Jeanne Cross, Duke Divinity student, shares how CBF has helped her embrace her call. Perhaps her story can help to encourage you if you are looking to find ways to plug into CBF life while exploring your call. Jeanne shares her story below as a part of a new series on CBF Young Baptists.
My name is Jeanne, and I am a CBF’er who is proud to be Baptistbaptistbaptist. This year, I will be finishing my fourth and final year in a dual-degree Master’s of Divinity and Master’s in Social work program at Duke University and UNC at Chapel Hill. Afterwards, I’d like to work in CBF anti-sex-trafficking ministry efforts long-term.
For me, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship rocks in the ways they cultivate, sustain, and support local congregational efforts to participate in God’s amazing work of reconciliation. My particular calling in God’s overarching work will involve connecting local congregations to the resilient lives and stories of folks surviving sex-trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation. My involvement at local CBF churches continues to cultivate this calling.
Last year, Ridge Road Baptist in Raleigh gave me a space to preach, teach, and minister as a year-long intern. Yates Baptist Church in Durham continues to bless me with the opportunity to build relationships, teach (and be taught by) the youth of this amazing church.
These CBF congregations, as well as others, spiritually and financially supported my mission efforts to share life and minister among girls rescued from sex-trafficking in Nepal the summer of 2010. Through a story in CBF’s Fellowship! magazine and a CBF blog, CBF congregations throughout North Carolina gave me an opportunity to share about the lessons of faith and hope that I learned from my friends in Nepal. These congregations, as well as others, raised more than $6,000 in anti-trafficking mission efforts.
In addition to a fellowship of solid congregations, CBF has blessed me with the opportunity to rub shoulders with life-giving leaders. I have had the privilege of working alongside current and future leaders of CBF through CBF’s Missions and Evangelism Task Force, Duke’s Baptist House Student Council, and an anti-trafficking service opportunity in the Philippines through Student.go. I continue to be amazed by the high caliber of folks in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the ways their faith and commitment never cease to challenge me. This year, I will coordinate the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship student chapter at Duke and continue to raise awareness about anti-sex-trafficking ministry efforts by sharing at churches and worship gatherings. I am grateful to have opportunities to give back to a faith family that continues to bless me so richly.