Pray for Yale
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It is with a heavy heart that I write to you this afternoon.
Facing difficult COVID-related financial shortfalls from donors unable to sustain their normal giving this upcoming year, CU made the difficult decision to lay off over 30 people across our organization last month. This has affected every campus where CU ministers, including Yale. Therefore, we are saying goodbye to Jane Hendrickson and Michael Racine right on the cusp of what was already shaping up to be a challenging semester for ministry. As I have expressed to our CU Lux community, these 2 servant-leaders have glorified God so well in their work. Jane, a 6-year veteran has been a highly-competent, faithful, loving, servant-hearted leader helping this ministry continue on true to its mission over many, many seasons. She has gone above and beyond to serve each of our individual students, the ministry at Yale, and the broader CU organization. Michael, with 3 years on our team, has brought academic excellence, theological depth, and a compassionate heart to our campus and organization. He as inculcated in others a real heart for seeking God with his well-measured and God-centered words in teaching and everyday conversation. Blessings to you, Michael, as you transition to another role in Christian Union.
The One Who Is, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loyalty and faithfulness, maintaining loyalty for a thousand generations, bearing iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will not leave them unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on their children and children’s children, to the third and fourth generation. —Exodus 34:6–7
This spring and summer, many Americans have been made increasingly aware of the reality that, whether we like it or not, the iniquity of past generations does weigh on us. To be sure, there's much more we have yet to attend to—both in terms of disarming the spiritual and cultural forces that militate against true racial reconciliation, and in terms of the many other sins that have been allowed to fester for too long. And yet, we thank our God, who is, and was, and is to come, for His unfailing covenant loyalty and faithfulness.
“We will not neglect the house of our God.” Nehemiah 10:39
After returning from exile in Babylon, Ezra and the priests gather the Israelites together in a great corporate assembly to renew their covenant with God. In his prayer, Ezra carefully pronounces how each offering, tithe, and “first fruit” of dough, oil, wine, etc. is to be brought accordingly into the house of God. As Ezra prays summarizing the Levitical instructions the Israelites have had for years, his recasting is so clear that you can practically “see” the disorder of their sinful ways atrophying and the good, pleasing order of flourishing provision, celebration, and thankfulness materializing before their eyes.
I love the long New England spring and earliest glimpses of summer, complete with vivid green grass and blue skies. These annual transformations flood our senses and happen right on cue per God’s decree each May. This year, however, we missed seeing one of the most satisfying transformations of all—the procession of graduates flowing through Phelps Gate into old campus on Monday, May 18th. We know they celebrated uniquely in each of their homes, but the caps, gowns, and sweet smiles of victory and triumph are always a joy to see!
Dear Prayer Partners,
Blessings on each of you.
I’ve personally felt grief from not being able to meet “in the flesh” with students since before spring break. We miss the joy of having coffee, sharing meals, and seeing them in the ministry center or around campus. We miss the joy of in-person conversation, encouragement, and prayer. But, the Lord reminded me recently that much of the New Testament was also a product of “distance ministry”. The Apostle Paul wrote letters to instruct, teach, bless, and train other individuals and churches that he loved and wanted to be with, but the circumstances just didn’t allow it. Several letters were even written when he was in house arrest in Rome. In spite of the circumstances, though, Paul maintained incredible joy and hope, and the letters that he penned still nourish our souls today. Our God is surely never wasting and always working.
As you remember our ministry at Yale, please pray that:
1) Our ministry would thrive, even while scattered abroad. With the help of technology, we have still been gathering for Bible Courses, prayer, discipleship, leadership coaching, and more. Pray for the Holy Spirit to FILL our Zoom meetings!
2) God’s Kingdom come & will be done at Yale. May the Holy Spirit prepare our hearts and Yale’s grounds for a greater, fuller work of the Lord once we return to campus. We’re depending upon Him!
3) God would raise up a new wave of “Cornerstone Partners” to support us through prayer and giving. Our team at Yale and on every campus will be reaching out broadly to share more about our current need in light of COVID-19, what God has been doing, and ways to partner with us in the work. We’ll need grace and favor in these conversations.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf!
Don’t be anxious & keep rejoicing,
Christian Union Lux
Dear Prayer Partners,
We are especially grateful for your prayers during these unprecedented times. There is a strange comfort and sense of brotherhood found in Scripture as we consider others who remained faithful in their own strange times. I came across the remarkable account of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, this week. When faced with annihilation by a superior army, he let his fear take him straight to God instead of into rash action or fruitless worry. In humility, he boldly called upon the One who is sovereign, claiming the promises of God, and drawing the whole nation – men, women, and children into fasting and expectant prayer as well. "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you!" he cried out. The anguished place of uncertainty was given to the Lord who responded with His Spirit through a prophet, "Do not be afraid or dismayed…for the battle belongs to the Lord". The king responded with confidence and enjoined the people as they marched out in obedience to "Believe in the Lord God, believe His prophets!" Instead of fear, or rage, the people march out against the enemy with song and praise on their lips and find that the battle was indeed already fought and won by the invisible, almighty God. This is the God we serve! He delights to respond to the earnest prayers, the desperate fasting, and the songs and praises of His people! Let us draw strength and faith for this unique time in our history to believe God, to seek him whole-heartedly on behalf of the world, our nation, and all the people we can reach in our spheres.