I can hardly believe how quickly the summer is passing by! So please allow me a few minutes of your time to fill you in on some of the happenings both with ministry and personally.
Fiscal Year - Ending & Beginning...
Thank you for the prayers and generous gifts for the ending of the fiscal year in June. The Lord provided through you and covered my expenses so that I can start the new fiscal year out with no deficit! The last two years of serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship I have pretty much broken even. Each and every gift made that possible! So thank you!
For this next year, I am starting out behind again. I receive about $1800 in monthly gifts and I need around $4000 per month. The last two years special gifts at Christmas and end of fiscal year gifts have supplied my needs. I praise God for this, but I also would love to have a consistent support team that would ensure my budget is balanced. If you would be interested in supporting my ministry visit http://toddjerdon.weebly.com/support--donations.html and fill out an interest form. I would love to meet with you and explain more about what it is God is doing through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Washtenaw Community College. I have been making phone calls to set up appointments. So hopefully I can talk with you soon!
Preparations for the Fall:
Have you ever considered "what makes up your identity?" This is a question that I see in students but I have been seeking myself as well. How often we build our identity on what the crowd says about us or how we interpret what others say about us. What makes us who we are? Is it our job? A talent or skill? To better define this for students this year we will ask this question along with "what is God's identity?"
Everyone has beliefs about themselves and beliefs about God that just are not true. So through scripture we are going to ask these questions and I pray that as students and faculty seek God's identity they will find their identity in Christ!
As I have been planning for the fall I get excited about all of the ideas that run through my head, the possibilities, the opportunities, the students and faculty who will grow and who will believe in Jesus because of our witness! But I also understand that my imaginations and dreams are not always God's plan. At community colleges students are uncertain of many things: their finances, their career, their relationships, their living situations, their faith... For two years, I've seen students come and go and often I have no certainty that any students will indeed be back the following semester. This case holds true even for this fall. A student who I had anticipated being one of our main leaders has postponed her return until winter so that she can work and earn money for school. Many community college students do not want to hold any debt and so they pay as they go. Other students surprise me and though I had thought they had transfered end up showing up once school begins. At times it is discouraging for me to continue to build community with this context of fluidity. However, I still see God at work!
Over the past two years I have been getting to know several faculty members at WCC. Particularly the Christian faculty members have expressed a fear or lonesomeness as an instructor. So last semester we gathered a couple faculty together to pray for each other and offer encouragement. InterVarsity desires to RENEW the campus and faculty are a major part of that renewal. Faculty need community just as much as students. And it may surprise you but faculty have doubts and fears about their faith too. It is an integral part of my ministry to support, encourage and develop faculty at WCC as well. This is often quite challenging as they are very intellegent and ask deep penetrating questions. This does not even begin to penetrate building community with unbelieving faculty, of which I have been pursuing as well. Faculty are integral to renewing the campus! Please pray to this end!
Other doors of opportunity have been creeping open due to the seeds that have been sown over the last two years. International students, WTMC (high school charter) students, nursing students, trades and art students are also natural networks within WCC's campus community where we are building relationships and establishing small group communities.
Where will God show up on campus this fall? I watch and pray! Will you join me?
1. God will send a core of students and faculty into authentic Christian community with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at WCC who are passionate about sharing the Good News about Jesus!
2. God will grant me wisdom as I seek to set vision and develop students and faculty.
3. Isaiah 58 & Luke 19:1-(10) & Luke 14 as prayer focus for students, faculty and me.
4. That the Lord would reveal his "identity" to us more and more every day!
5. That unbelievers would "listen, see and understand" the good news about Jesus!
6. Personally: for Laina, Kysa and me as Laina will begin working only part-time by September 4th.
7. Pray for Laina as she is doing a Spring Triathalon over Labor Day weekend!
8. Pray for Kysa that she would grow into a "girl after God's own heart."
9. I praise God for all of you and your committment to read this far and to pray! :)
Personal stories of the summer:
101 ways to travel...
Prior to our vacation Laina, Kysa and me ran the Plymouth Father's Day 5k. Laina and I ran, but Kysa was in a stoller. However, Kysa did toddle the 50ft toddler dash. She had a little assistance from dad, but had a blast - as you can see! :)
Then within a week later, Kysa was beginning to walk on her own. I guess she figured I was slowing her down and she will be much better prepared for next years race. We did kind of spring it on her this time. But I'm sure she will find ways to do some training.
