Aaron & Elisabeth Badenhop with Cru, serving at Ohio State University
“We are working with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for many reasons, but as big as any is that God used this ministry to change our lives. Our individual stories are similar in many ways. Though we both had experience in church with our families growing up, when we began to attend our respective universities, neither of us understood how Jesus was relevant to college life. So we both got into the party scene, making decisions that could have significantly impacted our futures in a negative way. But by God’s grace, He crossed both of our paths with other students involved with Cru who were authentically following Jesus, and we desired to experience what they had. Building relationships with these students and eventually being mentored by Cru staff, our passions changed and we individually felt led to serve Him by seeking to influence college students the way that our own lives had been changed.
We’ve both been working on staff now with Cru since 2004. Aaron earned a degree in history from The Ohio State University in 2003, while Elisabeth received her degree in education at Indiana University. Aaron spent his first two years after college working as a staff intern with Cru in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Elisabeth spent her first two years after college working with Cru in Freiburg, Germany.
We met in 2007 at Ohio State, when Elisabeth first reported to join the Cru at OSU staff team, and were married in March of 2009. We believe that God crossed our paths and has brought us together as a team to influence men and women on campus for Christ.”
Elisabeth is a graduate of Northridge High School and her mother is a member of River Oaks. We are grateful parents of a daughter, Brooke. We simply could not serve in this ministry without the faithful support of individuals and churches like River Oaks.
Doug & Rene Dyksen with Campus Crusade, serving at Indiana University
“We both came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior when we were in high school. Doug was a freshman at Northridge High School in Middlebury, IN and Rene’ was a junior at North Central High School in Indianapolis. Our faith really blossomed at Ball State University as we were introduced to the ministry of Cru. While in college, we were confronted with the reality that apart from Jesus people are lost and eternally separated from God. This compelled us to learn how to communicate our faith in Jesus to our peers. We were built up in our faith through our involvement in discipleship and Bible study communities. Then we were sent out with the Gospel at Ball State and through several spring and summer mission trips in the U.S. and overseas. These experiences shaped our growth in our walks with Jesus and God began to fuel a passion in us both to be a part of ministry in which we could pour our lives into others and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We joined full-time staff with Cru in January of 2006. Prior to 2006, we interned overseas with Cru in the country of Macedonia in Eastern Europe for two years and in our second year sensed God’s call to full-time missions work. We currently minister to the 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. We are trusting the Lord would make the Gospel inescapable on campus. We want to build spiritual movements in every segment of campus so that every student and faculty would know someone who truly follows Jesus. We are also trusting God to mobilize college graduates from Indiana University who are trained and equipped to take the message of the Gospel into whatever career field and part of the world God would lead them. We could not do this without the faithful partnership of individuals, families, couples, and churches. Thank you for joining with us in reaching students for Christ.
It is a privilege to be able to work in full-time missions as our career. We are blessed by the environment we are in on a daily basis. We work with a team of solid Christians who encourage us in our faith journey and in our ministry. We love being on the front lines of the spiritual battleground for the hearts and minds of students on the university campus. It strengthens our faith and compels us towards the lost and broken world around us. We also love being able to partner with individuals, couples, families, and churches, through their prayer and financial partnership, to go after fulfilling the Great Commission together in this generation.”
Emily Minnick, Serving with La Semilla Children's Programs in Little Village, Chicago
Emily serves with New Life Centers and New Life Community Church in Little Village, a predominantly Mexican neighborhood on Chicago’s southwest side. While Emily balances several roles within New Life, including Church Office Manager and Centers Donor Database Coordinator, her main passion and focus is directing the La Semilla (“The Seed”) After-School Program and Summer Camp for K-8th grade students. The holistic After-School Program includes homework help, Bible time, snacks, games, gym time and nutrition/health education. The Summer Camp includes Bible stories and games, crafts, snacks, outdoor games, field trips to Chicago-area parks and museums and 4 days & 3 nights at Dickson Valley Camp outside the city. For youth in Little Village, growing up can be very challenging: there is gang pressure and gang violence, very little green recreational space, family problems of domestic violence and alcoholism, high rates of teen pregnancy, and educational challenges due to language differences and lack of educational opportunity. La Semilla seeks to be a safe place where neighborhood children and youth can receive practical help, build positive relationships and get to know and experience Christ’s love.
Emily has been serving with New Life in Little Village for a little over 5 years. God has grown her faith so much during her time in Chicago! Directing the La Semilla program has challenged her to trust God in new ways as He has continued to take her outside her comfort zone and beyond the realm of what she ever imagined she would be doing. She has been surprised and delighted as the Lord has given her and others vision for La Semilla and has brought to completion those visions – and grown the program – in only ways He could do. Emily also has been so humbled and blessed to be welcomed so strongly and openly into a community and culture different than the one she grew up in (yes, she does speak a good amount of Spanish and that definitely has helped!). Through her Little Village neighbors and church family she has learned so much about love, community, hospitality, celebration and working together for God’s kingdom. So many hard things in Little Village make Emily’s heart ache, but nothing compares to joy & adventure of walking with the Lord and working with Him and His body to proclaim good news and “restore the places long devastated” (Isaiah 61:1-4).
Sean Murphy, serving on staff at Church Community Services in Elkhart
Sean is the Director of the Men Alive program at Church Community Services in Elkhart. A brand new program for CCS, Men Alive will work with 6-12 men in a life skills and job readiness program. For 20 hours a week Sean will help the men to overcome their challenging life circumstances and become healthy again.
Men who are struggling with chronic unemployment, recovery from substance abuse, re-entry after incarceration or other obstacles will receive love, support, teaching and practical skills training that will help them become productive members of the greater Elkhart community.
I will learn a lot, every step of the way, from the men as they learn and grow themselves. God will have many lessons for me to learn and as I see the faith of the men grow.