Saturday, July 30, 2005

Crusade U.S. Staff Conference 2005

Equipment Master

Tomás was appointed Equipment Master for both this year's Summer Project, and for Keynote for Crusade's 2005 U.S. Staff Conference in Fort Collins, CO. This meant that he had to coordinate all of Keynote's equipment needs for the two weeks we would be serving Crusade's staff during the conference.

Keynote has enough equipment to comfortably outfit 4 bands. For the Summer Project we stretch that a bit, outfitting 6 bands with PAs. Things get a bit thin, and we usually use this opportunity to buy some new gear.

Well, for this summer's Staff Conference, Tomás had to put together 8 PA systems! It was a tricky business, but, with the help of Mark, Rob, JJ, and Cory, we managed to pull it off.

This is what the warehouse looked like before Conference load-up, with 8 stacks of sound systems and one very large stack of personal instruments and gear:


Tomás was again asked to play percussion on the Main Session worship team. He teamed up with Michael Ramos, CCC Staff who works in the President's Office at CCC headquarters in Orlando, FL.

This is always a great thrill and blessing! Helping to lead 4,000 staffers in worship is quite an honor!

He also played drums in the team that led worship for Christian Leadership Ministries, a Crusade ministry that reaches out to college professors.

Cathy Leads Homeschooling Seminar

Cathy again gave her seminar "Homeschooling and Ministry". Two years ago about 6 people attended. This year over 30 attended, and we agreed to start a Yahoo Group to help homeschoolers on Crusade Staff to network.

The biggest thing for homeschoolers is the sense that they are doing this on their own. Knowing there are others on Staff who have experience is a huge blessing, and helping these people to network through Yahoo Groups will expand Cathy's ministry beyond the walls of Keynote.

Caedman's Call

This year's staff conference had three special musical Guests: Caedman's Call, Fernando Ortega, and a thrilling off-broadway musical production called "The Rock and The Rabbi", which is based on the life of Peter and Jesus (a production that had more percussion than any other group we've ever seen!).

Tomás had the opportunity to help Caedman's Call with their equipment set-up.

Tomás got to hang and chat with Garett (percussionist) and Todd, Caedman's Call drummers. Two very nice fellows who love the Lord. They flew in to CSU the afternoon of their show, despite getting into an accident on the way to the airport in California that morning!

They have a huge setup. Lots of drums.

The show was great! This is a band that really loves the Lord. The band recently returned from a trip to India, and they feel called from God to reach out to people in this predominantly Hindu country (read more about their vision here.)

Fernando Ortega

Fernando, former CCC Staffer, returned once again to CSU. This time he brought his band, and Tomás had the opportunity of not only helping the band setup, but he let David Owens, Fernando's drummer, play his kit!

David is a super guy, and a great drummer. He and Tomás found out they both love Progressive Rock, and the conversation took off from there!

The show was great, Fernando telling us funny stories about his time on staff and the cyotes who eat his neighbors cats.

Watching David play was a clinic in tasteful, ambidextrous drumming. He showed how a powerful groove can be laid down without bashing the kit.

Conference Wrap

Throughout this year's Staff Conference we heard how God is moving throughout the world, not just through Campus Crusade for Christ, but through other ministries.

The theme for this year's conference was "Follow Me". Jesus wants us to be His followers; Bill Bright called himself a Follower of Christ. This is to be our goal, to follow the Lord wherever He may lead.

Through a faithful following of Christ, with the heart of a servant, we can be dynamic witnesses to His love. We can see our world changed, and see many come to Christ.

It is through your faithful partnership that we can continue to work full-time for The Lord. Thank you!!

We will give you more detailed reports from Crusade's 2005 Staff Conference in future newsletters and Blogs.

God bless you!


Monday, July 18, 2005

July, 2005

Keynote/Impact Summer Project 2005:
500+ Come to Christ!!!

Every summer all of Keynote goes into overdrive for eight weeks as college students who want to change their world for Christ invade our campus. This year 44 on-fire students and young people came from Kazakhstan, Mexico, Brazil, and all over the US to participate in Summer Project ‘05. Besides having participants from three countries, this summer’s Project was unique in that a group of African Americans from IMPACT (Crusade’s African American movement) joined with us—the diverse body of Christ working together with one goal: to spread the Gospel!! Training and rehearsing took up the first five weeks, culminating in complete dress rehearsals. A couple of friends-of-friends accepted Christ during these performances, even before the bands were officially “on the road”!!

The air was very calm after the last band left. We caught our breath and prayed for a good harvest—of souls in the audiences, and of changed lives in the band members. While we are earnestly involved in reaching the lost during the school year, our focus shifts to building kingdom workers during the summer. Developing those who come to us into the workers Jesus asks us to pray for since the fields are ripe for harvest. We build into them and send them out.

Some went out a little timid, some nervous, but most were eager to see God work. They went all over the US and to Australia (where it’s legal to share the Gospel in public schools!). Here’s how God answered our prayers: 6 bands traveled 33,000 miles, played in front of 6,600 people, led 1,000 people in worship and saw more than 500 people ask Jesus into their hearts!!!!

