Summer Project: A Life-Changing Summer

Summer mission trips give college students opportunities all over the world to grow in their faith, and tell others about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • by Jonathan Moynihan

Christina walked through the doors for her first day of training already nicknamed “Christina the Crur.” As she met her new Dunkin Donuts co-workers, God prepared her heart to be bold.

Everyday, the 20-year-old arrived cheerful at work, knowing that God had a plan. “I was more intentional when trying to relate to co-workers and talking with them, because I realized how much people needed to know God,” she said.

Christina worked at Dunkin Donuts while strengthening her faith and learning how to tell others about Jesus during a Cru summer project.

Summer projects are mission trips through Cru, offering students a chance to spend their summer growing spiritually, while impacting those around them for Christ.

During the summer of 2010, 3,580 college students traveled to more than 200 locations on 6 continents.

Her ever-present joy was noticeable. Roy, a 25-year old co-worker from the Dominican Republic, asked, “How are you and the others from Cru so happy all the time? There’s something different about you.”

After inviting Roy to the beach with some fellow students, Christina gave him the Would You Like to Know God Personally? booklet in Spanish. As they read the verses together, Roy began to read the Scripture aloud and started crying. He told Christina he had heard the message of Christ’s forgiveness, but gave up on faith.

After more talking, Roy surrendered his life to Christ.

Since 1967, summer projects have provided an opportunity for students to spend 1-10 weeks somewhere else in the world, growing in their faith and reaching those around them with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Students spend the earlier parts of the spring and summer raising financial support to cover travel and housing costs. As a result, many students are strengthened in their faith before even arriving at their location.

“God continued to blow me away with His power and control of the entire financial support-raising process,” said Christina. “Raising support strengthened my faith even more than I could have imagined.”

Once on location, students spend their day at job sites or campuses, followed by an evening of personal development or outreach events.

With summer projects offered all over the U.S., as well as Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, students are stretched to rely fully on God in every aspect of their lives.

“They are given a rare opportunity to develop skills, leadership abilities and character traits that will become part of the foundation of who they will be for a lifetime,” says Mark Gauthier, National Director of the Campus Ministry. “This is one of the best things a college student can do with his or her summer,” Mark says.

What Students Are Saying

  • “I got to experience how God’s love was for everyone.” – Christina (above)
  • “I really experienced -- for the first time ever -- what a community of believers is supposed to look like: discipleship, accountability, prayer, vulnerability, and loads of fun and silliness.” -- Student after Santa Cruz, Cali. summer project
  • “Summer project seriously changed my life. I learned that the Lord is not just a part of my life, but He is my life.” -- Student after Miami, Fla. summer project