For our vacation we flew out to Vancouver B.C. (That is in Canada). The purpose was to visit a seminary and then check out the city sights. We traveled by plane, taxi, bus and walking while in Vancouver. It is a very beautiful city and has ocean views, mountain views, forests, beaches, cityscapes, suburbs and many multi-million and billion dollar homes! One of our favorite adventures was walking through a park and noticing a domestic rabbit. Then another... then another x about 1000! Yes, Vancouver has a location where people drop off pet bunnies that they do not want to keep. So, well... you do the math. There were lots of pet bunnies and Laina and Kysa loved it!
The main objective for our trip was to visit family in Seattle. So next we hopped the train and headed to Seattle. Once in Seattle we took another sky tram to city center where Chilhully's glass exhibit is and where Frank Gary's (Architect) music hall of fame is located. We met with Laina's sister and her husband and had a wonderful visit with them. Then later that afternoon we caught up with Laina's parents and grandmother and took a ferry to visit her cousins.
After the visit with the cousins we headed out to stay on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington state. My favorite was a walk down a trail to a water fall and looking through tidal pools. Laina found an 18+ legged sunfish! There were several starfish as well. Laina and I also went sea-kyaking and saw a seal. When we got back to land, I found that I had not brought my sea legs. So I needed some time to rest. The rest of the family enjoyed what they said was a "wonderful dinner."
The last leg of our trip was to be on a train for nearly three days! But alas, the train was delayed and they transported us by bus to Spokane, WA because of a freight train derailment. We had a sleeper car and so we slept well on the train. Kysa was also learning how to walk during this entire trip. That was entertaining and challenging as she can now escape quite rapidly! As we continued the train was delayed yet again. This time a piece of the track was warped and the inspector caught it just in time before we traversed over it. It was definitely God's hand of protection that we were not derailed!
Eventually we arrived in Chicago and then again were delayed. Train rides are comfortable but not timely. But we did make it to Ann Arbor and were greeted by our wonderful friend Melissa Kloostra who served us by taking us home.
It was such a blessing to see the northern part of the United States and see what wonderful things the Lord has created! But I am thinking next years vacation will be a bit more stationary. :)
It is official, I am heading for training in Madison, WI. I was accepted into the National Chapter Planter's Cohort with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. It is exciting starting a new ministry and I hope to paint you a picture (with words) so you can come along on this journey too.
So how do you start a new ministry somewhere, especially on a college campus? We begin with prayer. Infact it is prayer that led me (us) to begin this ministry in the first place. This isn't just my idea or InterVarsities idea, but God brought circumstances, resources and people all together for this very time. So we have a few people with a common vision to be witnesses to students at a specific campus. What next? More prayer, reading the word and looking for God's guidence. Our end goal is to be witnesses to students and faculty on campus and to share the gospel. Some people will be opposed, some will respond whole heartedly, it is not us who does the changing of hearts, but it is God's word and Spirit who work on the inner man. Lord have mercy and guide us as we continue to step out in faith. I'll continue to post on this topic.
1. The core students who will be the foundational leaders for the chapter. I have about 17 names currently.
2. Pray for an instructor on campus (who is going to be volunteering with us) to be strengthened in faith and to have a sharp mind for instruction.
3. Pray for the campus of Washtenaw, staff, faculty and students.
4. Pray for me as I prepare the vision, gather students, prayer team, donors and partners to work together for the glory of Jesus Christ!
Partners in ministry,
I have some exciting news for you regarding my fund development (FD) for the Chapter Plant at Washtenaw Community College. But first I have a specific request for you prayer warriors…Many of you are already praying for me and I thank you greatly! God has heard and is continuing to answer our prayers. What I am looking for now are people who will be on my Prayer Team. This means that I will give more updates and specific requests and hope to meet with some of you in person on a regular basis to pray. If this interests you please contact me.
Now for the exciting news!!!
