Partners & Friends,
I am asking for prayer as we continue our mission to “seek and save the lost” here at Washtenaw Community College. The last couple weeks have been very busy and have made me weary to some extent. I’ve had various training events that have been beneficial helping me learn how to teach and preach scripture, yet have distracted me some from being on campus. Whereas some student still take initiative and share their faith while I am gone, others are still in need of guidance and leadership, encouraging them to take steps of faith. My mind is being pulled in all kinds of directions: evangelism and outreach, discipleship and training, preparing bible studies, setting up outreach opportunities, meeting with students individually and in groups, prayer and oh yes… my own personal time with the Lord. Those in ministry know that balance and boundaries are always a challenge. But I must admit I feel off balance and I need additional prayer for me, my wife, the students and faculty.
Another update will be coming in the next couple weeks. ThereThank you again for your continued support!
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship - WCC
P.S.> Over the next few months I will be seeking new ministry partners to help with the financial support with this ministry. Please take time to consider financially supporting me and WCC students.
http://www.intervarsity.org/donate/to/Todd_Jerdon for one-time payment card gifts
or http://www.intervarsity.org/donate/to/Todd_Jerdon/eft for recurring monthly gifts.
I also would love to set up meetings and presentations with your churches and others who may be interested in supporting our ministry. Please contact me at 248-756-1654 or Jerdon_t@hotmail.com.
INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
WASHTENAW COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Friends and Partners in ministry,
These last four weeks of ministry have been absolutely amazing! I am in awe of how God daily works and includes us ordinary people in such heavenly and supreme service as that which we serve. I feel affirmation more and more every day that I am exactly where God desires me to serve. I also know and trust that the students that are now gathering together, are serving and will serve the Lord in great and mighty ways not only at WCC but also at other colleges and universities and in the world. What a privilege it is to partner with you for such a calling as the proclamation of our precious gospel of Jesus Christ.
Welcome Day – was different than I expected. This is the all campus event where student organizations, community groups and colleges have booths to promote their club. We planned to pass out freezy pops but somehow they did not freeze in time. I was disappointed. I also was stuck in a traffic jam and was 30 minutes late for set up. Frustrating! A student called me and was almost in a very bad car accident. I called for some prayer back up while in traffic. As I sat in my car basking in my disappointment I remembered something that was said in church on Sunday. “Simply Jesus.” We didn’t need to have a bait to lure people to our Jesus. We just needed Jesus. Through this event we have gained nearly 50 contacts plus another 30 some after the event. Please pray for us as we continue to build relationships with all of these people.
On Campus – Christian Community is growing daily. Acts 2:42-47 is what is actively taking form on our campus. Several days during the week we meet in the food court as a common practice. The first believers met together daily in the temple courts. The daily meeting in the food court offers Christian Fellowship around the word, building relationships, praying for each other as we have need, discussions of the word and sharing the gospel with those outside of Christ.
One day as a few of us were meeting in the food court I saw a man that I had been playing basketball with from the fitness center. He was going to sit alone but I invited him to our table and he accepted. We made some small talk about the weekend plans and found some common interests. The conversation moved to the question of what are we doing with InterVarsity on campus? We shared the vision of building Christian community and sharing the good news (gospel). He nodded. I then asked him, do you know what the gospel is? He said no. I asked, would you mind if I shared it with you? He said, “sure, go ahead.” He kept eating and listened. After I finished sharing I asked, “Do you have any questions?” He said, “no.” I asked, “Is this what you believe?” He said, “ya, I believe that without Christ you go to hell. I believe that.”
Since that meeting, we’ve talked with Dan 3 or 4 other times. He has been joining in our community and building relationships with other students as well. Previously, he said he believed in God and prays, but he has been hurt by the church and has chosen to just talk to God by himself. I encouraged him that God has a purpose for the community of believers and that he has gifts that the rest of the community needs and that he will benefit from the gifts of others. Please continue to pray for Dan.
