Located on the top floor of the historic Gladish building, the main office of Good Deeds Mortgage looks out over Pullman’s quaint downtown. The view stretches all the way to College Hill where Washington State University serves as a backdrop for the local shops and restaurants. The juxtaposition of weathered brick and glass buildings decorate the town’s western skyline. Most days, you can see some of the bustle of students moving about the campus. From this distance, it’s easy to think little about those blurred figures. It’s easy to lump them all together and lose sight of their individuality. The campus holds almost 30,000 young adults trying to figure out what they want to study and what they want to do for a career. 30,000 souls. Each one, living, breathing, feeling. Each student carries burdens and baggage we know little or nothing about. The cross-town figures start to look less like figures, and more like people when you start thinking about these truths. If you look out at them long enough, you begin to put yourself in their shoes. You begin remembering your own college experience as the blurred figures transition from random college kids to your roommates, classmates, and friends. It’s here that you can no longer help but empathize with them, remembering that you were one of them – that you’re still one of them.
None of the people I was close with in college went through their 4-5 years without a major trial. Whether it was ugly breakups, poor decisions with drugs and alcohol, troubles back home, or identities lost in the onslaught of “you’re not good enoughs,” myself and everyone close to me ended up getting burned in some way or another. College is one of the most formative times in a person’s life. You develop habits and personality traits that stay with you forever. You’re exposed to some of life’s most damaging vices and ideas. On top of this, you’re often isolated and lacking accountability. You’re away from your parents and submerged in a culture of permissiveness and acceptance to anything and everything dangerous. So many students finish their four or so years with a trail of toxic relationships, habits, and ideologies. Four years at University can change the trajectory of your life and your eternity. The need is apparent. There is much work to be done on the college campus.
The blurred figures across the light blue Palouse skies have become so much more to us at Good Deeds Mortgage. That is why we support organizations like Cru who aim to bring life, love, purpose and more to college students across the world.
This week, GDM is featuring Cru at WSU.
Cru, formally known as Campus Crusade for Christ, began in 1951 when Bill Bright, a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, felt a calling to help reach the entire world with the Gospel starting with the college campus. That fall, Bill and his wife, Vonette, officially started Campus Crusade at the University of California Los Angeles.
Since 1951, Cru has seen exponential growth. They are now present in 109 countries across the world, 35 cities across the US and 5,300 campuses across the world. Cru’s primary mission is to “win, build, and send Christ-centred multiplying disciples.” Their vision is to have “movements everywhere so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus.” Cru focuses primarily on the values of faith, growth, and fruitfulness. While their impact and range is broad, this week, we’re concentrating on one small, but effective, piece of Cru’s global movement.
Cru has faithfully served Washington State University and the surrounding community in Pullman, WA. They have a team of staff and volunteers committed to reaching WSU’s student body with the message of life, love, and purpose. Like most outreach organizations, 2020 presented challenges for Cru at WSU. Despite being online for most of the year, they were able to overcome many of the challenges brought on by the pandemic and have proved themselves to be resilient. Cru at WSU faithfully led four students to a relationship with Christ over the last year. Additionally, they helped 57 students engage in God’s word and learn to read the Bible. Cru got creative in their use of social media and reached 40 freshmen through an Instagram outreach campaign. Staying true to their larger mission to send “multiplying disciples,” Cru at WSU trained 22 students to share the Gospel, share their testimony, and engage in mission to their fellow students. Cru at WSU also plans to send a team to the Dominican Republic in May, 2021
There are freshmen struggling to fit in, athletes exhausted from having to perform, juniors that don’t know what they want to do for a career, sorority girls that don’t know what it is to be loved, and 30,000 other students, each carrying their own burden, each dealing with their own struggles. It’s time to come alongside them and help them walk out their time at college.
For these reasons and more, the difficulties of college ministry are many and adding a global pandemic to that list was overwhelming for some. Good Deeds Mortgage is excited about the work that Cru at WSU has done in the face of these unprecedented times. If you have a heart for College Ministry and/or for the students at Washington State University, we encourage you to get involved. Consider giving your time, money, talents or all the above to support the awesome work that Cru at WSU is doing. Consider remembering what you needed during your time in college, and be that for someone else.