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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life Updates and Campus Statistic - June Newsletter 2013


 








"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things…”
Acts 17:24-25

Malcolm with our niece, Abigail


Life Updates and Campus Statistics


First, we want to thank all of you for praying for me (Leah) and the surgery I had on June 12th to remove the cysts on my ovaries! Everything went well, and I recovered without any hitches or hiccups. It was confirmed that I have endometriosis for sure, which means that this will be something I will have for the rest of my life and will get worse over time. The doctor has given me some options to help the condition for the long run, so we would appreciate your continued prayers for the next step and God’s will for us.
After surgery, we have hoped from place to place spending every day for almost a month with our family. We spent quite of bit of time with our nieces and nephews who live in Ft. Lupton, Montana and Haiti (to see how to pray for them and their ministry, please visit samaberle.blogspot.com). We haven’t seen a majority of them in over a year, so we had lots of fun catching up! My sister spent time with Malcolm and I in Durango, then the three of us spent the 4th of July with my parents. Lots of traveling, but lots of fun and memories made!!
This past month, Russ Akins (president and founder of MPM) collected stats from all three campuses over the preceding year, and he sent us the results. Though they aren’t as complete as they could be (we were developing our weekly review system this past year), they show a majority of what God did at Fort Lewis College, Colorado Mesa University, and the Auraria campus in downtown Denver.
- 680 evangelistic one-on-one conversations took place.
- 550 new students were exposed to the Gospel through outreach events.
- 40 students indicated that they made a decision to become a Christian.
- 852 on-on-one discipleship appointments took place.
- 23 small groups involving 110 students happened each week

We hope these stats encourage you as much as they encourage us!! Please continue to pray for more evangelism and discipleship to happen on campus this following school year. Continue to pray for the students this summer as they are off doing all sorts of things around the country. Also keep the incoming freshmen in your prayers!! Pray that we can reach the freshmen class with the Gospel and as early as possible in the school year.
 
Leah with her sister, Chelsea

Our Current Need

 

We have been fortunate on benefiting from our parent’s insurance our first 2 years of marriage. Especially with our health being all over the place this past year, it has been a big blessing to still have health benefits without having to take out extra from our paychecks. This year we turn 26, and will no longer have these benefits after our next birthday.
It is also very common to have some finances to drop off over time, and we are at a place where we need $700 per month to see our financial support return to 100% of our original budget. In order for us to make sure we can get health insurance and take care of our other month-to-month needs, we are looking for more people to partner with us in the ministry at Fort Lewis College.
Here are two ways you can help with this need:
1. Prayerfully ask the Lord if you can increase your monthly commitment.
(If you would like to give online, click here.)
2. Prayerfully ask the Lord who of your family and friends would be interested in hearing about our ministry at FLC, and send their phone number to us so we can 
contact them.
Thank you for keeping us and our financial needs in your prayers!! Please let us know how we can pray for you.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CRUSH FEAR - May Newsletter 2013

 
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
Psalm 56:3-4


 

  CRUSH FEAR 2013

 
This year God presented us with a new challenge: to direct our first summer project! Though we faced many challenges leading up to Crush Fear (including whether or not to even do it) May 19th arrived with 6 students at Cascade Lodge for 2 weeks of fear crushing adventures!! The students got to face physical challenges (like rappelling, rock climbing, backpacking, rafting, zip lining and others) along with personal and ministry challenges (confronting a store manager about inappropriate magazines, street evangelism, sharing their testimony in front of a church and on the radio and MANY more). Needless to say that when June 2nd came for them to go home, they were EXHAUSTED (along with the staff)!!! Though we as staff learned so much from the experience, we thought we would let the students share what they got from the project.
“God [these] past 2 weeks has shown me that with him he makes me stronger physically, mentally and spiritually.”
“God has worked in me a lot during this and shown me things I didn’t realize I had trouble with before. I was also forced to step out of my comfort zone during a lot of the activities, which was really awesome and necessary. It’s been so fun and challenging and I hope we can do a Crush Fear 2 or something else that we can all get back together to crush some more fear!”
“This was such an incredible experience and I was blessed in so many ways by it. I feel like my walk has been strengthened and like I have grown a ton.”
“I feel more at peace with my life, and feel as though I can conquer any trial I face if I let Christ have the throne.”
“I’ve realized my value in Him exists because of His grace and not my actions. I am less afraid to pursue what He calls me to because I know I can trust Him.”
“Before coming to Crush Fear, I was continually doubting myself and running away from who God wanted me to be. By confronting my fears and weaknesses, I feel as though I am more willing to step out in faith and take action to be where God is leading me.”
“Going into town to share the gospel and telling cashiers Jesus loves them helped me conquer my fears in that there is no reason to be afraid to share your faith.”
“Before, I wasn’t sure who God has made me to be… He has revealed [who I am] to me and how I am called to share God with others and to be His faithful servant.”
We can’t help but thank God for all that He did these two weeks!!! He has been so faithful to show up when we needed, to provide the energy and strength to keep going, and to help each person walk away more confident and courageous to live the life that He has called them to. We’re excited to see what He will do next in each of their lives!! Thank you so much for praying for us, the rest of the staff, and the students. Please continue to pray that these students will live the rest of their lives dedicated to the Great Commission without fear holding them back!!!

 

Prayer Requests

 
-       Please pray for healing for Leah: This semester we discovered that I (Leah) have a large cyst on my left ovary and a couple smaller ones on my right – all of which are due to endometriosis. We decided to go ahead and get them surgically removed June 12th. Pray that God would bring healing in His timing and way!
-       We desire to raise an additional $700 in monthly support – prayer for the funds to be met and the time to ask people to partner with us would be greatly appreciated.
-       Continue to pray for Fort Lewis College to be won for Christ, and the students to have a summer glorifying to Him  and encouraging to their spiritual growth.
-       We are SO SO SO thankful for each and every one of you!! Thank you for your faithfulness to pray, serve and give. Let us know how we can be praying for you as well!!
 
Crush Fear Staff 2013


Eating Crickets and Mealworms (Don't worry, they ARE FDA approved!)

White Water Rafting

Setting out on the 6 hrs + of hiking
Tired, but none the worse

24 hour solo

Evagelism downtown Durango

The Ladies

The men

Our fearless students (From left to right): Casey, Lori, Kensey, Alex, Rachael (also our intern) and Shawnee


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Semester Highlights - March/April Newsletter 2013


Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58


 

Semester Highlights

 

We just wrapped up another school year at Fort Lewis College, and this semester has definitely been eventful!!
         -  At our Mustache March Competition, we had 5 new people show up, 4 of which  were interested in talking to someone more about Jesus.

-       Russ and Linda Akins, the founders of Master Plan Ministries, celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with the college students at our Thursday dinner, where the students got to pick their brains about having healthy relationships.

-       Our last retreat of the year was a great success where some of our students took big steps of faith by sharing their testimonies and presenting a talk for the first time.

-       We got to take a fun weekend trip with the students to Moab, UT. We had one student come who we’ve seen on and off throughout the year, and now wants to be discipled next year.

-       We accepted 3 of our students (who are graduating this weekend) onto our staff team! Brandon Cox and Dakota Woodie came in as freshmen, and Anne Barby (almost Anne Cox) came in 2 years ago. All three have been excellent students to work with, and we are thrilled to have them on our team in Durango.

-       This semester alone, we know of at least  6 people who have indicated a decision to follow Christ on campus!! Praise God for changing the policy by this second semester so we can share openly the Gospel. Lives were changed for eternity this semester!!
 