We have many other stories like Dan’s and I pray daily that we can continue to be devoted to the Lord, his word, each other, prayer and sharing the good news with those outside of Christ.
We have began one bible study on Tuesday’s and are considering starting another because of demand. In our first group study there are about 9 students who attend. I am greatly pleased that I see at least three who may be about ready to lead bible studies of their own. Pray as I prepare them and that I would know the timing to pass on some of this responsibility in sharing the word. As Paul said to Timothy, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2 Discerning who is reliable is the challenge as only God knows a mans heart and mind. Trust is building between several of us and I pray will continue.
Prayer is another foundational pillar that we are establishing early on in our ministry. As many of you have been praying for months now, please continue to pray as to cover this campus with the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior – that all men will be saved.
† Praise God for his continued blessings on this ministry at WCC!
† Praise God for a gift of bibles that a friend gave to me. It overwhelms me with the love and grace of our Lord. (John 17:17)
† Pray for God to continue to build Christian Community at Washtenaw Community College.
† Pray for devoted followers to be passionate in sharing the gospel and to takes risks in faith.
† Pray for those outside of Christ to be open to hearing the message and to believe.
† Pray for purity in the heart of students, mind, body and spirit.
† Pray for humility for me and the students.
† Pray that I would be able to discern who the Lord desires to be student leaders.
A special request of prayer:
Pray for my financial support to maintain and grow. Some commitments have not come through and I am starting to lag behind a little. In 2011 I will need to obtain an additional $20,000 for budgetary needs. I will be communicating in more detail in November and December. Thank you again for your continued support in the many ways that God works through you.
To donate visit: www.intervarsity.org/donate
(Look for staff member "Todd Jerdon").
In Christ's love,
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Washtenaw Community College
INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Washtenaw Community College
A Community of Students and Faculty who are
Developing Ordinary People
For an Extra-Ordinary Purpose;
Joyfully advancing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Partners in Ministry,
We are now in the second week of school heading into the third week. Time sure flies by and we have been working hard for the Lord at the campus of Washtenaw Community College. I have so many stories to share I can't possibly share them all in an email, but I would like to share a couple stories along with some prayer requests as well.
As I headed in to begin ministry on campus God impressed on my heart to only "make myself available." Often this concept is a struggle for me as I am sure it is for others. We can get so busy or try to make ministry happen in a predetermined schedule or program that we squeeze God out from being involved in our ministries. Yes we teach the bible during those times, but what about a relationship that is "available." Being on campus and not having a set time table or events to attend actually has improved the receptivity to the gospel. I've mentioned previously about divine appointments - those meetings that God has you and another person meet at exactly the right moment and gives you the right words to share. As I meet student on campus it amazes me the number of divine appointments that the students and I continue to have on campus.
As I was leaving my African American History class, I headed down the elevator and started talking with a young man named Spensor. He transferred in to WCC though he had previously attended a college for Architecture. Architecture wasn't for him he said, but it was a common bond we could talk about since I have a degree in Architecture. We chatted about the teaching philosophy of his school and compared it to the one I went too. I then moved the conversation into my youth ministry interest and service. He said he had a friend who was studying youth ministry too. As we continued to talk we eventually came to the topic of Jesus. You can tell what a person believes when you mention that name... Jesus. The warm and inviting conversation about trivial things now seemed to freeze and stand still. I could sense some uncomfortability once I mentioned Jesus' name. He said, "well each person can believe what they want and I believe that there are many ways to heaven." I've heard this statement many times and it is common in postmodern pluralism. At that point I shared the gospel: God created us, we fell into sin, God promised to reconcile us to Himself, he sent Jesus, Jesus lived a perfect life, he died on the cross to pay our penalty of sin, he rose again and all who repent (turn from sin) and believe in Jesus will be saved. He said he knows the gospel because he attends church a couple times a year, Christmas and Easter. Yet he still believes that there are several ways to heaven. I said, friend, do you remember when Jesus was in the garden before he was taken to the cross? He said yes. Well Jesus prayed this prayer, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." Then he continued to pray earnestly and sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:39-45). Jesus sought God's will and God answered that going to the cross is the only way that the world may be saved. We cannot take Jesus as a only a prophet or a nice guy. He was God's Son who is the Lamb who was given as a sacrifice for the world's sins once for all. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me." (John 14:6).
