While I am on a chiropractic mission to heal the physical, my true purpose is to touch the spiritual...
Cap and gown season has passed once again and I’m excited to update you on a student I wrote about in January 2012. Chris Boman graduated from UM with a Health and Human Performance degree and went on to train at chiropractic school in Southern California where he grew up. He recently opened his own practice and will even be getting married this week!
Cru is about helping students like Chris come to know Jesus, grow in their faith, then go to their families, their communities and all over the world to tell others about God's love. To become effective, Christ-centered laborers in this Great Commission, we show them the importance of having a clear picture of where they're headed after graduation. We call this a Kingdom Vision.
Chris saw how God could use his passion for chiropractic to bless people both physically and spiritually, and this is what motivates his work. In fact, a prominent Christian website, TheGospelCoalition.org, just published a short interview with Chris about his job, which I think you'll enjoy.
Really though, the 2014 online readership of TGC was 12.5 million unique visitors! What a special way to highlight an answered prayer for God to send Chris into the workplace!
We began considering NYC a year ago this April. We have been thinking it over, talking to God, talking to friends, and both researching and visualizing what it will look like to raise a family in the “capital of the world”. We now feel that we are pursuing this new assignment with eyes open to the huge changes to come, both the exciting ones and the daunting ones.
While we visited, God impressed some verses on us from Matthew 21 and has continued to bring us back to them these past few months. First, NYC truly feels like a mountain to us! It’s the definition of urban and is far away from what we have experienced as West Coasters. Moving us there really seems like God’s idea because we never dreamed of attempting something this daunting.
Jesus teaches that by having faith it will be possible to tell a mountain to be thrown into the sea. Unbelievable, right? This resonates with us because becoming New Yorkers not only seems unlikely for us, but even looks fairly irrational. Yet, Jesus promises that we can receive what we ask in faith. We feel compelled to ask God to make this plan a reality because God can move mountains.
Just before those verses about the mountain, Jesus curses a green leaved fig tree because it failed to bear fruit. The second thing God impressed on us was that we want to have faith with action, not just the appearance of faith. The fig tree looked to be fruitful, but it failed to bear fruit. As vocational missionaries it might be easy to think we are immune to lacking big faith. We think God has asked us to move. Are we in fact willing? We want to yield fruit by being fully faithful to what he asks of us.
Third, God has asked us to work in his vineyard and be fruitful for His Kingdom! We are excited to say yes, but it doesn't come without fear or the reality of discomfort. Working for His Kingdom means we must trust Him even when we don't fully understand the big picture. Sometimes my own kingdom has a way of distracting me from the true kingdom. This is an opportunity to bear fruit for His Kingdom.
Our calling has remained the same. We will continue pursuing lost college students with the Gospel. Our commitment is to spend three years in the city, and hopefully many more!
We will soon share about the vision and strategy for the new teams Cru is placing in NYC. There are sixteen of us who said yes to going and more are in process! Please, keep us in your prayers as we begin this huge transition. We want to say goodbye well and prepare thoroughly for the changes ahead.
When do we move?
On paper we have been officially transferred to the Northeast region. We have also been released from our team in Missoula to pursue full-time Ministry Partner Development.
We expect that our team of Ministry Partners will double in size! We’ll live in Missoula until this team is complete, and expect to move by January 2016.
Catch up on prior posts about New York City right here : )
Cru Conference just wrapped up and the New Year’s Eve party was a hit! Our region’s annual gathering draws 500 students for teaching, training, and local outreach in Portland, OR.
I worked on the video team editing media for the main sessions. Take a look at our outreach video!
The Bucher's are having another baby! The first trimester was a doozy dealing with morning sickness in Alaska, but Kirsten is feeling better now at week 18. The due date is February 5th. We'll let you know soon if Simon is getting a brother or a sister!
Visit Kirsten's Facebook profile to see her posts.
In other life-changing news, we'd like to ask you to pray intentionally for our future location with Cru. We have been invited to attend a vision conference in New York City October 6-9th. Our leadership has asked us to consider moving to the Big Apple to help pioneer and lead new campuses!
We'll give you a moment to pick your jaw off the floor...
So how did this come about? With our first few years on campus behind us, this spring we began discussing how our legacy with Cru might look. Would we move overseas? Would we move to another region of the country, or would we stay in Montana? Neither of us felt like a new location was on the radar, so it made sense to stay in Montana. We began surveying the housing market and envisioning our future in the Big Sky Country.
A month went by and life carried on when Kirsten mentions she had seen a house she really liked. It was the first time she told me something had caught her eye. The reality of this moment carried a new weight, as if a decision could be made. Would we move forward on our plans of planting our lives in Missoula? The lure of a bigger space and place to truly call home was palpable.
At the same time, our church had been preaching through Hebrews and a sermon in chapter eleven hit home regarding our life of faith. The idea of buying a house and settling down appealed to our desire for comfort and security. It seemed like our plan to remain in Montana was mostly motivated by this act of self-preservation. The very next day this process changed as God spoke through a phone call with our regional leadership director.
“We’re not trying to get rid of you. You have the freedom to say no to the NY trip entirely,” He said. But that wasn’t the feeling we were experiencing. What we mostly felt was fear. Who actually dreams of raising a family in the city? Regardless, the idea of new ministry possibilities excited us and the timing of the call was of no small coincidence. Is this what God sounds like?
Looking back at our lives, God has made big changes in our direction through local preaching and through the voices of our leadership. From my year in Venezuela, to Kirsten moving to Las Vegas for teaching, to us both joining staff with Cru, God has used influential people to speak his will into our lives. In many ways this is the voice I was waiting to hear regarding our future.
So the question becomes, will we stay or will we go? We don’t think staying is wrong, or that buying a house in Missoula would be selfish. We think God will use this process to purify our motives and solidify our longterm direction as a family. He could use this trip to change it up or he could use it to strengthen our resolve to invest more years at UM. This is why we are sharing this with you now. We want to invite you to begin praying for us. Ask God to give us wisdom and discernment about our direction. And, feel free to call or email us with your thoughts!
We expect to learn a lot more at the conference. At this point we are cautiously optimistic. What we do know is that other staff from around the country are looking into it too and there are more students within the five boroughs of NYC than the entire Northwest. The need is great, the laborers are few, and the Lord of the harvest has asked us to pray for more laborers (Mt. 9:37-38). Please join us in that prayer!
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It's finals week and the school year is almost over. As I look back on our first year of ministry on campus, I am amazed at all that God has done!
Statistics cannot adequately summarize all the stories of lives transformed by the Gospel, yet we want you to know that students are connecting to Jesus Christ at The University of Montana. We are blessed to be a part of what God is doing!
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE YEAR:
Here are quotes from freshmen I work with as they reflected on their first year of college.
“I didn’t expect to come to college and grow in my relationship with God, but I am learning how to lean on Him for strength and know Him better.” -Lizzie
“I accepted Christ in October, and have grown in my faith in ways I wouldn’t have without Cru.” -Kelsey
“This year I became a Christian when Kirsten came to my dorm room the first few weeks of college. Throughout the year I have grown a ton and she has explained confusing subjects in the Bible and how it relates to my life.” -Caitlin
“I wasn’t expecting Jesus to be a part of my freshman year at all, but the biggest thing that made a difference in my life this year was Kirsten coming and knocking on my door and talking with me about God.” -Rylie
That students would be strengthened in their faith over the summer and they would return to campus in August ready to minister to incoming freshmen. Also pray for our safety as we travel to our summer assignment in Lake Tahoe, California.
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