By Tom Stillwagon |Staff Writer|
Christians at Cal State should acquaint themselves with Andrew Farison and the Campus Crusade for Christ International.
Also known as CRU (pronounced “crew”), the Campus Crusade for Christ was started in the 1950s by Bill Bright at UCLA. What started out as a small campus ministry has since grown, as CRU currently has club branches throughout the world.
Farison, the CRU president at CSUSB, did not originally intend to join the club. It was his parent’s idea.
“They were involved with Campus Crusade when they were in college,” said Farison. “I wasn’t too stoked about it but then I found the group and got involved. The people that I met there ended up being the best and closest friends I’ve kept throughout my time [at CSUSB].”
He joined the club in his first year on campus. During his second year, he was asked to take on the role of vice president.
After the previous club president graduated and took an internship with CRU at Cal Poly Pomona, Farison took the role of president.
“It’s definitely been an awesome experience,” said Farison. “Surely it can be, you know, stressful at times, but it’s definitely grown me in a lot of ways, in my faith and in my walk with Christ, but also in my leadership skills and my people skills.”
CRU meets on campus Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. in the lower commons. The meetings are structured similarly to Sunday mornings at church.
A typical meeting begins with club announcements, worship time and music. That leads into the message of the night, which is the main part of the meeting, followed by some group discussion time to reflect on said message.
“Last year we had a tradition of going to Del Taco afterwards,” said Farison. “Maybe we’ll bring that back next year.”
The goal of the club is to give lost students a Christ-centered life, which Farison takes very seriously. He noted that the club is based on the idea “win, build, send.”
“Win people to Christ, and then build them up in their faith to the point that they go out talking about Christ to other people. It kind of follows a cycle,” said Farison.
The club is responsible for hosting the popular “Free Hugs” days on campus, the most recent having taken place on Valentine’s Day last month.
“Putting ourselves out there, giving free hugs on Valentine’s Day is just a very simple and tangible way to show and express God’s love to people on campus,” said Farison.
“What’s a more simple expression of that than a hug? What more appropriate day to do that than on Valentine’s Day. It was probably the most successful outreach we’ve done.”
As a result, CRU certainly plans to continue the “Free Hugs” days tradition in years to come.
The club is open to all students, regardless of religious affiliation.
Anyone interested in checking it out is encouraged to attend the Wednesday meeting.
There are also opportunities to connect with the club at Tuesday morning prayer and worship, at 9 a.m. in the lower commons.
“We’re not a fraternity,” said Farison. “If you want to show up, you want to hang out, you’re in the group. Every student is always welcome. It’s not an exclusive group in any way.”
For more information on the Campus Crusade for Christ International visit their Facebook page CSUSB-Cru-Campus-Crusade-For-Christ.