Spensor and I were interrupted at that point by another woman who overheard our conversation. Spensor left at that point and I began talking with this young black woman. While we were talking about Jesus and creation, another young man piped in and started sharing his views on evolution. I talked with the young man for a few minutes and shared that I don't really understand the science of evolution but have heard some inconsistencies with carbon dating. I shared with him what InterVarsity is doing on campus and asked if he would like to do lunch one day. Well yesterday we had lunch. He pursued me to set up the meeting and he was very excited. Honestly I can't debate all the aspects of evolution. I simply share the gospel because God loves us so much.
Yesterday I had another encounter with a couple of guys. I overheard them talking about sharing their faith and so I inquired about what they believe. They started talking about Jesus and the true gospel. I asked what they believed was the gospel. The shared about Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. Sounds correct to me, I though. But as we continued to talk they kept coming back to always obeying the law and the ten commandments. I inquired more about what they were sharing and asked how is a person saved? They continued to say by believing in Jesus and by obeying the law and doing good. They had many words and it was difficult for me to interject because they wouldn't stop talking. Eventually I asked for them to hang on and let me explain something to them. I said you are correct in saying that we are saved by repenting and having faith in Jesus. But as far as entering heaven and being justified by good works is not true. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works so that no man can boast. We obey the law and do good works not to be saved, but because of the work that God is doing in us through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We know we are saved because of the transforming work of Jesus in our lives. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23). We earn death (as God stated in Genesis 2-3) for our sin. But God's gift to us is eternal life in Christ Jesus. We cannot earn a gift! It is given to us freely and so we only need to receive the gift. The men I was talking with could not understand or were blind to the simple truth of the gospel. The gospel they are preaching is not good news at all as the Apostle Paul often says in his writings, because it demands that we need to do good works to be saved.
Friends, this battle on campus is over the LIES that people are believing instead of the simple TRUTH about Jesus. The gospel is the power of God, in Jesus, and that is simply what our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship - WCC community is purposefully sharing. Of the 15,000 students and faculty on this campus how many people do you think are believing these lies of evolution and false gospels like the liberty gospel, prosperity gospel, social gospel etc...? As Paul states in Ephesians 6 please pray for me and the students and faculty who are in faith standing on the rock of Jesus Christ and holding out the good news for all people.
That God would give us encouragement as we engage people with the gospel.
That God would thwart the plans of Satan to spread his lies on campus - that instead people would be open to the good news about Jesus.
That God would protect the students, me and our families from discouragement, temptations and pride - that we would be built up in love.
That we all would grow in our knowledge of scripture and in loving each other and others.
That the students would be committed to working together and meeting together on campus - that Christ is the priority!
For the African Americans on campus and the African American history class and instructor Thorton Perkins.
Welcome Day is September 15- that God would draw missional believers into our core and that many who do not know the good news would hear it and build relationships with us.
Praise to God for the work he is doing through the students and me.
I praise God for all of you too! Thank you for sharing in this ministry. We can feel and see your prayers daily!
Serving in Christ,
Week 1 of school at Washtenaw Community College has been very exciting! The students and I are constantly meeting new people and sharing the vision of what God is doing on campus and will do through all of us as we come together in Christ. A couple of us have also already had about 4 opportunities to share the gospel with students. I will also be following up with a couple students who want to continue some dialogue on the theory of evolution. I will tell you the school teaches evolution as fact and the same people who write the college textbooks, also write high school and elementary textbooks. I encourage you to educate yourself on these matters and grow in apologetics.
