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March Cru newsletter – Larry and Betty Barr

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Shelly* grew up in a family that was loosely involved with church.  She had a prayer book and a Bible, but they were written in Old English and she couldn’t understand them.  Describing herself as a “good girl,” Shelly wanted to please her parents, but she was not really pursuing God.

When she went away to college, Shelly’s campus had already earned the dubious reputation as the #1 drinking problem campus in the U.S.  Although their parties were called “teas,” no tea was ever served. Because social drinking was already a significant part of her family’s culture, the party scene easily became Shelly’s comfort zone, leading her to make some terrible decisions.

She went from being a non-smoker to smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day.  And, although she had been a clean-living girl in high school, she slipped into a promiscuous lifestyle which brought tragic, heartbreaking consequences.

It was the lowest of the low times in her life.   Her life was a mess.  Her reputation stank.  She requested to have a room by herself on campus.  In an attempt to control her destiny, she began to study books on astrology.  She admits now that, if she had continued, she probably would have ended up in witchcraft.

One evening, in desperation, Shelly made her way to another girl’s room.  Someone had given the other girl, Carol, a Four Spiritual Laws evangelistic booklet.  Rummaging in her drawer, Carol found the booklet and read it aloud to Shelly.

Taking the booklet back to her room, Shelly read it again and again by herself.   She reports, “I felt the sweet presence of the Lord come into the room and trembled as I prayed the suggested prayer to ask Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and to come into my life.  I was born again that instant! My black and white world became technicolor.”

Within just a few days a group came onto campus offering free Bibles.  Shelly grabbed one, but it was hard to read and understand.  Then one of her sorority sisters who was a Christian helped Shelly locate a Christian bookstore where she purchased an easier-to-understand translation.

Using the address printed on the back of the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, Shelly wrote to Campus Crusade for Christ requesting more information about being a Christian.  She quickly received a response, including a copy of a booklet entitled How You Can Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness.

That booklet (and others in the Transferable Concepts Series) became the backbone of Shelly’s spiritual growth.   As she grew spiritually herself, she began praying for other people and using her encounters with them to open doors to spiritual conversations.

She shares that, as shameful as it all was, falling prey to loose living in college was how she realized that she was, undeniably, a sinner.  Now she describes herself as “a happy wife, mom and grandma who loves to write, loves to pray and loves to tell people about Jesus.”

We heard Shelly’s amazing, true story when she contacted our Cru Resources office early last summer.  “Hi!” she wrote. “I received Christ long, long, ago through the Four Spiritual Laws booklet.  It is powerful!  I have found some Christian bookstores that have it, but their supplies are dwindling.  Do you plan to reprint it?  If not, may I have permission to reprint it myself?  I carry a couple with me wherever I go and am going to want an unending supply.”

Our office was happy to share the link to our website (www.crustore.org) so that Shelly could view our resources and place orders online or by phone for over 300 evangelistic and discipleship materials produced by Cru

Thank you for partnering with us to give people like Shelly the opportunity to know Christ through the resources we provide.  Like her, many are now helping others make the same wonderful discovery!

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* Shelly requested that we not use her real name or her picture in order to avoid any possibility that the details of her testimony might detract from the current ministry in which she is involved.

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