Mark and Kim joined staff with Cru in 2006. They spent five years at Penn State before moving to West Chester in 2012. Mark graduated from Penn State and Kim from the University of Oregon. They have three kids: Cole, Peyton, and Luke. Mark enjoys college football, rock music, and watching movies. He's also an avid UFC fan. Kim loves to be outdoors, run, and hang out with friends.
Michael joined 28 other WCU students for our annual spring break trip to Panama City Beach, Florida. Our campus joined seven other schools for a week long conference where they were trained and equipped in how to share their faith. They heard from great speakers, experienced powerful worship through song, and got practical training on how to engage their peers in gospel conversations. Things like, how to initiate spiritual conversations, how to listen well and ask great questions, how to respond to common objections to faith, among many others.
One personal highlight for me was Wednesday afternoon. That day I joined two other students, Aaron and Josue out on the beach to initiate conversations with other spring breakers. I was blown away by how eager students were to converse about weighty spiritual truths. One conversation starter that we often use in Cru is a deck of cards, called “Perspectives.” It’s a questionnaire that asks students to weigh in on what they believe about, “Human Nature,” “The Nature of God,” “Meaning and Purpose in Life,” etc. One group of guys thanked us PROFUSELY for “interrupting” their day to talk with them. “I needed this,” they shared. “You’ve given us a lot to think about.”
That exchange was a classic example of a “+1” spiritual conversation. Imagine that everyone you know falls along a spectrum of faith from -10 - 10. Someone at a -10 symbolizes a hardened atheist, while someone at a positive 10 is a mature Christian. So often we foolishly believe that the only evangelistic “fruit” is when a person places their trust in Christ. But what about all the other formative and constructive dialogues that God uses to prepare ones heart and mind to respond in repentance and faith? Don’t those exchanges count too? Over and over, we reminded our students last week to trust God for “+1” spiritual conversations. No matter who you talk to, point them towards Christ in ways that earnestly engage the issues that matter to them. Or as Paul put it in 1 Corinthians 3, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God causes the growth.”
Spring Break was a formative and life changing week not only for Michael, but for all of our students and staff involved. Thank you so much for your generous prayer and giving that enable us to share our faith, and train our students to do the same.
Until Everyone Hears,
- Mark and Kim
Pictured below: Group shot from Spring Break, students playing beach volleyball in PCB, and all three Hough kids excited for a family weekend getaway!