IVCF’s Regional Director Fred Bailey and I sat down at the Regional Staff Conference to discuss my fund development. We identified some budget items that can be postponed until next year allowing this year’s budget to be reduced. I will still need those funds eventually, but I can do without until at least the end of 2010. With this new working budget, my most recent fund total brings me to 91%!!! Praise the Lord! I needed 90% to be accepted into the cohort by early June.
Please join me in praising the Lord for such a wonderful work that he has done through many of your prayers and generous gifts. You may not realize, but it generally takes 18 months to raise this amount of funding. God worked through our partnership to provide for this ministry in 5 months!
I will continue to work and pray through the summer to obtain the ideal budget, but this is a great relief and an amazing miracle! Please pray for and help me obtain the remaining amount that I need to fund the ministry to college students.
My current goals:
1). Obtain the last 9% ($3,877) by the end of next week for the revised budget.
2). Work toward the goal of 40% ($24,752 by the end of 2010) for the preferred budget.
With sincere thankfulness and gratitude!
“To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Friends and Family,
I am about a week away from finding out if I will have enough funding to participate with the InterVarsity National Chapter Planting Cohort. As I have previously stated, I will need 90% of the funds to be accepted into this training. Why you may ask? Part of the cohort is to have your funds available so that as a campus staff worker you can focus entirely on the students and the campus; no distractions of raising funds. There is also great training and a grant that comes with the cohort. Please pray to this end, and if you are able please consider sending in a donation within the first week of June - or (as stated in the blog below) tell me your donation commitment up until June 2011. I can count all funds that are expected until that date.
If I do not receive the funds by June 1 and I am not able to participate in the cohort, I still will continue to raise funds and prepare for campus work for the fall of 2010. My prayer is that the Lord's will be done in all of this. My heart is that He will receive all glory and that his word will be proclaimed to everyone. The Lord desires such a relationship with each of us that we will love Him with all of our Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength. Can we say that we are doing that? He gave his one and only Son Jesus that we should be reconciled to Him. Often people are afraid to share the part of the gospel that says, we deserve death and hell outside of Christ, but it is true. If a flood was coming wouldn't and shouldn't we warn people?! I am compelled to warn people, not out of a pious, self-righteousness, but out of love and concern for all people. Will you join me friends?
Maybe you didn't grow up in the church. Or maybe you have done some really bad things in your life. But don't worry or fear, Jesus paid the penalty for your sins. God wants us to "turn" from our sins. It's a word called "repentance" that you may hear Christians talking about; although not as often as once taught. When we humble ourselves before God and sincerely ask for forgiveness through Christ - then we shall be forgiven! Our lives change for the better friends when we live for Christ! Please talk to me if you would like to ask any questions.
I know I've rambled a bit here, but it was on my heart to share these things. No of us knows how long we have on earth before we die - and then eternity is sealed; either eternal life in heaven with Christ or death and separation from God. I choose Christ and pray that you all will do the same.
Enjoy your Memorial weekend!
This is an email letter from IVCF's Chapter Planting Cohort's VP. Please take a read if you are interested in knowing more details about the Cohort.
I apologize for writing such an important email to you all as a group but I thought you might want to be aware of each other to be praying for the others as you each endeavor to raise the support that is needed to fund your new chapter plant. I prayed for each of you this morning, that God would be at work in you and in your potential donors as you make connections with them this month.
As I think you know already, we made your appointment to the next chapter planting cohort provisional based your need to raise quite a bit of support this spring. We did this because we have seen over and over again that it is crucial in effectively launching a new ministry for planters to be on campus all year. When they have to leave campus mid-year to raise support, it puts the plant in jeopardy. As we come close to June, I thought it might be helpful for you and your supervisors to know how we will walk through this together in June.
Once you and your supervisor get your financial reports in early June, I would like to hear from each of you and your supervisors. The goal we set when we emailed you about your provisional appointment to the cohort is that you be at or very close to 90% of the support that you will need to be on campus full time in early June. You can count both money that is in and money that donors have indicated that they will give between June 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. You can also count the $10,000 of matching money that we are committing nationally to your support this next year and any money that has been committed to your support by your area or region. I would like to get by email two numbers from you and your supervisory in early June.
