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!
Did you know? Campus Crusade for Christ International has 26,000 missionaries worldwide! Known as Cru in the United States, our biennial U.S. Staff Conference gathers 5,000 full-time missionaries from Cru's 20 distinct ministries.
The theme of Cru15 was "Together" and over the course of seven days we looked at these four major topics:
These focuses were timely and the array of speakers from within Cru as well as those they invited to weigh in were all exceptional. We came away feeling like Cru is submitted to the Lord in its commitment to sharing Jesus with people everywhere, no matter the context.
Indeed, we feel like the organization is doing a lot to help its staff move into the future as advocates for partnership with others in the body of Christ in order to help fulfill The Great Commission.
Now, with all the great online content you could watch or listen to about Cru's goals and aspirations, we realize you don't have seven days to soak it all in!
So, if we could recommend just one of the sessions for you to watch it would be this:
>> Tim KcKenzie - On Every Word // A 22-minute, live, spoken word scripture experience. This will minister to you as you reflect on the truth of the Bible and God's promises to us, his children. It takes you on a spiritual journey unlike anything else.
Of the Main Sessions, we also think the Francis Chan talks would resonate the most outside of the conference context. He spoke memorably about Being Known for Loving Jesus Deeply (look for the Legos illustration) and about Being Personally Rooted in God's Love.
The quality of the all the recordings is incredible. The Conference Team did an amazing job. We highly recommend checking some of it out!
Gathering with our New York City campus ministry team. Not all the kids could make it, but you can see we have a good number of people to start with in NYC. It was great to put faces to all the names we have been learning!
Simon (almost 2 1/2) enjoyed our afternoon trips to the park in Fort Collins, CO after we picked him up from Cru15 Kid's Care. It was his first time doing any sort of extended childcare and he did great for all seven days!
Simon turned ONE last Friday, and I have been reflecting on this past year. I sure do love this boy, and am learning to cherish the moments while he is little. I am growing into motherhood and definitely don't have it all figured out, but this is where my heart is at…
As a mom I have a choice to make every day: to engage fully, invest time and energy, be intentional, enjoy the small special moments, instruct and teach, extend patience and grace, to love unconditionally, OR not.
It is easy to half pay attention to Simon; to supervise, but not really be present. It is hard to lay down my life, my desires, my time, my expectations, my to-do list, my preferences...to unselfishly offer myself today and every day. Being a mom means I must die to myself. Not begrudgingly or bitterly, but willingly, with joy even!
In Luke 9:23, Jesus tells his disciples that if they want to follow Him they must pick up their cross; it is a road to death of self. Paul says a similar thing in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live I live by faith in the son of God who gave himself for me.”
Do I really believe the Gospel of Christ meets me here, as a mom? I find myself wanting to escape the responsibilities and expectations of motherhood for fear that my dreams and freedom will die. I need to learn to daily run, not away from, but towards the cross and lay down my desire to be recognized, my irritation at not being able to do what I want when I want to do it, et cetera.
I want to walk with integrity in my home. I do not want to be duplicitous, to say one thing about Jesus and to live another way. This is the hardest place to do it, with family, with those who know you and can drive you nuts the most. But I want it, even if it means I must die so that Christ can live in me.
For me, in this season, living by faith means that as I reach my capacity I need God to be bigger. I need to rely on His limitless resources as I exhaust my own. I need to believe that Christ is sufficient. I need the Holy Spirit to empower and equip me for service. I need to be filled with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
In laying down my life I hope Simon will experience a reflection of the Gospel. If I don't live it he will never likely believe it. I hope to point him to the cross, to Jesus, full of grace and truth, willingly dying so that He could offer us life. And for me to do this in the small things, the daily stuff of life, I know that I need Christ's life in me!
FAMILY PHOTOS AND PRAYERS FOR HEALTH
We have pictures and videos posted of Simon’s big day as well as lots of recent candids. See them at bit.ly/SimonWesley. Also, please pray for our health. We've been down with colds and other bugs and it’s been hard to keep up with work.
Trusting In Him,
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