Bible & coffee
Campus Coffee Break - CNU InterVarsity News
May 2010
Dear Friends, 
Its Rockbridge time again!  If you're an alum, chances are you know what that means. We're headed to chapter camp for 2 weeks in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains.  As we finish up our year preaching the Gospel and playing rounds of frisbee golf, read on to hear about the good work God has done in the past few months.
In Christ,
Eric & Beth Gambardella
Student facesClosing our 5th year on campus

"It's not over 'till the fat lady sings."

I'm not sure where we got this borderline-offensive idiom from, but I sure do know the meaning of it!  Admittedly this has been a difficult year for Beth and I.  We've had some health troubles, financial troubles, stress troubles, and various other troubles.  Things have been pretty good in the past couple of months, but as sad as we are to see our seniors graduate, there is a sense that we are looking forward to getting this year in our rear-view mirror.  Yet I learned this past Thursday at our last Large Group event of the year that the year of God doing amazing things in people's hearts isn't over until it's over.

Our last Large Group is a bit of a Senior Night.  We take some time to invite underclassmen to come and pray for our seniors as we send them out, and Beth or I always give a talk aimed specifically at those who are leaving us.  This year was no different.  I gave our seniors a stiff and encouraging charge from 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8.  I encouraged them, as Paul encouraged Timothy, to lean hard into the sacred Scriptures which are breathed out by God and profitable for correction and teaching, and able to make one wise unto salvation-as a graduate myself, I know how much they need it! I also encouraged them, again, as Paul encouraged Timothy, to preach the word, the good news of Jesus Christ when we are prepared, and when we aren't expecting the opportunity, and to watch carefully our doctrine, being sure that we do not just gather false teachers that will say the things our itching ears will want to hear-"endure sound doctrine" is the way Paul put it.

As I expected to be led in worship one last time by the students who have led this group in musical worship all year, a young woman we'll call Amy came up next to me trembling a bit and just stood there.  I asked if she was ok and if she wanted to talk about anything...Thirty minutes later I was wishing "Amy" a great summer, telling her that I looked forward to seeing her again in August.  Amy was not a senior, but Amy was confronted from the Scriptures we were studying with the nearly unbelievable good news that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!
She recounted to me her religious upbringing, and how much of it was focused on doing good and trying to please God and to make sure that you don't do or say anything that will forfeit the 'blessings' you'd earned along the way.  As she'd been coming the last few weeks, she'd realized that what the Scriptures teach is vastly different, and vastly better, than what she'd been taught about God all her life.  I could see the utter relief in her teary eyes as I spoke to her "give up on yourself...the point of the law is that you can't please God on your own...give up, and look to Christ!"
That night, I am certain, was a momentous relief for a soul burdened by the desire to please God on her own.  It was also a lesson for a campus minister who expected to give a charge, cry with a couple of seniors, and go home after a fairly uneventful evening.  Little did I know, while I was yawning, the Spirit was moving.  I love my job, and cannot wait until August!
IV Senior Class 2010
Senior Class 2010

Prayer Requests & Praises
1. Ask God to provide strength for staff during the 3 weeks of camp as we close the school year.

2. Also pray that He would use camp to renew students' minds and hearts as they head out for summer break.

3. Please pray for us and the leadership at our church (By Grace Community Church) as we change locations on June 6.

4. Praise God for 2 students who became believers in this last month of school!
Small Groups & Staff Life
As staff, we get to see things on campus with a long-term perspective-and I'm starting to be
L to R: Brittany, Colleen, Morgan, Kelly
Colleen Kramar
convinced that's how God's desires us to view our own lives. 
Since students are often only involved in our fellowship for a few years, they lack long-term vision. One of the coolest parts of our job is to help them think about how what they do now can affect the campus 5 or 10 years from now.
One of our goals in the last 4 years has been to reach out to specific communities on campus that we felt were particularly absent of gospel-centered believers.  As God provided gifted student leaders who were active in these communities, we started small group Bible studies there.  And then we prayed, waited, and watched as the Lord wooed students' hearts and drew them into relationship with Him.

Two of these student leaders have made a particularly strong impact on their communities and are now moving on to slightly different ministries.  We want to introduce you to them, and celebrate how the Lord has used them to spread His name.

Colleen Kramar is a graduating senior who has spent hours, days and nights (literally) pouring into a community of resident assistants (RA's) at CNU.  Because of her I have a new understanding of how, if you want to reach the busiest, most talented leaders in your society, you have to go to them.  For multiple semesters she had engaging conversations with other RA's while on desk duty, during events for residents, or while just hanging out.  In the fall, Colleen started a GIG (group investigating God) for any RA's who wanted to talk about Christianity.  Countless times she has been our link to parts of campus where IV would otherwise be deemed irrelevant.  Because of her, more than ever, IV leaders are daring to leave their rooms and GO, instead of waiting for others to come to us.  This fall, Colleen will be joining us on IV staff as an intern at Elon University in North Carolina!

L to R: Erin & Tori
Erin & Tori
Erin Rist is a rising senior who could be described as beautifully eclectic.
  Every time I see Erin she is either wearing about 6 head scarves - or a zombie costume.  But who else could we have sent into our theater department? Like Colleen, Erin has witnessed to other students in her community both one-on-one and by leading a small group Bible Study.  Her style is much more spontaneous ("Want to go to the beach?") and artsy, but just as honest and intriguing.  The Lord has used her to grow a strong, thriving, tight-knit group of theater-major believers, out of which came Tori and Chris- two new small group leaders for next year.  God's faithfulness in raising up new leaders frees Erin to be our Prayer & Hospitality Coordinator for the fall.  As Colleen has helped us see the power in going out, Erin is helping us become a people who are welcoming to even the strangest strangers.

Colleen and Erin have so much in common-they both have huge hearts for the lost, they both naturally go out of their way to befriend nearly anyone they meet, and they both have allowed God to push them far out of their comfort zones to speak the Truth about Christ to communities that often shun Christianity.  (All while having 2 of the most packed schedules I've ever seen.)  I can't wait to hear what God has in store for them next!
Supporting InterVarsity @ CNU
If you are interested in extending your partnership financially,
  • Or, mail a check made out to IVCF, designated for "CNU" to: 
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
Attn: Donation Services
PO Box 7895
Madison, WI 53707

As always, you will receive a receipt for tax-exemption purposes. 

About InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at CNU
CNU IVCF is an on-campus club that provides Bible-study, worship, teaching and fellowship for Christians of all denominations and ethnicities. Our aim is to be a witnessing community - a group that nurtures students' spiritual lives: maturing and growing those who are already in relationship with Jesus Christ while also teaching and pointing to Christ those who are still seeking the Truth.
For more information, visit our website at
Eric -, Beth -