1. What amount of annual support do you need to be on campus full time in the coming year?
2. What percentage of that support is either in or intentioned by donors by early June?
At that point, we will assess how close you are to the goal and any steps that we need to take. If you are quite close to the 90% goal, we will give you time in June to raise the rest of what is needed. If you are quite a ways away from the goal, we will discuss with you and your supervisors whether or not you should continue in the cohort.
Let me know if this raises any questions. You each are in my prayers!
Warmly in Christ,
Director of Collegiate Ministries
Senior Vice President
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Update: Praise God that I have obtained 34% of my goal. Keep praying for 90% by June 1! Thank you everyone!
Dear friends and partners in Christ,
This is my first official prayer letter as I begin the early stages of my ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6. I do praise God for each of you and request that you join together in prayer for: me, my wife and family, for the campus at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) and for IVCF. It is good to pray for one another and I also welcome your requests.
It has been and is a long and difficult journey for me these past 9 months of unemployment, the application process, fund development, soon training and then planting a new ministry at WCC. God has used this time to shape my character and grow my faith and trust in him. It is no small task that lies ahead and our prayers and cries to the Lord who is full of mercy, grace, wisdom and truth are what will guide and direct my steps.
It is my desire and passion to serve the Lord by proclaiming the gospel at WCC; it is God’s will that all men are saved, but how can they believe without hearing? Romans 10:10-17
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
1 John 5:14-15
Pray with me: “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
v Fund Development and partners - who will continually walk with me and support this strategic ministry with their prayers and finances. I’m currently at 33% of my financial goal and am praying for 90% by June 1. This deadline is in order to be accepted into InterVarsity National Chapter Planters Cohort – where I will receive specialized training and some additional funding. If I don’t meet this deadline I will have to wait to participate with this program until next June, 2011. Most new church or campus chapter plants have 15% success rate; but so far with InterVarsity’s Cohort training the new campus groups have shown 85% success. The cohort training will help me to plant a successful ministry that will bear much lasting fruit – with the help of God!
v Vision - for the ministry and campus at Washtenaw Community College; that I may see and hear clearly what the Lord says are the deep needs of this community. Also that we will have the favor of God and of the campus staff/faculty and that there will be an open door for the gospel to be shared freely and without hindrance.
v Student leaders – that I would be able to discern and that God would lead the right student leaders to reach their campus. Students who are full of the Spirit, wisdom, humble, full of faith, committed and teachable; that they would be passionate followers of Jesus Christ!
v For those outside of Christ (unbelievers) - who are caught in the bondage of sin, who struggle with illness, who are lonely, afraid, hurting and lost; for them to turn from their sin and idols and turn to Christ that they would experience a community filled with those who love as Jesus loves and who will receive grace as Christ apportioned it. Isaiah 58
v Marriage & Family – can be easily neglected in the urgency and time required to care for others. Please pray for Laina and me to have the proper boundaries to guard our time together and for our family. As a leader in ministry please pray 1 Timothy 3:1-7 over me and other ministry leaders.
Closing Prayer:Ephesians 3:14-21
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Please continue to follow my progress at www.toddjerdon.weebly.com or on Facebook. I will be sending out periodic updates but always feel free to send me an email or give me a call. This is an exciting and challenging time for me and Laina and I am so glad that we don’t have to go through it alone! It reminds of a Bebo Norman song (one of Laina’s favorite Christian music artists): “Walk Down This Mountain”.
“So walk down this mountain with your heart held high
Follow in the footsteps of your Maker
And with this love that’s gone before you and these people at your side
If you offer up your broken cup
You will taste the meaning of this life”
I’ve been in a valley situation for a while now and I will soon begin the accent to another mountain top experience. God’s love goes before me and you my friends are the people by my side. Let us then continue upward together pressing on to reach the goal that God has called us to for such a time as this. Thank you!
Those interested in financially supporting my ministry can donate online at www.InterVarsity.org click on Donate and then type in my name as the staff member you are donating to; or by mail with the enclosed envelope (if you received this letter by mail). Write your check to “InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, but designate the donation to: "Todd Jerdon" in the memo line.
Please consider partnering with me on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis to help me better plan for the year with a gift of: $25, $30, $50, $100 or $200 monthly?
Todd B. Jerdon
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
Washtenaw Community College
Send Donations to:
Attn: Donation Services
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
PO Box 7895
Madison, WI 53791-9703
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...