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Dear partners in prayer for Cornell,

As we reflect upon the completed semester, we echo Zechariah’s prayer this Christmas season:
Because of our God’s tender mercy
the dawn will break upon us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Despite the shortened daylight hours, God’s light has indeed broken over Cornell this semester. We have witnessed countless tender mercies and divine guidance distinguish so many students’ lives as they responded to the news of the election, to racial tensions, not to mention personal challenges through relationship breakups, preliminary examinations, labs, group projects, sports competitions, illness and finals.

Last month you joined us in praising God for a good prognosis and a successful surgery for our beloved ministry director’s wife, Liz Thomforde, who is also serving on staff with Christian Union. Now we praise God for the treatment options Liz will take locally, and ask God to guide the Thomforde’s feet “in the way of peace” through the radiation and possible chemo. Please pray for complete healing for Liz and for endurance for the entire family through her treatment.

Students concluded their 10-week study in the gospel of Mark. For many, this was the first time they engaged in rigorous, academic discussions wrestling with what they believe and asking what it means for their lives personally that Jesus is both the risen Messiah and Son of God. Several freshmen remarked that they find themselves more articulate about their faith, and challenged to live out Christ’s sacrificial love with roommates, family, and even high school friends over the break. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” One freshman said she never imagined Cornell would be the place she’d learn more about the Bible and grow so much in her commitment to Christ.

One dairy/agricultural science major wrote a thank you note for the ministry of a Christian Union ministry fellow. Here are some excerpts:

I have grown and matured so much this semester, and I am so blessed to have a mentor in Christ…with me every step of the way. The Bible you gave me was a huge gift and allowed me to really pour my heart, my mind, and my questions into God’s Word. It transformed long work shifts into times of joy, and it kept me company and gave me comfort during the watches of the night. Even when I had bad dreams, I could wake up and reach for that Bible, knowing that His Word remained true. …My favorite memories of this semester were those Friday afternoons pouring through the Bible, getting excited with C.S. Lewis’s work, or just simply getting lost in conversation for hours. You also opened your home on other nights for much needed love, hugs, and prayer during times when I faced fear, difficult decisions, and depression. I honestly don’t know what I would have done. It is hard to believe we have only known each other for a year, and I cannot wait to grow in our relationship with Christ and with each other next semester.

May that letter encourage any of you who are supporting the work of Christian Union in prayer or otherwise. We praise God for the dawn which breaks upon us from on high--the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

Thank you,

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.