Recent Update from Abby Kirkham Iverson with Cru/Lifelines


the abby update

January/February 2018

My dear ministry teammates, 

Already 2018 has shown Blue Ridge Lifelines to be an exciting, crazy year! Each week has brought new blessings, challenges, and opportunities for our growth and development as a ministry team! Thank you for being a part of this movement in Asheville, NC. We could not be making progress for the Gospel here without your prayers and support. Read on to see what God is doing through you! 


Soon after the new year began we were joined by our Spring intern from Ball State University, Kiana Dundore (pictured on the right). Kiana has been such an amazing addition to our little team and we love having her (especially me, who is enjoying having another lady on the team)!

In early January I also had the opportunity to go to Dallas for training in a new role I have with the summer mission I'll be on this summer! More to come on that in the next update!

This may just seem like a big mess at first glance, but to the Blue Ridge Team it was so much more. In January we received our 12 beautiful Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP for short)! Paddleboarding is an exciting way to explore rivers or oceans while also challenging yourself in balance and strength. We had been working with donors to gather the funds for these SUPs in hopes of having Spring 2018 trips on the French Broad River in Asheville. The Lord provided those donations and we already have two SUP trips planned for April!
You may remember in the last Update I mentioned our work with Warren Wilson College. WWC is a tough campus for sharing the Gospel with most students being very opposed to Christianity. We had the opportunity through our intern Kyle (who is a student at WWC) to meet with a small group of believers. These four students and one professor meet weekly to talk about their faith and how to share it on their dark campus. We joined them in January for a semester kick-off where we ran a program called "The Grid" which explores the ideas of truth and grace and how we view them ourselves, within our relationships, and with God. We also got to climb a little (pictured right, I am belaying a student, LeAnn)!


As a part of spreading the word about who we are and what we do, we attended several college fairs in February. At these we talked to students interested in the outdoors about going on summer missions, volunteering, and interning with us for school credit! 

You might recall in November of 2016 I attended a Lifelines training called "Facilitator Guide School". Lifelines runs these programs once a year to train Lifelines guides, Cru staff, and anyone else interested in the art of program facilitation. This year it was hosted in Black Mountain, NC just minutes down the road from us. I had the pleasure of sneaking over one day to refresh on my facilitation skills and see my friends on Lifelines staff who were in from all over the country! Kiana had the opportunity to attend the training so she will now be ready to create and facilitate programs with groups this spring! 
Though Scouting Days have been far and few between in these cold, busy months, the team is still getting out there and finding hikes, climbs, and river stretches that will work well for taking groups on trips! Pictured to the left is a team outing with visiting Lifelines staff, Jim Doenges from the Colorado Lifelines team (Jim, Peter, Abby, Kiana from left to right, Kyle not pictured)! We loved having him in town and sharing a classic Asheville view, Looking Glass Rock (the rockface behind us in the photo)! 


We have had the joy of continuing to cultivate our ministry on local campuses like UNC Asheville, Warren Wilson College, and Montreat College. At UNCA we attend and run programs at the weekly Cru meeting one to two times a month. Additionally we have weekly men's and women's Bible studies at UNCA! At Montreat College we continue to reach out to students and are talking to several outdoor education majors about interning with us in the fall! 

Last Thursday we ran a program with UNCA Cru on temptations. Students were told to write down 5 words or phrases they associate with temptation. Then in groups they sorted their words all together and shared with the larger group. We then had a discussion on what we learned. Students talked with each other about sin, temptation, and what God says about our struggles with them. When facilitating programs like this, we aim to create an experience that causes deeper insight and questioning and ultimately leads to life change in our relationships with God and others! 

Looking ahead

The team has a lot to look forward to this Spring that I'd love for you to know about! Most immediately we have a Spring Break trip with UNCA students down to Houston, TX to do Hurricane Harvey relief work. We will be traveling and working from March 10th to March 18th. 
Also we have several trips lined up for March and April, both Stand Up Paddleboarding and White Water Rafting with campuses around Asheville and Johnson City! We are grateful for these upcoming opportunities to spread the Gospel through outdoor experience! 

Prayers & Praises 
1. TIME SENSITIVE: March 10th - 18th Spring Break with UNCA students in Houston, TX. Please pray we would have a safe week of service and students' hearts would be stirred to love like Christ does. 
2. Praise the Lord for the opportunities we have to serve the campuses who are coming on trips with us this spring!
3. Pray for our small group Bible studies going on at UNCA, that students would grow in their faith and bring friends to the group!
4. Praise God for the ways He has provided for our teams needs through donors! 
Partners in prayer and support, I'm incredibly grateful for you! Please let me know how I can be praying for you or celebrating in life with you! Never hesitate to reach out and know that I care for you deeply. Your part of this ministry is so clear to me!  
                                                                    - abby
abby iverson
lifelines guide & facilitator