Photos courtesy Polly Long.
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“I was a prayer request”

Polly Long with Philip Long

I walked into my brother Drew’s room and he was playing the guitar. I picked up a book that said “prayer requests” on it. As I looked in the book, my name was at the top of the list!

It made me furious. I looked at him and said, “How could you put me down as a prayer request?!” I was mad, but at the same time I couldn’t help but see my need – I relented and burst into tears. I said, “How did you know?”

That year I had experienced betrayal from my highschool friends. It made me feel like there was nothing in life I could count on. I also had our other brother’s death informing my thinking. It was always in the back of my mind, I knew that I could go at any minute. I grew up with that thought and it made me more sober than your typical teenager.

On that day in his room it all came to a head. Drew didn’t really know where I was spiritually – I don’t think he liked the guy I was dating, and that’s why my name was a prayer request.

He said to me, “Polly, I think you understand Jesus as fire insurance but you don't understand him as Lord of your life.”

Around this time, Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) sent a man named Clyde Ulrich to our town of Chattanooga, TN. It was 1968 (I think it was one of the first Cru high school ministries). He had come to start a high school ministry at my school.

When I got connected with Campus Crusade, they took us seriously and they taught us how to read the Bible. They gave us tools to talk about Jesus and it played a huge part in helping us understand our faith. I saw other kids my age telling us what Christ meant to them. It opened up possibilities for a relationship with God that I didn’t even know were possible. (There was also a really cute guitar player who I later dated in college and then married.)

Those of us who were a part of Crusade had to give a chapel to talk to the other students, and the staff members helped us put it together.

Right before my chapel talk the rest of the class had asked us to quit talking about Jesus. I was one of the last two to go, so when it was my turn I talked about my brother’s death. I knew no one could argue with that. But that led me to talk about how we view death, and so I had to talk about Jesus.

We saw 10 out of the 50 girls in our high school class come to Christ!

Each of those 10 girls has continued to walk with the Lord. I can’t measure the impact that Campus Crusade had on us. It came at such a critical time in our lives and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Have you ever made the decision to invite Jesus to be the Lord of your life? Read more about having a relationship with God here.

Learn more about Cru’s highschool ministry here.

What’s your story? Did you become a Christian through Cru or any ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ? If so, tell us more at

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