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ccowsert@campusoutreach.org

2436 Rivermont Ave

Lynchburg, VA 24503

540-809-3239

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Contact Katie

ccowsert@campusoutreach.org

2436 Rivermont Ave

Lynchburg, VA 24503

703-915-9272

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Wednesday
Jun042014

Lottie Vyn Cowsert

Meet Lottie Vyn Cowsert.  Born May 26, 2014.  8lbs and 1/2 oz.  You may be wondering, "How did she get her pretty name?".  

Lottie - Lottie was named after the 19th century baptist missionary Lottie Moon.  Moon grew up in Albamarle County Virginia just before the Civil War.  Having become a Christian while studying at Hollins University, she followed her younger sister into the mission fields of China in 1873.  Lottie would live in China for nearly 40 years.  Her primary work was as an elementary school teacher and then as an evangelist to Chinese women.  During her ministry she became an innovator,  frequently writing to the states and calling for women to play a greater role in world mission.  She also became an early advocate that foreign missionaries take a home furlough every ten years to lengthen the lives, ministry, and fruitfulness of Jesus' front line witnesses.  Her greatest impact however, may have been her mobilization of Southern Baptist women to form missionary societies raising funds for world mission.  She suggested the collection of pre-Christmas donations from all baptist churches.  That collection is now over 100 years old and is the primary funding mechanism of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, an agency with nearly 5000 overseas missionaries.  Moon's leadership, commitment, and passion for Jesus led us to consider "Lottie" for our daughter.

Vyn - Vyn is Katie's middle name.  Also her mother's middle name, and her grandmothers, and was her great-grandmother's maiden name from Dutch origin.  But more than that, Vyn is  a godly lineage passed down through these wonderful women.  God has graciously kept these women for himself, both on earth and in heaven and we are thrilled to honor God's faithfulness in a fifth generation of Vyn women.

Cowsert - Lottie was born in Radford, Virginia just like her great grandmother (Anne) was nearly 100 years ago.  My great grandfather Stuart McCorkel was a Presbyterian minister in Radford before moving to Tenessee.  Anne would marry another Presbyterian minister (one of her father's interns), my grandfather Charlie Cowsert and the two of them were in ministry for nearly 50 years.  In just the last few years, it's become clear that God is still answering some of their prayers as he pursues me and my familly and draws us to himself.  We are proud to be Cowserts and we're praying that God continues to extend his goodness to yet another generation of us!

Monday
May192014

Old Staff and New Life

 

 

I don't know if you know this, but Katie and I are starting to get old (for our job).  I'm 26, and the four other campus directors in CO Lynchburg are 25, 24, and 23 years old respectively.  I've been on staff since I was 21, so when I started working in college ministry I fit right in!  This year, we celebrated our second anniversary; and our first baby is due this Thursday!  We're growing up.

One of the privileges of growing up is that I'm beginning to invest in some of our younger staff.  Over the last year or so, I've had the opportunity to begin helping other staff think for their campuses.  I've absolutely loved sharing the gospel with college students, so helping other staff reach their own campuses has multiplied my passion!  This Summer I'll begin a new role within CO Lynchburg.  I will be the Area Director for the New River Valley.  That means that one of my primary responsibilities will be positioning other staff for healthy and fruitful ministry.  My first five years on staff with Campus Outreach were probably the most transformative years of my life.  I learned how to more deeply walk with Jesus.  I learned how to help other people investigate Christ.  I learned how to mentor and shape young Christians.  And I learned how to teach the Bible.  Becoming an area director will position me to prioritize the help that I can offer our staff at Virginia Tech and Radford.  This will be the first time CO Lynchburg has ever had an Area Director; I think its a reflection of the spiritual mulitplication that has been taking place over the last 8 years.  The number of students that we're impacting has grown dramatically, and this fall we will have our largest staff team ever, 17 people spread across 5 campuses!

One of the side effects of getting older, is that I get to work with lots of emerging leaders, both staff and students.  For that reason, I haven't had the chance to share much about the new life that we've had a chance to see this year.  In the photo above, Blake Bauserman is celebrating his baptism.  I met Blake in the "Date Your Dorm" speed-dating event that we threw this fall.  He started to play dodgeball with the CO guys and eventually joined an investigative Bible study in October.  Since then he has developed an insatiable appetite for Scripture.  Since December, Blake has read the entire Bible once and the New Testament twice.  As he's read, Jesus has become the passion of his life.  Blake joined a student led Bible study this January, and all of his Bible Study came out to see him baptized at Northstar Baptist in Blacksburg (above).  I can't wait to see how God continues to grow Blake over the next three years of college!