The students were also changed. They shared incredible stories (see back page for a couple!) of God’s protection and provision and said they will never forget how God met them and used them this summer—stones of remembrance for them that will enable them to continue to be workers in a ripe field.

Your prayer and financial partnership was instrumental in this year’s Summer Project!!! We couldn’t do this without you! Isn’t God AMAZING!!

War Stories - Amazing accounts of God at work in this year's Keynote Summer Project…

6-19-05 Swerve (Pop/rock):
Praise the Lord! Someone accepted Christ at Swerve's dress rehearsal last Wednesday June 15th! After resting up and praying for concerts, Swerve is getting ready to go on tour heading out to Colorado!

6-20-05 Capt Oblivious (Aggressive Rock):
Today we drove (envision 8 adults and some equipment squished in a 6-passenger mini van) to our first concert site “Down Under”--Evans High School. We did 3 full concerts. We were told the students probably wouldn't respond real well. There were 570 students in attendance, and get this...85 people accepted Christ and 53 want to know more about Jesus! Needless to say, Captain O' is blown away at what God has done.

6-20-05 Mangofish (Modern rock):
Two days ago we got to play in Fort Jackson, which was amazing. One of the comment cards read "God needs more hardcore rockers." (Amen brotha!) There were 150 soldiers in attendance, many of them already believers. It was awesome to see how much we touched the lives of the soldiers. They had a tremendous amount of energy. We shared the Gospel, and 20 made decisions for Christ and 24 want to know more!! It was wonderful to be able to serve those who are serving us.

6-23-05 Proof of Purchase (Modern worship):
We had the privilege for 2 days to lead kids in worship before and after Josh McDowell spoke (during a conference). Talk about an honor! It's hard to put into words, but God was there in a powerful way. Looking out over the crowd we saw kids dancing, weeping, shouting, lifting their hands, jumping up and down, kneeling before the stage, and just totally lost in their Jesus. Many of us were overcome more than once during the worship. I had to ask God for the strength to sing, God's presence was so tangible.

Later a girl told Kristen the worship had changed her life. A boy named Micah came up to us and said that he had never been able to raise his hands in worship before, but something in him just had to that night. Another guy came up to Jay with a hoarse voice and said scratchily, "I lost my voice singing." Being able to see them enter true worship was more than humbling.

6-25-05 Captain Oblivious (Aggressive rock):
Tonight we did a concert with 60 people in the audience. Quite a few guys and gals were jumping & dancing close to the stage. I was taking it all in when a Crusade staffer said she thought a young man had some broken glass in his hand. I walked up behind him and heard him say, "Okay, he's gonna jump our way, I got it". What he had was a fair-sized piece of plexiglass with one end shaped like a was extremely sharp. I saw him take it and point it in the direction of Seth, our vocalist, (Seth had been stage diving). I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him for it. He said it wasn't his…that it "fell out" of the other guy's backpack. He handed it over. Funny thing...he and his buddies stayed for the whole concert and helped the team tear down.

This was just a reminder to me of the enemy at work. He's doing all he can to stop what our bands are doing. I don't know about the rest of you...I for one am rejoicing that the Word is going out, people are being ushered from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light, and we are being changed in the process. GO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6-28-05 SoulSeed (Urban Gospel):
On Sunday we had what could be considered our most memorable day on TOUR ever. Six members of the band taught evangelistic Bible studies to soldiers. We went through the Four Spiritual Laws with them, shared our testimonies, and lead them to Christ! It was life-changing seeing a room of 150 soldiers and having the opportunity to share the gospel with them!! The enemy was definitely upset about this wonderful opportunity and he tried all in his might to hinder us from ministering to the soldiers.

We were unable to get on base because we couldn’t find our insurance and registration papers for the van. With the tight security on base we were not going to be able to use Bible study as an excuse to go against the rules. After what seemed like HOURS, our host was able to find another vehicle to get us on base. Although we missed teaching some classes because we were late, about 40 soldiers accepted Christ during the two bible studies we did have!!

Later that evening we did a concert for another group of soldiers. And let me tell you... that night I think we almost broke the stage with the amount of energy we had. The soldiers were awesome and we thoroughly enjoyed sharing God's love with them.

Our Jobs

During the training time there is MUCH to be done, and both of us worked our tails off behind the scenes. Cathy planned and did much of the cooking for the Friday night dinners. All the students and staff eat together, watch a regular Keynote band perform, and then engage in lots of silliness—talent show acts at our thrown-together Holy Grounds coffee shop in the warehouse. Very fun, but students can really put the food away!! Especially when they’ve been cooking for themselves all week. :-)

Being the equipment dude and vehicle steward during the rest of the year, Tom continued in these for the Summer Project…except that during the year we have three large bands, and during the project we had SIX! Making sure each band had all the doo-hickies and thing-a-ma-jigs for their sound systems kept him busy until it was time to get a fleet of vehicles ready for the tours.


Please pray for:
* the 500+ new believers in Christ,
* refreshing for Tom and Cathy as we head out to the Campus Crusade Staff Conference,
* protection and wise choices for Jon and Chris at home,
* Chris as he transitions into Anderson University August 1,
* our empty nest,
* what’s next for Cathy,
* and our finances.