School campuses usually bustling with life took on a more subdued atmosphere due to Covid-19 safe management measures. Cru’s Campus Ministry team had to adapt quickly to continue engaging students as physical meetings were severely impacted.
Join Terence Koh, University Cluster Senior Team Leader and Rebecca Kwa, Polytechnic Cluster Executive, as they give us a glimpse of how life is like as campus staff the past year!
Holding the community together
Continuing to build relationships was one of the main focuses of the Campus Ministry Team as Covid-19 measures kicked in. “One of the challenges was figuring out how to engage the students, especially during the months where physical meetups were not possible. Thankfully, most students did not have much issues with online meetings so the team reorganised the style and flow of our weekly meetings to make the content shorter and more discussion-based,” said Rebecca.
Terence shared, “We as staff tried our best to meet virtually with students via videoconferencing but it was not the same. However, some level of depth in relationship-building and discipleship was developed once personal one-to-one physical meetups with the students resumed.”
Rebecca spending time with students online
Students stepping up and reaching the lost
Despite constraints, there has been growth in the areas of overseas missions and student leadership, which these leaders are thankful for. “Our greatest encouragement came from the BeyondBorders, a digital missions initiative for students. BeyondBorders gave students the opportunity to use their summer holidays to spend meaningful time growing in their relationship with God and peers, while experiencing meaningful cross-cultural evangelism opportunities. Many of these students became excited to live intentionally as a witness and encouragement to their friends around them,” said Terence.
Rebecca commented, “As a result of the need to change, the student leaders also stepped up to contribute their ideas. These opportunities helped them grow in their ownership of the ministry. Another positive outcome is that our students have grown in concern and prayer for the world at large.”
Starting the day
Terence: I start my day imagining my focus and updating my NUS staff team group for mutual accountability. The mornings are also when I attend meetings or prepare for upcoming staff and discipleship meetings or coaching sessions with students.
Rebecca: In the morning, I would usually make a cup of tea to start the day and take some time to do my daily devotions and pray through the things I have to do.
Spending time with students
Rebecca: I have been texting and meeting students online for bible study or ministry planning. Sometimes we meet physically one-on-one or in small groups. They have largely gotten used to online meetups, although some do miss physical gatherings. They are also quite stressed out by schoolwork and projects during the semester.
Terence meeting a student in person
Terence: I have weekly Zoom meetings with some year two and three students where we go through the Man of Impact material, and occasionally read Bible passages reflectively and worship together. In addition, I journey with a year-one group where we do the Christianity Explained material. I also join another year-one group to lend support to a new Spiritual Multiplier that I mentor, who leads the group, and I get to know the new students too.
I have personal one-to-one breakfast and lunch meetings with various students where we discuss their personal issues, talk about school, and share life. I also bring up topics for intentional discipleship.
Rebecca: In addition to working with the polytechnic students and other polytechnic cluster members, I also manage the Cru Campus social media accounts.
One social media campaign was “Cru Christmas Week”. I started by coming up with campaign objectives, and brainstorming ideas that would meet them. The aim of this campaign was to engage and bless our followers who are mainly between 18-35 years old, so I asked myself questions like “What would interest them?” and “What kind of items do they like?”
Terence: I was very privileged to host three webinars by great authors and speakers this year. I especially enjoyed hosting the webinars on porn addiction because it is a topic so close to heart. I'm glad to contribute in an area where intentional spaces for conversation, and practical help are provided.
There are real people who are looking for hope, not just for freedom from addiction, but hope in whether they can crawl out from the prison of shame and become who they are meant to be in Christ; regardless of their starting point.
Finding rest and spending time with family
Terence: With work from home arrangements, my wife and I get to eat and connect over meal times together. If I have a regular work schedule for the day, then, in the evening, I will enjoy dinner with my wife and do things I enjoy like watch anime, play computer games, check out movie trailers, read trending news or a book, or listen to a sermon.
During ministry peak times, there is little room to exercise regularly so I would find spots in the morning or evening to do some simple static exercises.
Rebecca: My husband and I usually have night ministry meetings or church events, so we try to grab dinner together nearby before the meeting starts. Occasionally I would head out to meet friends or disciples for dinner too.
Our time spent together is typically on weeknights after our meetings, or on Saturday afternoons. Now that we both work from home, we also get to spend time having lunch together which has been great. We usually relax by watching shows and exploring places to chill at.
As she breathed her last, Mandy’s mother told her, “Don’t cry for me.” So Mandy did just that. Growing up, Mandy was taught that “It’s a weakness to show emotions; we should thank God in every circumstance.” As she battled to suppress her grief, things took a toll on her.
We are now seeing more mid-career people join as full-time staff. This shift creates a wider pool of experience and perspectives among the staff family, which is helpful in propelling our work toward new, fresh directions to be more effective in changing times.
While our name was changed in 2013 to Cru Singapore, reaching the next generation remains a key focus of our work. What has changed though, is that our target audience has grown beyond campus.
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