately, I was certain of this calling because I received several job offers without seeking them out. I’ve always been so grateful the Lord led me to use my technical skills in the cause of the Great Commission. I’m grateful to serve in an organization which is doing so much to help people come to Christ and grow in their faith.

You’ve played a big part in this great adventure!!

I learned this in a significant way during those first months of trusting God for my ministry partner team. These dedicated believers would provide the finances I would need. It was (and still is) the biggest step of faith I’d ever taken. So many of the folks who came on board had never met me before. Some didn’t know much about Campus Crusade for Christ. It amazed me to meet people who wanted to help reach the world for Christ. So many of you have been with us for much of these forty years.

After eight months, I reported to our headquarters in San Bernardino, California, where I got to know a fellow programmer, Sus Larson. Sus grew up in Lakewood, Ohio (where I often visited my uncle’s family). I had to travel to California to meet her.

Notice the latest IBM mainframe computer in our picture. We used punch cards in those days.

It’s mind-boggling to contemplate all the changes in computer technology since 1979. The development of the PC, the Internet, smart phones, and so much more. God has given Cru some wonderful strategies to use these technologies to spread the gospel and train believers.

Starting a Family

Sus and I married in May 1982 and then from 1985 to 1991, the Lord blessed us with three wonderful children: Ben, Josh, and Jenn. This photo was taken at one of our national staff conferences.

What a joy to raise these kids and share our life of ministry with them. All three are grown and married, so now we have three sons and three daughters!
And then of course came the grandkids. We have the world’s four best grandkids. We try to see them in Virginia as often as possible. The group photo was taken two years ago before their baby sister was born. Lily gets a cameo appearance at the end of this post with “Nana.”

Reflections

It’s impossible to describe all the projects I’ve been privileged to work on for these forty years. Most spanned months or years. Many are part of significant systems which help a large ministry like Cru operate all around the world.

When I was a senior in college, I thought about the path my life would take. I imagined spending all my working years developing IT systems for various commercial purposes. One major problem with computer software is that most of the work we do becomes obsolete in a short time. My early systems are no longer used. This reminds me sometimes of Ecclesiastes 1:2 where the preacher says: “All is vanity.”

But developing great computer systems isn’t our primary purpose. God has blessed me to use these same skills to support the work of His kingdom here on earth, and for eternity. Here at Cru’s headquarters, it’s been an honor to work with some very talented people, all committed to the cause of Christ. A common phrase in our office is: “people will come to Christ today because of the work we do.”

For that I’ll be forever grateful to the Lord and also to you!

 

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