Recent Update from Abby Kirkham Iverson with Cru/Lifelines


the abby update

March/April 2018

My dear ministry teammates, 

"SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with Lifelines was a blast! Round two in the fall??" This was a text message to other students from our friend Sarah (pictured at the top of the pyramid above) after our trip with UNCA students on April 28th! March and April brought a lot of opportunities to minister to students and further our skills as Lifelines guides. Read below to hear more about individual activities and as always, thank you for your support in prayers and financial giving! I am humbled by the love shown by you all!                   - abby


March brought adventure right out of the gate! We took a group of students from UNCA on a spring break trip down to Houston, TX to do relief work with other Cru students from all over the country! From driving 32 total hours in the car, to camping out in tents, to doing humbling, yet valued work in communities around southeastern Houston, our group of students and staff felt God's hand in our activities.

I'm thankful for our time with these students and for the opportunity to hear their hearts, stories, and desires for the future. Our talks with them and the growth we saw in them are why we are in ministry! You can see our team cleaning up neighborhoods in the photo above as well as this photo to the left taken on a much earned Frosty run after a long day in the sun!  
The rest of March was spent with a lot of preparations and planning for things to come. You may recall last newsletter I told you the good news of purchasing new Stand Up Paddleboards. We got to break those out and scout some sections of the French Broad to take student trips on! The photo to the right was taken as I tried desperately not to fall in on a scouting trip with our intern Kyle (he will happily tell you I fell in once... oops!)  


April was the most exciting month for me in Asheville so far! Though many days you'll find me answering emails and preparing materials and gear for trips, April was a month of getting out on the river (which I love) and being challenged (which I need). 

Thanks to a patient, skilled teacher, Bryan Wilson, we spent four days learning how to be White Water Raft Guides! Bryan lives here in Asheville and runs his own faith based rafting business so it was such a joy to partner with and learn from him for four days! We are so thankful for his training and excited for our new (very young) skills as raft guides! These were my favorite days in Asheville and I can't wait to guide groups in the future and continue learning how to do it well to create a lasting experience for students! 
April 28th was one of our best days as a team! The beautiful weather and great group of students who joined us for a float down the French Broad here in Asheville showed us God's faithfulness to us as we continue connecting with students at UNCA. As we unpacked and prepared the boards hours before students arrived, we were all struck with how He has provided the means all year for that very trip! Our intern Kyle had the chance to write and facilitate a program of his own that encouraged students to consider the value of finding relationships that push them to grow while also seeking to lead and encourage believers around them to walk more closely with the Lord. We had the opportunity to dig into their lives while chatting on the river and celebrate a good adventure with hot, fresh pizza at the end! 
The end of April also meant some wrapping up and saying goodbyes. Our UNCA men's and women's Bible Studies each had their last weekly meeting to celebrate the end of a semester of growing, reading, and praying together. Cru students had a "mid-finals" ice cream social this past week where we were able to say our goodbyes and encourage them for their summers. We have loved pouring into the students each week and will miss them over the summer!  
We also sadly had to say goodbye to our wonderful intern Kiana who headed back to Indiana to graduate from Ball State in May and prepare for her wedding in August! We're so thankful for her time with us and already miss her joyful presence! I got to get in one last hike with her before she left (photo to the left) where we climbed the highest peak in the East! Thanks to the hike and our laughter, both our legs and our abs were hurting after that one! 

Looking Ahead

As I mentioned in my last update, I have been honored to work with our National Directors as we prepare for our summer mission, Rocky Mountain Adventure (RMA). With my gifting in details and organization, the Browns asked me to serve as Operations Director for the mission. The work for this has kept me very busy this spring as I learn how to process donations for students going on the trip, encourage them in their support raising, and keep track of the budget for the 4 week trip in Crested Butte, CO. I have loved this new opportunity to serve and am so excited to finally meet the students I've been communicating with from all over the country! I will leave for Crested Butte on June 7th! 


And personally...

For Mark & I, we are overjoyed with the coming of warmer weather and the chance to explore our new surroundings in Asheville! We've had the joy of some family & friends visiting and we look forward to more. Come see us! 

Prayers & Praises 
1. Praise the Lord for our student groups we have had opportunities to work with this semester!
2. Pray for our students at UNCA as they head home for jobs, internships, etc that they would find community there to continue walking in their faith.
3. Praise God we have 13 students signed up and raising support for Rocky Mountain Adventure Summer Mission (RMA).
4. Pray for safety and growth for those students and the staff who will be in Crested Butte, CO this summer on RMA. 
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