NEW ROLE – NEW MINISTRY – A MUST READ (please)
Follow Us As We Follow Christ! (Action Required Below)
PDF Version of This Letter Here.
Sharing the life-wrecking message of Christ is so urgent! Over the last 12 years, Jenn and I have done exactly this with Cru in NJ, and we’ve loved every minute of it. We learned effective leadership, student coaching, Bible teaching, fellowship, prayer and evangelism.
Yet God has asked us to take a new role with International Students Inc., the oldest ministry of its kind. ISI exists all over the world with a solid presence in Rutgers/Newark/Jersey City/Hoboken! Our own church has sent volunteers for 15 years to ISI at Stevens Institute of Technology. The need is great with only 2 staff compared to NJ Cru’s 13. We are hopeful you will follow us as well follow Christ in your prayers and financial support. But let us tell you why.
The Lord used one student to confirm this move named Roman Dodia, an Indian immigrant from Hudson County College. Though Hindu, in 2020, Roman began attending Cru to learn about Christianity and for friendships. Covid then hit, and after several months of isolation, he heard our church was open. Roman attended every Sunday and then attended Cru’s weekly meetings in the fall of 2020. We struck up a “lifestyle evangelism” bond where we got to know one another – even Jenn and the kids! I remember in early 2021, Roman and I discussed the incompatibility between Hinduism and Christianity, but he was resolute that he wanted to keep Jesus as one of his many “gods” as a Hindu. Fast forward to the fall of 2022: after continuing to join us at church and Cru, he once again heard the gospel at an event where I shared the 4 Laws (a Cru tool explaining the gospel). A week later, he reached out to my pastor and I – letting us know he was renouncing Hinduism and placing his faith in Christ! A month later, Jenn and I had his parents (and his NYU international roommate – all Hindus) over for dinner to answer questions about Christianity. Roman has decided to get baptized on May 22 at our church!
All this confirmed our new calling with ISI. Jesus tells us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). And each year, over 1 million international students attend our universities and colleges. God is bringing the nations to us, even from unreached countries!
This is bittersweet. We have loved Cru! We have the full blessing of Cru, our directors, our Pastor and church as well, which will move their support with us financially! We may still partner with Cru, but our dedicated focus will be on international non-Christian students at fewer schools.
We are so excited for so many reasons: (1) weekly evangelism dinners with non-Christians, (2) relational lifestyle evangelism like helping them settle in the country or inviting them to our home, (3) fun multicultural experiences like trying new food or learning language phrases, (4) potential for shorter summer mission trips, (5) volunteer opportunities for churches and even you as individuals, and (6) room to grow in different ways locally and in the national organization. For these reasons and more, we look forward to this major change.
Just as with Cru, ISI staff are responsible for raising all of their needed funding to cover a needs-based salary, healthcare, ministry expenses and an administrative fee. Our hope and prayer are that you would follow us as we follow Christ! As we have always said, God uses your support to make the ministry happen!
!!Would you prayerfully consider moving your support with us as we take this huge step of faith toward this new season and ministry?!!
If you all join us, we will be at 100% of our monthly goal with ISI!!
We also need “startup” funds to help with the transition as well. Our prayer goal is to raise $15k in special gifts for startup funds in our ISI account.
Our timeline is as follows. July 1 is officially our last day with Cru. Because we got ahead of the transition, you can move over to ISI as soon as you’re able! In fact, although Cru is granting us severance (if our Cru account has the funding), we absolutely need to move over at least $2500/month to ISI starting in June so we can get on their healthcare plan beginning in July.
We are going to use this time of June/July to work on answering your questions, visiting churches and helping you move to the new system of giving + raise new support if necessary. In early August we are going to take a vacation, and in mid-August we will kick things off with ISI as long as we have the support needed!! This is going to be a rush, but we are excited. Pray we have BIG FAITH during this transition! Thank you so much for your faithfulness to Christ and us! We pray and hope he fills you with joy unspeakable in this season!
We will contact you in the near future to hear your decision! Whatever you decide, we are so grateful for you! P.S. We will always be “SFORZAGRAMS” whether serving with Cru or International Students Incorporated or any other ministry.
REACHING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FOR CHRIST IN NEW JERSEY
DIRECTIONS FOR MOVING GIVING FROM CRU TO ISI
STEP 1: Cancel with Cru:
Contact Donation Services in one of the following ways to stop your recurring gift. As the donor, you must contact Cru for them to legally stop your giving. If you don’t do this, it will continue on its own to Cru without us being able to move or access it in any way.
a) Online … Go to: https://give.cru.org
1. Click ‘Your Giving’
2. Sign in to your account
3. Click ‘Stop or Restart a Gift’
4. Choose option 3 or 4 (redirect a gift or stop a gift)
b) Call: 1-888-CRUSADE, opt. 1
c) Email: Send your donor account #, our names, and changes needed to email@example.com
STEP 2: Begin with ISI the next month by following instructions on the response form below.
- For example, if your last gift to Cru is May, please begin with ISI in June.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – –
Step 3: RESPONSE FORM //// ISI Staff # 5556
– We strongly recommend and prefer online giving here: www.SforzaGrams.com/Give
– If you prefer checks, please make them payable to “ISI” or “International Students Incorporated.”
– Gifts are tax-deductible just as with Cru.
____Yes, I’d like to “follow you as you follow Christ” with my/our regular giving! I will redirect my/our giving immediately.
____In fact, I’d like to increase my monthly giving to the amount of $______
____ A one-time startup gift in the amount of $______ is on the way toward your new exciting calling.
____I haven’t been giving, but I would like to begin giving monthly in the amount of $______
____I will pray for God to provide!
Please list prayer requests below, so we can pray for you!
International Students, Inc. exists to share Christ’s love with international students and to equip them for effective service in cooperation with the local church and others. https://internationalstudents.org/about-us/