We’d like to share a story this month of one of the people we sent recently to be a new campus staff member. Here is Kate Cude’s story

The home I was raised in was kind of like a doll house, perfect on the outside, but broken on the inside. My step-dad and step-brother were abusive, and my mom neglected everything. It led me to find my identity in boys, booze, and brands. I only cared about the next party, next guy, and next best style. Every time I went to alcohol, drugs, or boys, I always left feeling empty, unsatisfied, and slightly shameful.

When I got to college, I met a girl named Haven. She was the most joyful person I had ever met, and she wanted to hang with me. A depressed drug/alcohol abusing freshman. I was confused, but I gave her time. She took me to a coffee shop and talked to me about Jesus. I grew up around church, so I kinda knew what she was talking about. She said, “Jesus lived a perfect life. He never cheated, never lied, never did inappropriate things, or never did anything wrong. He was fully man and fully God. He died on the cross and rose three days later for MY wrong doings, My imperfections. All you have to do is turn from the things that you put your identity in, turn to Jesus, and believe in Him. Do you want to do that?” I looked at her like she was crazy! I said, “No, I don’t want that.”

She didn’t give up. I probably heard that story about Jesus 30 times before I decided to really listen. I started listening because Haven lived like she had a full, satisfied life, and I wanted that. I was conflicted because following Jesus meant I had to give up some of my habits like drinking and doing drugs. I thought I had tried everything to have a satisfied life, but I hadn’t tried Jesus. So, I went for it. Full throttle, no looking back. I gave up everything to follow Jesus, and it was so worth it. He instantly took away my desire to drink, my desire to do drugs, my desire to pursue guys. He completely satisfied me.

Kate Cude on her internship in Thailand before joining Cru full time staff.

Looking back, I can say it was the first time in my life that I experienced TRUE love, TRUE satisfaction. I have been following the Lord for about 4 years. It hasn’t been easy. I still struggle with imperfections. I don’t always get life right. BUT it is so worth it. God has taken care of me financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I am so thankful for meeting Haven. I am so thankful for the Lord pursuing me the way He did. Now, I get to do for others what Haven did for me.

It’s exciting to see how God has been leading our new staff—He is so faithful and knows us so intimately!

Recently Steve’s Campus Ministry team of national HR leaders got together to work on some of our plans and challenges as we send, develop and care for our staff in the coming year. These wonderful friends share a rich history of ministry and passion to serve our staff well. We also got to go out blueberry picking and come back to one staff’s house for a blueberry bake-off. Steve’s group that baked a blueberry pie won a very close competition! (See the pictures above)

Sending Young People Changed by Jesus