On a hot and humid evening in late July, I sat in a dimly lit air-conditioned room on the campus of Slippery Rock University and wept.
I was not alone in the room—which was partly why I was crying. (These were the happy tears.) For the first time since Jubilee 2020, I was surrounded by CCO colleagues, in an actual room, not wearing masks. We were interacting with one another like we used to in the Before Times. Instead of being trapped in little digital boxes on computer screens, we were together. For real.
And on this evening, we were participating in a “concert of prayer.” As we prepared to enter into a new season of college ministry, with new organizational leadership and renewed vision, first we set aside time to look back over a hard and lonely and often painful season—for each of us personally, and for the CCO at large.
Which is another reason I was crying. (These were the sad tears.) So much has been lost since the abrupt Covid lockdown of March 2020. And yet our good God still was and is and will ever be. It was good to be still and to be reminded. And yes, even to weep.
As tears streamed down my face, it occurred to me that I would normally be embarrassed by such a public display of emotion. I was also aware that, even if anyone was paying attention to me, they likely weren’t judging me. Because…well, because.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… —Ecclesiastes 3:1-5
It certainly has been a season.
I am more convinced than ever that the CCO’s mission of reaching college students with the Gospel, connecting them to a local church, and equipping them with a vision for how to serve Jesus Christ with their entire lives is more important than ever. During this past tumultuous season, marked by death and mourning and refraining from embracing, the world needs a new generation of leaders who will plant and build up and speak Truth to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
Thank you for your continuing partnership with me in this important work.
It means more to me than I can say.
To give to my ministry: ccojubilee.org/amaczuzak or send a check to CCO, 5912 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Scenes from CCO Summer Conference 2022: