If you’ve been tracking our prayer letters over the last several years, you’ll know that the movement at Seton Hall University (SHU) has been both super encouraging and challenging. We’ve gone from meetings with 15-20 students to few and in between – all while not being given recognition by the university.
Recently I asked our student president, Jonathan, to review his experience, growth and our history at Seton Hall. He shared this boldly at our last Jersey Cru and our Annual Fellowship Dinner. As his words are perfect, I pass them onto your for your encouragement!
“Unfortunately Cru is not recognized as a group on my campus, and NOT for a lack of effort. During my time with Cru I helped with speaking to administration to show them the benefit it would be to have a nondenominational organization on campus that might be more inviting to someone who doesn’t know about the Catholic Church. This is the way I and many of piers felt in coming to Seton Hall in wanting to find a familiar Christian community.
As I came to SHU the Lord planned my connection with the organization. I still do not remember how I found out where the [movement] was meeting, since they could not advertise. Walking into that meeting for the first time I did not realize the God’s plans for this ministry at SHU, and the role he would let me play in it.
Cru at SHU began a few years ago with a couple of guys who saw Cru on other campuses, and wanted to see it at their own school. They began to grow the movement and seek recognition on campus. Unfortunately, they we’re denied by administration, and forced to stay unrecognized.
But God was faithful to provide new leaders to come after and sustain the ministry. If it wasn’t for God’s faithful provision, then there may have been no movement for me to find at all on my campus. Once I found Cru I too tried to show administration the benefit this club would be to the lives of our students, but was told there is no problem with meeting, but you cannot be recognized.
Despite this heartbreaking decision by administration, I was blessed to continue weekly Bible studies with two amazing students, and was blessed through those meetings. Fortunately those two students graduated, but unfortunately that meant they were moving on from Seton Hall. Just last semester I was worried that cru may dwindle out to nothing due to lack of recognition, as weekly meetings shrunk to me and my [staff person].
However, just this spring the Lord provided again as our weekly meeting gained two new members. I am so thankful to see these new members come in and anxiously await to see what the Lord has in store for them. This experience has shown me how the Lord provides for his children. Cru has been the Lords provision for helping me on the spiritual battleground that is a college campus. God has worked through this community to remind me of who he is, as we often forget. Cru showed not only how the Lord provided for this ministry, but how he has provided for me. I encourage you to reflect on the Lord’s provision in your life, and be thankful.”
It has been a true joy to serve with students excited about Jesus and sharing his love at a school that does not want them there. They have persisted since 2013, and God has provided through his grace! Please pray for the future of the SHU movement.
-Joey and Jenn Sforza