Prayer Requests



-       Pray for the students to have fruitful walks with God over the summer, and to continue to take good steps of faith.
-       Pray for those who have heard the Gospel this year to receive Christ sooner rather than later, and that more people will share with them over the summer
-       Pray for Crush Fear, which is May 19th- June 2nd. Pray that the staff will finish all that we need to before hand, that the students coming will have all there funds raised in time, and that they will crush fear during the project that will help them live bold lives for Christ!
-       Pray for us to rest this summer, and also be able to boost our monthly monetary needs by asking others to partner with us.
-       Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and financial support this school year!! We thank God for you and your partnership in our work on campus.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Josh Serenading the Ladies

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The Girl's Valentine's Day Video

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God's Lost Sheep FOUND!! - February 2013 Newsletter


“Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost my sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Luke 15:6-7


 

God’s Lost Sheep – FOUND!!


 

Praise God!! PRAISE GOD!!! This has been such a month for rejoicing and praising God!! Some of you who get our emails have heard how two people have come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and this last week we just learned of a third!!! We can’t help but praise God for the work He’s doing on campus!!
Chris, a junior that Malcolm disciples, prayed for his friends back in Fort Collins to come to know God at a prayer meeting earlier in the month. A day or two later Chris’ friend, Blayden, was sharing with Chris how he had come to believe that God exists. Chris was stoked just to see God answering prayer and was going to share the Gospel with him over spring break. Nate (on staff with us) heard that and quickly encouraged Chris to call Blayden and share the Gospel with him before spring break. That very night, Chris called Blayden, shared the Gospel, and Blayden received Christ as Lord of His life!!
Since then, Blayden has been in contact with Chris and asking him questions about his new found faith. He has been back and forth about whether he wants to follow God or not. Pray that Blayden will continue to grow up in Christ and find fellowship in the Fort Collins area.
This semester Stephanie has been asking Gigi if she would be interested in getting together to talk, and, after a little hesitation, she finally met up and loved her time with Stephanie, asking, “Can we do this every week?” The next week that they met up, Stephanie shared the Gospel with Gigi, and she accepted Christ!! Please pray that Gigi will get involved in fellowship and will grow in her newfound life in Christ!
A couple weeks ago Malcolm told many of you about Junior, a guy that he and a couple other leaders approached in spiritual conversation and got to share the Gospel with. Malcolm and Robert (one of the leaders) got a chance this last week to meet up with him again and see where he was at in accepting Christ. As it turns out, he prayed the prayer that Malcolm presented when they had last met! Malcolm got to share Revelation 3:20 with Junior, and he was so excited to know that Jesus really wanted a personal relationship with him! Pray for Junior in his new faith, and for he and Robert to continue to meet up weekly.
We are SO EXCITED to see God answering prayers, providing opportunities, and people stepping out in faith!!! Pray that these new believers will be followed up with and encouraged to follow Christ. And pray that we will keep having opportunities to share Jesus with more people at Fort Lewis College!


Prayer Requests

 

-       Pray that we can continue to meet people and boldly share the Gospel to the lost at Fort Lewis College!! And pray that hearts will soften to God and accept Christ as Lord more and more.
-       Pray for students to balance their time well between school and ministry, and that busyness won’t blind them from the opportunities to share Jesus with FLC.
-       Pray for those that we have shared Christ with this past month to keep remembering the truth shared with them, and to keep seeking God. And, of course, pray that they come to know Christ.
-       Pray for our health and “ministry stamina” in the last couple months of the school year. Though we are excited for all God is doing, we are also feeling the mid-semester “drag”. I also have been having some small health issues, and some prayers for healing and wisdom on what to do next would be greatly appreciated.
-       We are also going to be the project directors for Crush Fear this May, and could use your prayers as we tackle this next step in trusting God.

Katarina gave her testimony and her first talk at her first combined retreat
Josh serenading the girls on Valentine's Day



Saturday, January 26, 2013

Snow Day 2013 Montage

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Snow Day 2013 - Tubing

We are working on trying to get our whole Snow Day Montage up here or onto youtube for you to enjoy, but in the mean time, we hope you enjoy the very short - but worth while - clip!!

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DCC New Year's Balloon Sword Fight

Here is some footage of the balloon sword fight on 16th Street in downtown Denver at this year's DCC outreach!!