Another cool story of God calling someone to himself came to my attention this April.  I was watching videos online from the conference "Together for The Gospel".  I came across the video that I link below.  I clicked on it because the two guys in it looked familiar.  The two guys, Billy and Caleb, tell the story of how they both ended up at a Campus Outreach Winter Retreat last February.  During that retreat, God's word made the incredible love of Christ clear to Billy.  Billy mentions the story of Hosea as powerfully impacting his life and leading him to begin a relationship with Jesus.  As I watched, tears rolled down my face.  I called Katie in to watch it as well.  You see, I had the privilege of preaching the first night of that retreat to students from Virginia and DC campuses.  I had been reading through Hosea and knew that was the message I was meant to speak on.  It had been over a year since giving that message before I learned of the impact that it had on one of the young men there that night.  Even though we've been at this for five years now, God continues to show himself in new and unexpected ways.  The grace that God gives us to walk and labor with him is truly scandalous!

Watch Billy and Caleb's Story Here!

 

Monday
Apr212014

Broken Foot and Bad Handwriting

I was pretty down yesterday after a great Easter celebration.  My foot has been broken for about two months although I just found that out on Wednesday.  As much fun as the day was, I wallowed a little bit.  You see, I'm not a big fan of time off.  I love sports, and I love working out.  A few months off will be tough for me.

I got up early this morning and spent some extended time with the Lord.  I'm reading a book about God making himself known for the good of the whole world.  As I prayed through it, my perspective changed.  It's not that I stopped caring about my foot.  It's just that I was reminded of something way more important.

God is great.  And through Christ, we are accepted by him!  It was nice to be quiet and alone with God today.

As I prayed, I started jotting down some things that I am thankful for.  My salvation, my wife, and our baby (who is due in a month!) were at the top of the list.  But what God has done here in Blacksburg and in Campus Outreach at Tech were right up there too.

I wrote out a "State of the Ministry" to summarize how God is multiplying his goodness through college students this year at Tech.  I hope it is an encouragement to you as it was to me.

Monday
Mar312014

The In-Between

Katie and I live in a crazy "In-Between" land called College Ministry.

So much of what we do is aimed at preparing college students for fruitful adulthood.  At the same time, the two of us spend countless hours in settings meant for teenagers.  Here's an example.  On Saturday, some friends of ours threw a baby shower for our little Goose!  So far, this sounds pretty grown up, right?  Heres the twist, the shower was thrown by college students and held in a sorority house (picture above)...that's the "In-Between".  As you might imagine, the "In-Between" can be hilariously awkward.  Katie for instance, gets the funniest looks as she (and her growing belly) spend time on campus.  Just last week, a group of perspective students were touring VT.  When one of their fathers caught sight of what seemed like a pregnant student, he grew visibly worried and couldn't stop staring!

The "In-Between" isn't all bad though.  As we invest into emerging Christian leaders, we get to see students mature well beyond where we were in college!  Our students are growing in responsibility and looking to meet the needs of others.  I think they'll be great spouses, business people, and church members.  This year alone, we have graduates going into ministry, sports management, graduate schools and engineering.  I can't wait to see how they impact the world!  

One part of the "In-Between" is helping students gain vision for their future marriages.  Last month, I had the privilege of being best man in the wedding of one of our alums.  His name is Mark Dunne.  Mark will be teaching high school in the Fall.  He and his wife, Bee, have already begun to invest in the youth of their church.  Please pray for them and us...and all of the "In-Betweens" that we get to be a part of!

Wednesday
Feb262014

Satisfied and Energized

When I think of all God has done the last few years here at Virginia Tech, I am so SATISFIED!  This is a picture taken of some Virginia Tech guys at this year's new years conference in DC.  Each face in this picture (with the exception of a few randos who photobombed us) reminds me of God's loving pursuit of a specific young man.  As far as I can tell, 9 of the guys in this picture have become Christians in college, and 4 within the last 6 months!  Better than that, God has positioned us to live life and follow him together.  I can truly say that I feel what Romans 15:14 says about these guys.  "I myself am SATISFIED about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another".

Yet at the same time, this picture ENERGIZES me.  When I see how true God's promises show themselves to be in this world as people live to make Him known...I feel deeper and stronger desires to help this work spread!  I think that's why Paul, after celebrating his satisfaction with God's work in Romans 15:14-19 reveals growing desires to continue laboring for the gospel.  "And Thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is writen, 'those who have never been told will see, and those who have never heard will understand".  We're satisfied by what God is doing yet also energized to see more.

That's why a "satisfied" bible study of 6 guys split up this year.  After studying the scriptures and praying together for over 2 years, one group of 6 seniors decided to break up, to make room for others.  3 of these guys asked 5 others to partner with them for the rest of the school year as they aim to share Jesus' life and story with international students at Tech.  We call this group the "International Team".  The International Team is aiming to build more student leaders while loving the often isolated international student community at VT.  Meanwhile, the other 3, and 1 of their sophomore buddies, became the "National Team", a group of 4 student leaders who are hoping to shepherd the growing number of young Christians in our ministry.  The National Team partners together to lead 3 bible studies with nearly 30 attendees.

As satisfied as we are, and as happy as we've been to partner with the Holy Spirit as he pursues our campus; this semester is one where we are dreaming of how we might best help our town grow spiritually and asking God to help us do it.