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Dear partners in prayer for Cornell,

We celebrate the first full two months of the semester with many praises, thanks to your support in praying for us.

James is a junior starting receiver on the football team. In the midst of recovering from surgery, James has inspired several of his teammates to gather weekly to research and discuss the difficult questions about the faith. Jim Thomforde, our Ministry Director, is helping James lead discussions with fellow teammates on apologetics. Word has spread and now athletes from two other teams would like to join. Please pray for these 10+ students who want to grow in their understanding and have met weekly to discuss science and faith, the problem of evil, and other big questions.

A freshman girl, Lange, who is struggling to answer these questions has been attending the meetings as well. We praise God that she recently rededicated her life to Christ. Our incredibly devoted intern, Lauren (class of ‘16) took a group of freshmen night sledding. Lange disappeared for a few minutes into the woods, and when she came back she told Lauren that she had prayed to give all her fears and frustrations and doubts to God, and she chose to follow Him even without those things resolved.

For the last several years, Jim has been working on his Ph.D, focusing on the theology of happiness according to the Enlightenment theologian and revivalist Jonathan Edwards. This spring, Gordon College is offering credit for students from Cornell who enroll in a five-week course taught by Jim on the subject of God and happiness. Students will be engaging with primary texts from a wide span of time periods to answer important questions about happiness and its relation to the gospel of Christ.

For the past three lenten seasons leading up to our Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection, I’ve noticed students seem to be voluntarily confessing a lot of hidden sins and difficult stories from their past. This is a challenging season for ministry, but at least the darkness is coming out into the light in order to be healed by Christ’s forgiveness and power to change. Please pray for our team as we face these challenges together with students in His grace.

There is also a particular evangelistic fervor among our freshmen. Synclair, a communications major, embraced the good news about Jesus for the first time and was baptized this fall. She has since become quite the evangelist in her dorm, sharing with roommates and people who notice something very different about her life. She has been meeting weekly with me to discuss the hard questions being put to her by these fellow students, and we’ve seen answers to prayer in her own family as her sister has begun reading the book of John.

Please keep praying! We rely upon you, our faithful unseen prayer team!

Under His mercy,

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.