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Dear Partners in Prayer for Cornell,

Thank you for praying for us. It is hard to choose which encouraging stories to share from the start of the semester until now. God is using your prayers for this campus to accomplish exciting things!

Join us in thanking God for some new blessings:

  • Our new part-time staff member, Liz Thomforde, wife of our Ministry Director, Jim. Liz has been discipling students at Cornell for years alongside Jim, and now we are thrilled to have her in a more formal capacity.
  • Our first-ever full-time intern, Lauren Smith, class of 2016! Lauren hails from Montana and brings with her the vision and commitment of four years as a founding class member of Christian Union’s ministry here at Cornell. Lauren champions the late-night heart-to-hearts with freshmen girls, and brings tremendous gifts to the team.
  • Hope McGovern received the prestigious Freshman of the Year Award for minorities in engineering. Hope attended freshman Bible study this year, sings on our ministry worship team, and is gearing up for some potential leadership roles next year with us. We are delighted to see her recognized for her academic excellence and leadership in her field as a freshman.
  • Throughout September upperclassmen welcomed freshmen, learned their stories, and shepherded them through the transition to college. Freshmen have joined our weekly Student-Led Bible Courses studying the gospel of Mark, they have been meeting in one-on-one discipleship meetings with our team of staff, and some are already joining various leadership teams with enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
  • We had our largest ever fall retreat at the beginning of October, which launched a four-week Gospel Culture Speaker Series.
  • Here are several student testimonies from freshmen:

“Fall retreat with Christian Union this weekend was incredible and reaffirmed my hope in the Gospel, and the turning of the seasons in the beauty of God's creation is a joyous model of how my life has been altered by my Savior!” —— Sara

“I'm currently leaving a retreat in the Adirondack mountains and if there is something that I've learned in the past couple of months, it's that without Christ, I Am Nothing. I feel so blessed to have spent a much needed weekend away from hectic school work to appreciate and admire God's beautiful work of art, our planet Earth, and to learn more about His word.” —— Synclair

“I think it’s awesome how there were questions I couldn’t answer two years ago when I was on fire for God that I now understand and I love how God has grown me spiritually through the trials [of this transition to college]... I felt like I was feasting or eating with the disciples as the 12 would meet up with Jesus and feast, not only on food but on His glory.” —— Lange

The good news about Christ is meeting freshmen as if for the first time, and it is also being shared among upperclassmen, too. Last Sunday, a sophomore dairy science major who has been praying for her co-ed fraternity brothers and sisters reflected:

“I’m so glad God is trusting me and giving me opportunities to help bring His word and light and truth to my house. I love [my fraternity], but sometimes it can get hard to live in a secular atmosphere such as Greek life where I feel like I’m alone in the house pursuing Christ. I’m so happy and blessed that God’s been planting seeds for people in [the house] to be interested and willing to share that joy with me and it’s really exciting to think about :)”

On Saturday night, our student vice-president, John Nystrom, hosted a poetry event where students read aloud and performed original compositions. Forms of artistic expression included slam-poetry, spoken word, sonnets, and even sign language. Participants included students from outside the Christian community. All were blown away not only by the talent of their peers, but by the profound and even amusing ways they expressed their insights in verse. Many of the poems drew upon themes from Scripture and reacted against aspects of brokenness in our culture with the hope of Christ.

Please keep praying for the good news about Jesus to spread on campus, and that God will sharpen the minds and soften the hearts of His followers here.

Thankful for your prayers,

Anna Shea
Christian Union Ministry Fellow
Cornell University

Please note: if you would like to receive regular updates on how to pray for Christian Union's work at Cornell, please email prayer@christianunion.org.