We've had a couple of student meetings so far. One a planning meeting along with some vision casting. We have also had a couple prayer meetings as well. Another part of our meetings is based on Acts 2:42-47 "meeting together daily in the temple courts..." accept we are meeting together daily in the food court. By establishing the biblical principles of of prayer, the word, fellowship and meeting together daily for these things, the Lord is faithful in "adding to our number daily." We are only four days into our ministry on campus, but we are praying and expecting the other part of that scripture verse... "those who are being saved."
Thank you for your continued support, prayers and interest in what God is doing at WCC.
All Glory to Jesus!
Ministry Partners, friends and family,
It is difficult to believe that the school year is upon us in just two weeks. All of the effort and perseverance in the last year has led to what will happen in the next couple weeks and into the school year. Two faculty members, about 8 students and me will be bringing the good news of Jesus to the campus of around 15,000 students and faculty. A couple of the students who attended Washtenaw Community College last year said they dreamed and prayed that God would help them to reach this campus. God has now brought us together for “such a time as this.” Christian students who once walked the campus alone saying silent prayers are now coming together on campus to be the body of Christ and show God’s grace, truth and love in Jesus Christ. It has been through our mutual prayers, financial support and encouragements that we now move on to our next step onto the campus. Thank you and please continue to pray!
For several months I wrestled with developing the vision for our ministry on campus. I asked, What is God’s heart for Washtenaw Community College (WCC)? I prayed, searched the scriptures, observed the campus and enlisted your prayers and the thoughts of students and faculty. This is the vision that we collaboratively developed thanks to the Lord!
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship – Washtenaw Community College
Is a Community of Students and Faculty who are:
Developing Ordinary People
For an Extraordinary Purpose;
Joyfully Advancing the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Now it is my goal to communicate, teach and live out this vision before the students, faculty and other staff members on campus. The vision is not just my own thoughts but it has been developed through the word of God and we know that the Word of God never returns void, but it accomplishes what God has purposed; that in hearing they may believe that Jesus is our Savior and Lord. (Isa.55:11; Eph.1:13-14).
Update & Please continue to pray for:
Official Student Organization forms… turned in.
We are waiting for the approval from the Student Development and Activities Director to become an official student organization.
Strategy: I will be taking a class on African American History & PEA-115 (fitness center) to connect with more ethnically diverse students on campus. We will also be meeting with the International Student Center on campus and asking how we may serve the students, many of whom are refugees from various countries.
Student Leadership Retreat with WCC:
Mitchell Pardo and I will be joining the WCC student clubs on a leadership retreat this Thursday. We will be meeting with many of the staff and student leaders from other student clubs. This is a great opportunity. Please pray for God’s favor for us and that we will have a “servant leaders” heart.
NSO – New Student Outreach: September 15
This is our first opportunity to show ourselves on campus. It is our introduction to the students and faculty on campus. At this point most do not know that our student organization will be on campus yet. We will have a table where students can meet with us and get information regarding InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at WCC. We will be starting conversations about where people are at in their spiritual life, do they know Jesus etc… Please pray for boldness, love, grace and truth as we seek to gently converse about our Jesus. There are so many misconceptions and hurts when it comes to the gospel. I pray that we will be a light in the darkness and that “the Lord added to our number daily those who are being saved.” (Acts 2:47 – italics my changes). Feel free to come check out the “Welcome Day” at WCC.
Financial & Prayer Support:
Interested in contributing to my ministry with InterVarsity?
Click on donate, and consider which donation option works best for you.
Once you decide look for staff member “Todd Jerdon” and make donation in my name to InterVarsity.
Please contact me with questions.
Thank you for your support!
Please pray for the students, faculty and me as we will be meeting this week to discuss establishing our student group as an officially recognized group on campus. Also pray for students who are missionally minded to be drawn to our group. Pray for those divine appointments! School starts in about a month. We have a lot to prepare! God bless!
