This all began at TCX 15. “Four Days, For Change”, TCX 15 is over, but God’s work is not done yet. After I settled down at Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, I was about to take a short nap before all the excitement began, while I was setting up the alarm, this message appeared on my cellphone screen: ….I would like to grab a meal (my treat) with you to discuss future Cru opportunities using your major/interests. Let me know if you are interested or not and when you want to meet”. It was this simple message that changed my whole plan ( I was originally planning going back to China in summer ).
Before TCX 15, I only heard of Cru and its sub-ministry, FamilyLife, just because I know friends who volunteer for FamilyLife. That’s all I knew about Cru. But during the conference, I was able to hear the speakers, seminars, doing outreach, all these were completely new experience to be. But within the group, I have learned so much and they have always been an encouragement.
Few days after the conference, I submitted my application for Cru HQ Preview Weekend. Then as planned, flew down to California to visit a long-time-no-see family. The first thing that caught my attention were the palm trees! I have never seen a palm tree in 20+ years, even the “wild and wonderful” West Virginia doesn’t have these.
That was surely a blessing during the trip. Then another friend said “you should check out the tropical weather in Florida”. For the fact that I didn’t know anyone who live in Florida and would able to host me, “having a trip to Florida” would probably be the “most luxury dream ” I could ever have.
While I wasn’t very confident on being accepted to Preview Weekend, I pretty much keep on telling myself, “If it is God’s plan, He will make it happen; if it’s just out of my own desire, there might be detours.” Weeks after schools starts, I got the email about being accepted to Preview Weekend. While there is no Cru on campus, my only experience with Cru was the winter conference, there were tears in my eyes. He answered my prayer!!
The fly down to Orlando was very pleasant. Took off on time and landed about 20 minutes ahead of scheduled time, front role window seat (I wasn’t even the first one on line to board). Our host was probably one of the most joyous person I have ever met. The endless laughter, the wildest jokes. Time passed by fast in those joyous moments.
Two of the highlights of this trip were probably the meeting section with FSG (short for Financial Service Group ) and the dinner at Mr & Mrs Douglass’s. Scavenger Hunt was fun, except that we didn’t succeed in find the MC.
Although a two-hour meeting wasn’t enough to know everything in detail about what FSG is and what they do, but these friendly staffs and the working environment already encouraged me to find out more about FSG and to intern here. I couldn’t even express enough about what they do to keep this huge ministry organization running. As a fact, I have been accepted to Cru summer mission, and will be interning with Financial Service Group.
The honor of being invited to dinner at current Cru president, Mr.& Mrs Douglass’s was a experience like no other. While I was reading Mr Douglass’s biography on Cru, I have always wondered, what is the “force” that drives him to be so devoted to ministry when holding degrees from top-ranking universities. It has been such a encouragement to hear their stories and their relationship with Cru and their walk in Christ. Mrs Douglass even used a previous international student’s example to encourage me to deepen my commitment in Christ and start with Cru summer mission projects.
When looking back, these all started with a simple text message at TCX conference, and I took it seriously and seek the Lord for the answer. My plans have been “destroyed” for so many times, but with the trust and faith in Him, He blessed me with a even greater plan!!
Side note: My journey on this foreign land started on Jan. 8, 2014 as a one-semester exchange student, but various incidences kept me here and became a degree seeker. Conference was over, Preview Weekend was over, but God’s work is not done yet. These were just the beginnings on His greater picture!