Why in the World: CRU flies students to Asia in 2020

by Olivia Bragg | February 24, 2020

Guys talk about sports and girls talk about boys. 

Some things about college culture are the same wherever you go – even 7,000 miles away. 

“College students make some incredible cross-cultural missionaries. You could take a college student and drop them on a campus almost anywhere and the country’s culture might be different but it’s very similar – you live in dorms, you take tests, you’re away from your parents for the first time,” said Baylor CRU staff leader David D.

CRU is a campus ministry at Baylor that desires for students to embrace the gospel personally, experience it in community and extend it to the world around them. Baylor CRU’s partnership – that they pray for and send students to – is a country in Asia.

Before wedding vows and strollers enter the picture, college students have the most availability and flexibility they ever will in life. Which is why CRU built their ministry around them. 

“Doing college ministry while you’re still deciding your character, making decisions to surrender all of your life in terms of finances with possible fundraising, where you live, job opportunities in the future, dating, just surrendering all of that before the Lord is a really healthy exercise during your really formative character-building years in college,” David said. 

Students practiced Tai Chi on their summer mission to Asia.

The “Go 2020” movement at Baylor was more than laptop sticker momentum. For CRU, the drive to send students overseas in 2020 is also more than a nice, round number year. Asia is one of the largest unreached areas in the world. 

“God has been at work for years in the country. He’s been bringing students into relationship with Him in rapid numbers, but still hasn’t even made a dent in the population. 2020 is a big year because of recent government crackdowns. We’re not sure how much longer we’ll even be able to get into the country,” said Baylor CRU staff Daniel M.

After praying about it, Daniel felt God press on his heart, “If not now, then when?” So he decided to go for CRU’s year-long “stint.” But there are also costs to going – outside of just leaving behind his motorcycle, comfy home and great roommates.

“Hunting season,” Daniel laughed. “Ha, no. I think being a 29-year-old single guy. It’s a big cost knowing for the next year and a half, I’m probably not going to be able to date anyone. I think and I know it’s going to be worth it to see what God is going to do. To see how much greater He can provide for me while I’m there than I could provide for myself here in America.” 

Junior Erin Frank and Freshman Lainey Freeman’s CRU bible study group at CRU’s annual Fall Retreat.

Erin Frank, a junior at Baylor, said she felt like going to Asia for a six-week summer mission was something the Lord asked her to do for a couple years. For her, walking with God means walking outside of her comfort zone. Even if that means seeing her Minnesota family less and giving up a summer job. 

“I just said “No” for a while. They were talking about how some of these people had never even heard the name of Jesus and I’ve been blessed to grow up in a Christian home. So I just feel like, why wouldn’t I go and share with these people? Why wouldn’t I give them a chance because this is literally life and death,” Frank said.  

After only two months in CRU, freshman Lainey Freeman had to decide whether or not to accept her position as a Sky Ranch camp counselor or go to Asia. 

“I think the biggest reason is that God has never called me to be comfortable. Being a camp counselor would be really comfortable for me so I feel like God was tugging on my heart to go to Asia, do something new, go into the unknown and just see what happen. So I trusted Him in that. I’m super excited to meet my team, do life with them for six weeks and tell people about Jesus,” Freeman said.

But mainly, there is one overarching reason why CRU sends and students go.

“Jesus is awesome. I’m convinced Jesus is the greatest thing out there and there’s people that don’t know him. We have the opportunity to be a part. God graciously invites us to his mission and man, it’s glorious to be a part of that. The promise that when we give our life away we find it, finds itself to be very true,” David said.