What does an average day look like for the Buchers? Well, it varies! Here are me and Kirsten’s weekly Position Focuses:
Continue raising personal funds. We’re entirely funded by individuals and churches who want to give the gospel to college students. With NYC’s considerable cost of living, we still dedicate 20% of our time to growing and cultivating this support. We have 140 financial partners and over 500 praying!
Lead the NYC Summer Mission. Every summer Cru hosts over 200 mission trips around the world! Students will grow as much in a summer as they would in a whole school year. We train them to share their faith, deepen their walk with God and Christian community, and develop a personal ministry for when they return to their campuses. Preparations began in December.
Program Director for Cru’s city-wide fundraising dinner. We’ll fill over 20 tables at the Yale Club in Midtown Manhattan. We’re helping tell our ministry’s story by coordinating content from the main speakers, the videos produced, and the overall flow of the evening. It’s coming up May 2nd.
Minister at NYU. We share our faith, teach basic doctrine, lead Bible studies, host explorers groups, and do discipleship. Then we pass it on through training and coaching with the students who we challenge to lead.
Pioneer new Manhattan campuses. Cru is only ministering at nine campuses of over 100 in the five boroughs. Each is unique, so we “decode” them before starting. We speak with the administration and faculty and students, we talk with other ministries if they exist, and we ask God to show us how to proceed.
Add in meetings, commutes, and prayer gatherings and each week is brimming. Of course, making time to “be” rather than “do” is at the heart of the gospel, so we spend most evenings at home with our kids and friends!
We have worn the tread off our double stroller’s wheels in just 6 months! This vehicle has been a lifesaver for getting around the city with two kids. And that’s a little how I feel about being in New York City: not exactly worn, but going, going, and going!
I have not “arrived” as an urban mom, but am adjusting to the differences of raising young kids in the city. I want to share a snapshot of what life is like for us as we continue to figure it all out.
FIRST, THE UNEXPECTED
I didn’t realize that no car means carrying home groceries for the week in a backpack. It’s a lot of work, especially in 85 degree heat and 85% humidity with two toddlers! I also never expected to see the homeless showering at the splash pad where my kids play.
But these are opportunities to teach my children about what we take for granted and the reality of the need of many, which will hopefully foster generosity and a compassion for others.
WE'RE SETTLING IN
The kids have taken all the changes in stride and seem to have completely adapted to urban living. Simon loves that we can watch construction workers and vehicles everywhere. Eliza likes the horses and carriages that clip-clop to Central Park.
They have stopped asking why there is no grass. We no longer feel overwhelmed and overstimulated when we go outside. We can navigate the city confidently, even if that means occasionally stepping in yucky puddles and doggie doo!
OUR URBAN FAMILY
It feels surreal at times that they are “big city” kids, totally different from my suburban upbringing. I wonder how it will continue to shape them as they grow up, yet am confident that the Lord has called them to NYC too, and that He will provide everything they need.
We’re excited about what’s in store with our family life and ministry as summer wraps up and we head into the (hopefully much cooler) fall.
P.S. Know a student starting college this fall? Share this page with them!
We’ve made it to New York City! We got here last week just after a hefty twenty-six inches of snow had melted.
We rode our first Uber (a new taxi service with a phone app for reservations - click here for a free ride!) and our new Cru team welcomed us with dinner and food baskets. Four Cru staff families actually live in our building. Thankfully, we’re not alone in this metropolis!
So far we’ve been settling in and getting acquainted with our space. Our unit is incredible. It’s quiet, has lots of sunlight, and our neighbors are friendly. There are sixteen units on our floor and English is usually a second language.
The kids are doing well! Flights went smooth and, after catching up on sleep, both Simon and Eliza have been happy and energetic. They’ve loved getting outside and strolling around the neighborhood. We’ve been especially impressed with how well Simon is doing with the street noise.
We have laundry rooms on two floors that even have a website showing when they’re available. How great is that? In the basement is also a kids playroom with toys and space to stretch their little legs. We’ve met a handful of other families there and plenty of nannies too.
The next weeks will involve painting more rooms, visiting churches, and meeting up with Cru staff and other friends to learn about what to expect as we begin calling NYC our home.
We will continue to invite people to partner with us as we seek to meet our full budget this spring. So, please pray throughout this transition to our new assignment, both for our family’s wellbeing and for this new missionary endeavor on NYC’s 140 college campuses.
In 7 years of marriage this will be our first dining room! We got this butcher block in La Crosse and found some trendy steel legs online. During my visit I sanded, sealed, and assembled it all. Kirsten is excited to gather guests at our new table for eight! We have a spare bedroom too. Come visit us this 2016!
Fire trucks, Christmas lights, and a pink baby! We’ve had great experiences en route to NYC and Simon’s day was made when we spent nearly five hours at the three-story children’s museum in La Crosse.
Since leaving Montana we’ve had Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the start of 2016 here in Wisconsin with Kirsten’s parents. Our stay has been really enjoyable and the kids have loved the time with their grandparents.
I was able to do a preliminary NYC move-in by myself the week before Christmas. I drove out with our small trailer (the road conditions were great), had lots of help from our new team carrying boxes up, and got busy painting walls and preparing rooms. Our new apartment is all set for the family’s arrival!
We are hoping to fly out at the end of January if our team of ministry partners is completed. We’re getting closer every day to being fully funded. We also received many year-end financial gifts and we’re so thankful for all the support!
If you intend to partner with us with an ongoing financial gift, and have yet to begin your commitment, would you take a moment to set it up today? Visit give.cru.org/0597175.
If you would like to mail a check, please make it payable to Cru and mail it directly to:
PO Box 628222
Orlando, FL 32862
Be sure to attach a separate note designating your gift to our ministry: Ivan and Kirsten Bucher #0597175.
As you can imagine, some days it feels like we’re moving across the country at a snail’s pace. No doubt, God is preparing us for the substantial changes to come. Please ask the Lord to send us quickly!
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