Anthony LaRose Thank You Letter                                                       June 6, 2017

From: “LaRose, Anthony Kevin” 
Date: June 6, 2017 at 8:01:11 PM EDT
To: Joel Greenwood 
Subject: Thank You for Your Prayers & Support


First off, thank you SO MUCH! I am very appreciative of your financial and/or prayerful supporting of me this summer, as I am back in Ocean City, NJ for a second summer mission with Cru. I arrived 1 week ago today and it feels like it’s been a whole lot longer than that. The first few days consisted of getting to know 100 new people very, very quickly. Surprisingly, I’m much better at remembering names than the last time I was here. Those first few days were physically and mentally draining due to the tight schedule. There were icebreakers, meetings, and tons of fun sprinkled in between.


Last Thursday was our first day of outreach. 100 of us students and staff stormed the beach and boardwalk of Ocean City to talk to others about their spiritual beliefs. A goal of ours was to really listen and care for them well. I only had one conversation, but it was beautiful seeing God work in that one conversation. One guy had no spiritual background whatsoever, but he was the most interested out of the three guys in the group. He was excited to talk about this stuff, since he had never really talked to anybody about his beliefs. My buddy Daniel and I really focused on listening to their responses and wanted to let them know that we truly cared about what they were saying. We learned that they grew up and currently live just off of the island. The guys all started opening up by the end of the conversation. We gave them our numbers and hopefully they want to meet up again sometime this summer to play ball, skateboard, and talk about Jesus.


We also went sharing Friday. I went out to the beach with my man, Donny. We walked and prayed for about thirty minutes before we even initiated any sort of conversation. I was feeling sick and dizzy and really wanted to be doing anything else but sharing the Gospel at that time. It was so sweet to see the Lord humble me to raise himself in those times. We approached two high school guys and asked them if they wanted to take our survey. They were initially hesitant, which is normal, but began to open up along the way. One of the guys we talked to, named Alex, used to go on mission trips with his youth group and shared his faith just like we were doing. But, somewhere along the way he started to think less of his faith and didn’t focus much on it as of late. A light seemed to switch at some point in the conversation. Alex told me that I could very easily be a wakeup call via God to have him look deeper into his faith. We went through the entire Gospel in that conversation and I, again, gave those guys my number.


It’s been so cool seeing God, tangibly, use us students this past week in proclaiming his Gospel to the beaches of New Jersey. I haven’t even mentioned all the messages and lessons I’ve taken away from this past Sunday at church or from our staff during meetings. We’ve gone over some of Jesus’s parables, running the race for Christ in Hebrews 12, the Holy Spirit and his purpose in our lives, Christ’s righteousness in the beginning of Romans, how to clearly present the Gospel, and how to focus our eyes on the prize that is Christ himself.


One of the coolest things I will be doing this summer is learning how to lead by example for the other students, specifically the younger men on our mission. I am in a unique position as an upcoming Senior and Ocean City Summer Mission returner. Not many people return to the same summer mission, but I really felt like this was the place where God wanted me to be, and I’m excited to minister to not only those on the boardwalk but the very guys I will be living with for 11 more weeks. I’ve already seen my maturity, both spiritually and how I handle myself in different situations, skyrocket in the past week. The guys here are so loving and desire to grow closer to the Lord this summer and I have already had some really cool talks with a ton of the bros.


So, now you have heard a small glimpse into my first week in OC. There is so much more going on and so much detail I left out. If you want to know how anything else is going or if you want me to tell you more about something I mentioned I’d love to talk to you about it. If you are looking to know how you can be praying for me and the entire Ocean City Summer Mission as a whole, here are a couple ways: 1) Pray for my own spiritual growth and maturity as I trust in the Lord to use me as a leader and help mold these guys into the Godly men they are called to be in the scriptures. 2) Pray for all of the people we have already talked to on the boardwalk and beach that the conversations we had with them were only the beginning to a much larger conversation with Jesus. We’ve already seen answered prayers as multiple people have already accepted Christ into their hearts and prayed to receive the Holy Spirit come into their lives! AMEN! 3) Finally, that we will continue to be vulnerable and open with each other about our past and current sins. We were not meant to go through this life alone, and thank God for all of the brothers and sisters here to lean on and continually point us to the Cross.


Again, thank you all so much for your support and continued prayers. I’d love to be praying for you all as well. Feel free to email me back or shoot me a text. I am pretty busy so I may not be able to respond right away, but I will try to get to any message or email within 2-3 days. Thank you all again, and I look forward to sending you another update next week.


In Christ,

Anthony LaRose