Fall Retreat

This past weekend the Lowcountry had over 100 students escape to Camp Thunderbird.

This is the first opportunity students have to get away from campus and form some deep connections with their peers.

One of the most exciting parts of this weekend was Brandon getting to connect with students from our two newest ministries at USC-Beaufort and Coastal Carolina University.  These are some of the students who Brandon gets to help mentor.

USCB had 8 students come!

 

 

A local pastor in Myrtle Beach brought six students from Coastal Carolina with him to fall retreat.

Brandon with three of the upperclassmen guys that come to his Bible study.

God is doing amazing things in the lives of students in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  Thank you for praying for lives to be changed.  We love partnering with you to help college students know Jesus better.

 

 

 

Up and Running…Fast!

It seems like just yesterday we were getting back from Colorado.  The beginning of the school year is always the busiest time of the year and each year seems to fly by during these first 6 weeks.  This year our Lowcountry team is working with 4 schools in Charleston and the surrounding areas: College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, USC-Beaufort and Coastal Carolina.  While CofC and CSU are established ministries, USCB and Coastal are brand new!  At Coastal we have a local pastor and a faculty member who are leading the ministry for us and at USCB 4 of us from our team are driving down once a week (wednesdays) to work with a couple of student leaders who want to reach out to their campus.  We are hoping and praying that we will have a good turn out from each school at our Fall Getaway next weekend.  We covet your prayers during this stretch of ministry.

 

Campus Crusade for Christ will change its name in 2012

We are grateful for each one of you who know, love, and support us in this ministry! Because you are the most valuable people in this with us, we want to share a few thoughts and answers regarding Campus Crusade for Christ’s name change.

As you may have already heard some media outlets have spun this as a politically correct move or speculated whether we have changed our message. These stories have caused some alarm within the Body of Christ.  We know it is likely that a number of you are hearing this news, and it affects all of us directly.
You have known us and supported us for years, so we want to make sure you have the information you need about us and Campus Crusade for Christ.
1.  It is true that we are changing our name to Cru in the U.S. After two years of exhaustive research, our leadership found that the problematic words in the U.S. are “Campus” and “Crusade.” We didn’t set out to remove the word Christ.  Some media outlets have spun this as a politically correct move or speculated whether we have changed our message. Some have focused on our dropping Christ from our name. The truth is we dropped all three names.
Campus. Our athletic ministry, our adult professional ministries, executive, church, Hollywood, Josh McDowell, Christian Embassy, our publishing houses, etc. had little to do with the campus. “Campus” limited their efforts.
Crusade. In 1951, when we first started, crusade had a positive connotation. Today, with our ministries to international students and in the Muslim world, that word conjures up very negative images. Meanings change over time.
Christ. It is because we want to make Christ known that we are making this change. In our “sound bite” world, words often befriend or alienate. Watch the way our political leaders use talking points to position. We in CCC, or Cru, long to be able to share what Christ can do in a person’s life. So it is for that reason that we want the name of our organization to illicit a neutral response, so that we can get to the heart of those we share with.
2.  As an organization we have not wavered in our commitment to Christ or our willingness to stand for Him.
3.  The majority of Christian missions organizations and many local churches do not have the name Jesus or Christ in their name. This doesn’t lessen their devotion to Christ or their effectiveness.
4. Our mission remains the same: To give every person a chance to say YES to Jesus. It’s the same mission that God gave to Bill and Vonette Bright in 1951.
5.  We are not backing away from Jesus but rather moving toward those who need to hear the gospel, more effectively.
If you have questions or concerns, please take a look at this FAQs page. These are answers that come directly from our leadership.  We wish you could be here at our National Staff Conference with us to see and hear the humble hearts behind this decision.  We respect each of the many wise people who collaborated for years on this decision.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns, we’d be happy to talk with you.
We love you and are thankful for your partnership. We are just as committed as ever to giving students in Charleston and NYC a chance have a personal relationship with God through saying “yes” to Jesus.

Myra Grace’s summer through pictures

Time in Colorado so far

As of Friday Brandon has completed his 4 seminary-level classes. One of the things we really appreciate about our job is the organization’s high value on makin sure our staff handle the Word of God correctly. So, Brandon has been taking two classes that help him learn how to interpret the Bible and communicate it in message form. The culminating event was a talk/sermon he gave Friday to his classmates on the passage in Genesis 11 about the Tower of Babel. College of Charleston students- get ready you will be hearing it the first few weeks at Cru.

CofC in New York City

This is Sam.  He is a freshman at College of Charleston.  Brandon disciples him and leads his Bible study (pictured below) at College of Charleston.  Sam went to NYC for Spring Break with 12 others from CofC to join a group of 80 for the week to work along side the NYC Metro team that we worked with the past 2 years while in Brooklyn.  During the week Sam got to go to Lehman College in the Bronx.

The following is an account of one of his interactions at Lehman…

 I got the privilege of going to Lehman College in the Bronx.  I had an awesome time and was able to get into spiritual conversations with at least 10 students!  God was amazing through the whole time.  The students who I talked to were all excited to hear about Jesus.  One student in particular,Lenny, she was sitting in between two columns in the lunch room.  I didnt really see her at first, but I noticed after awhile that she had been watching me do soularium with some other students.  I walked over there, and she said “finally, I was about to think you were not going to make to me” (haha).  I ended up going through soularium with her, and it turned out she was a Christian.  While we were talking she said “she wanted to share the gospel with a few of her friends on campus, but she didn’t know how. ”  I was able to teach her how to use the Knowing God Personally booklet  so she could share the gospel with her friends!  This is definitely my favorite memory of NYC.  Not just because she wanted to talk to me, not because she did soularium, or even because i shared the KGP with her.  It really is because I saw how God uses everybody.  He is already raising up leaders on these campuses.  God has this awesome plan for Lehman college, and I think its amazing how Lenny is responding to God and is experiencing what God can do if your willing to listen.  It was a real big aid to my own spiritual walk because I was reminded how exciting it is to do God’s work!  How exciting it is that God has chosen me to be one of his ministers to this world, even though I mess up.      —  Sam

Here is a picture of Lehman College…as you can see it is very different from the average NYC campus.  Please pray for more people like Lenny to get connected with our staff there in the city so that Christ may have a great impact on the students and faculty at Lehman.


Time with Regional Leaders

Brandon and some of our coworkers were invited to join three of our regional leaders for a retreat.  These three regional leaders have more than 50 combined years of experience between them.  During this time together they focused on the heart of a leader and how your marriage affects your ministry.  This was a very refreshing time for Brandon to connect with other men who are in his stage of life.  Praise God for these three men and their leadership.

Our last day as a family of 3

I (Ansley) had been having contractions (but really far apart) all day on Friday.  At my 40 week appointment I was 3cm dilated.

Friday night we decided to have a family date in downtown Charleston on Saturday.  I sensed I would be a mom of two by Monday.  Along with having fun and making memories I wanted to do some things that would bring my contractions closer together.

So we walked and walked and walked.

I wanted to do sets of stairs, so where better to go than the Customs House?  Myra Grace had lots of fun practicing her stair walking skills.

Our last family portrait before Mackey arrived the next morning.

Then we walked to Waterfront Park where Myra Grace ran around and played airplane with daddy.  The F16s were in town doing trial runs all week and Myra Grace has perfected her imitation of them.

We went to eat seafood at one of our favorite restaurants: Fleet Landing.  On our way driving home we rode down Chalmers Street (the bumpiest cobblestone street in all of downtown) twice.  Then we headed home.  We played outside and then ate dinner together.  A friend of ours was having a birthday party so I decided to go instead of sitting at home and twiddling my thumbs.  During dinner my contractions were getting closer together (maybe it was the yummy Mediterranean food). On the way home I stopped at Target and bought soy milk and apple juice (staples for Myra Grace just in case we weren’t at the hospital the next day).  At that point the contractions were 15 minutes apart.

When I got home I told Brandon I didn’t think we would make it through the night so we decided to try to get a nap in.  I slept off and on in between contractions until 2:45 when they became close enough to start timing (at this point they were 5 minutes apart).  I woke Brandon up at 3:15 because the contractions quickly changed to 3 minutes apart and we called the doctor.  Then we called my mom to come sit at the apartment while Myra Grace slept.

We left the apartment at 3:50 and arrived at the hospital 7 minutes later.  The walk from the apartment door, down some stairs and to the car apparantly had Mackey ready to come because I was pushing on the way to the hospital.  Once we got there we were rushed into a room and the nurses woke up the midwife, realizing Mackey was not going to wait for the doctor.  Three pushes later Mackey was born.  4:29am our little boy was here!

Introducing Mackey Lee Hammond

Mackey Lee Hammond arrived at 4:29am on Sunday morning, February 27th.  The birth story is very eventful, let’s just say, we are really thankful for the 12 weeks birthing class we took before Myra Grace because we almost didn’t make it to the hospital!  We left our apartment at 3:50 and he was born less than 45 minutes later!  He came so fast our doctor got to the hospital 15 minutes after he was born.  Thankfully there was a midwife on the floor and she woke up in time to deliver Mackey in the sweatshirt she was sleeping in.

Mackey was 8lbs 15oz and 21 inches long.  He was only 3 days past the due date.  Myra Grace was 10 days past her due date so she still beat him out weighing in at 9lbs 3oz and 22inches long.  Ansley is recovering well and we are all adjusting to being a family of four.

The most excited is Myra Grace.  She is constantly saying “baby” wondering what he’s doing and kissing him on his head and rubbing his face.

These are some pictures we had taken by the hospital photographer.  We wanted to share them with you.