Friends and Partners in ministry,
A great deal has been happening since I last wrote to you in June. I’m so excited to share my experiences and future plans with you and I hope that you will join me in prayer on the following items. There is so much more than I can write in an email so hopefully we can catch up sometime soon.
Staff Training – National Chapter Planters Cohort
I attended the Chapter Planters Training from June 30 – July 7th in Madison, WI. I traveled by train and bus and resided at the Best Western on the Park right in front of the State Capital. I loved the train ride and met a most interesting man who was a retired music history professor from UofM. The bus ride was not as good since I get motion sick, but thanks to dramamine I slept most of the way. The materials shared at the training were challenging and resonated with my heart and passion for ministry. I know without a doubt that this is where God has called me! There is much to accomplish as I head into my first year of ministry on campus but I am heading in with passion and optimism in what our Almighty God can accomplish in and through the students, faculty and me.
A friend shared a portion of scripture that has made an impression on me this week. It speaks very relevantly to starting a new ministry or figuratively planting.
“…blessed is the man who’s trust is the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
I love these verses! No fear, no worries and never fail to bear fruit all because our trust is the Lord! Just like a farmer who plants seeds in his field and patiently wait for a harvest, I too pray that the seeds of faith that are sown at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) will bear much fruit, fruit that will last for the kingdom of God. With these thoughts in mind please pray with me.
All summer and for the next month and a half I am asking that we continue to prayer for the WCC campus, 15,000 students and faculty. What is established as the foundational values and vision of this ministry will guide the following generations of students in the way they should go. Prayer and the Word are key to seeking God’s heart. What is God’s heart for this campus and for these people? Some of the core students and I have been walking the campus and praying for God to show us what He is up to. Earnestly seeking God’s heart takes persistence among many distractions. I purposely take myself to a solitary place to talk with God about His heart and mine. Please earnestly pray!
Would you pray for God to grant me clarity for the vision that He has for WCC? It is like a birthing process seeking God for His heart in Word, prayer and learning the needs of students. I want to communicate exactly what God desires for this ministry.
Core of mission minded students
As I have been praying I’ve asked God to specifically grant me divine appointments so that I meet the students He has chosen to help begin this ministry. Jesus did the same by praying for his first disciples as he chose them. God has answered my prayers as I have met a few wonderfully faithful young men of God. Please pray that the Lord will set more of these appointments up for me and the students. Who will be faithful to share the gospel and to live lives above reproach according to the grace God has given them?
Faculty advisor Jon Meyer
Pray for Jon Meyer who is a Philosophy instructor at WCC. He is a recent graduate student from Western Michigan University and he commutes to Ann Arbor every week for his classes while living in Kalamazoo. He is uncertain if he should continue to live in Kzoo or move to the Ann Arbor area. He loves living near home yet the available jobs are here. Pray that he will have discernment and peace as the Lord leads him in this decision. He is a wonderful asset to our ministry.
Officially recognized student organization
Pray for favor with the Director of Student Development and Activities as we seek to become an officially recognized student organization.
Welcome Day outreach and table
Our introduction to the students and faculty will be on Welcome Day sometime in September. This is where all of the student clubs and organizations present themselves to invite and recruit interested students. Pray that we would connect with and build relationships with the students God has in mind.
With the commitments that have been made for financial support I am currently at 95% of a working budget. This is the minimum amount that I need to be on campus. With 2 – 4 more supporters at $30 - $50 per month I could reach 100% of a minimum budget. However my end goal over the next month is to gain additional supporters who would add another $20,000 to reach my ideal budget. This will ensure that I have all the resources I need to continue my ministry on campus.
If you are interested in supporting me please let me know or visit www.intervarsity.org click on donate and search for staff member “Todd Jerdon.” Also visit www.toddjerdon.weebly.com for my personal updates and blogs.
Thank you for being interested in following my ministry and supporting me in whatever way God leads.
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...