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New Year, New Start - Newsletter January 2013

 

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.”
Philippians 1:27-28a

 

New Year, New Start

 

Imagine you are a college student on New Year’s Eve, and you are in downtown Denver – what do you imagine that you would be doing? Would you believe that you are having a balloon fight with a couple thousand other college students and other civilians on the 16th Street mall? And the whole reason you’re out in the freezing cold is so you could share the best news in the world with someone?! Needless to say, this was probably not your first thought! But that’s exactly what we got to witness this New Year’s at Denver Christmas Conference (DCC).
Here one story from that night from Anne, a senior at FLC:
“After the balloon sword fight my fiancĂ©, Brandon, and I began telling people ‘Happy New Year!’ One specific couple I asked if they had any New Year’s resolutions. After the wife told me hers, she asked me mine, where I got to share with her my relationship with Christ and my desire to grow closer to Him. Our conversation very quickly turned into a spiritual one… I got to share the Gospel with her in a very clear way using a little booklet that spells out the Gospel… It brought her to tears. She didn’t accept Christ right that moment, but I gave her that little booklet, with a prayer for her to receive Christ in it, and she said, ‘This is the best New Year’s gift!’”
Okay, now let’s say you are a college student again. And this time you are coming back from Christmas break, and you have an opportunity to potentially share the Gospel with a girl you have only met once and you are feeling scared to do it – what do you imagine you would do? Would you fight through your feelings and go anyway?
Meghan was feeling uneasy after she told me (Leah) she would join me in this conversation to see where “L” was with God. But the Sunday before, the sermon on discipleship really encouraged her to step out in faith and watch God show up. As we were talking and hearing more about “L’s” story, her friend, “F”, came to meet up to have tea with her. Upon seeing the pictures, “F” was completely intrigued and wanted to participate too. After a little while I asked the question, “If Jesus was sitting with us right now, what would be one thing He would say to you?” After hearing their answers, I asked, “Can I tell you what I think He would tell you?” And using the Soularium pictures, and guided by the Holy Spirit, I got to show “L” and “F” how Jesus has a wonderful gift of eternal life, how our sin separates us from God, how Jesus is the only solution for our sin, and it’s by receiving Jesus by faith that we can have this gift. It sounded like “L” had already received Christ, but “F” was blown away by what we were telling her! When explaining how Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” she said, “Wow! No one has ever explained this to me like this! I really need this to sink in more.”
She needed more time to let the truth sink in, so we are going to follow up with her soon. Pray for all these people we have had a chance to meet and share Jesus with! And pray that we can keep meeting people and be bold to share the gospel with them!!
 

Prayer Requests

 

-       Nate and Erin Hebst (who are on staff with us at Fort Lewis College) welcomed the arrival of their third child – and first boy – on January 8th, 2013!! Micah Peter Herbst is healthy and doing well, along with Mom, Dad and big sisters. Pray for continued health for everyone - especially since it’s flu season – and for the life adjustment to a family of five will be smooth!!
-       Pray for Stephanie Brown (also on staff at FLC), our student leaders, and us as well, as we continue to share the Gospel OPENLY (praise God) and invest in the lives of others. Pray that we will have God’s energy and wisdom as we all step into new roles and step out in faith!
-       Pray for our students to have a healthy balance of school and ministry – but more specifically that they would have the heart to see their mission field on campus and reach out to those who are headed into eternity without Jesus.
-       Thank you so much for your prayers and financial help!! We have been able to pay for a new battery for the Suburban and for DCC! And God blessed us with people putting new tires on the Subaru!! God is so faithful!!!

Snow Day at Three Trails Ranch (courtesy of Daniel Amerman)
 

Missional Women

 

If you are a woman, or have a lady in your life, please check out a new website designed for women who desire to live on mission for Jesus Christ! Topics range from devotionals, apologetics, image and identity, sexual issues, and more. Not to mention resources and encourage too! Many women contribute, including Master Plan staff women, Cru Staff, housewives, women workers – you name it!!
Visit www.MissionalWomen.com to discover more.


Snow Day (courtesy of Heidi O'Hara)