Gang Member Accepts Christ!

     Our family had the opportunity to spend a weekend up in Big Bear with 70 Cru high school students. Students often come to this type of retreat because their friends are going, many being non-believers. That was the case with Freddy. Freddy attends Long Beach Poly High School. There he met one of our staff, Hung, who challenged him to come and check it out. When Freddy hesitated the day they were to head up the mountain, Hung locked him in his car and said Freddy was coming with them. (Bold move, considering Freddy is a gang member of one of the oldest and most feared gangs in Southern California- the Crips.) When Freddy arrived, he openly antagonized various staff and students saying he hated white people. When our speaker, Darryl Smith, spoke on forgiveness, Freddy understood for the first time how he could be forgiven of his sins. That night, Freddy chose to put his trust in Christ, asking for forgiveness and for Him to change his life. The next day, Freddy went around to each person he had harassed and humbly asked for their forgiveness. His heart had truly been changed. By the end of the weekend, Freddy was joyfully worshipping with his new gang of friends.
     Here is the Highlight Video from that week that Matt created.


     Each year the new staff and interns come together to have more concentrated training on how to reach this next generation with the gospel. Matt got to attend this conference for the first time, being new staff himself. He had a great week building his confidence in evangelism as he took steps of faith and approached students on campus.
     He and Chrissy (Holly’s previous roommate in East Asia as well as before she got married) spent an afternoon on the UC Irvine campus initiating with students who were just hanging out. They spent some time prayer walking around the campus asking the Lord to direct their steps.
     They initiated with three students, none being interested in talking about spiritual things. A little discouraged, they headed to the cafeteria to debrief when a young girl named Mandy sat down right next to them. Chrissy initiated a conversation with her and learned that she was an international student from China.
     As the three of them talked, they learned that Mandy had no concept of God having been raised in a communist country. They asked if they could go through a tool called Soularium to learn more about her spiritual beliefs. Mandy said that since coming to America she bought a Bible and joined a Bible Study on campus. Ironically, she said they were going through it too slowly!
    She needed to head to class before they were able to share the entire gospel with her, so Matt offered her the “Knowing God Personally” booklet so that she could read a condensed version of what the Bible and the gospel is all about.
     Please pray for Mandy’s salvation! She said that she knows some of her friends in China are trying to learn about Christianity. If she becomes a believer, when she goes back, she can have a great influence among her peers.

    •    Feb 17-21 National Conference in Orlando (First fight with Carter!)
    •    Feb 25-27 Team leaders retreat (Pray for wisdom as Holly leads.)
    •    March 3-6 Wives retreat. This is a time for mom’s to come together and gain vision to stay on mission. (Holly’s first one!)
    •    March 8-29 Big Break LA (Student come from all over the US to spend spring break here and learn how to share their faith)
    •    March 12 Campus visit to UA
    •    March 19 Campus visit to ASU

     Thank you so much for your prayers and support! They are making a difference in students lives.

Matt, Holly & Carter Melton