Russell Dietrich

Russell and Megan Dietrich. Russell is with Illini Life Christian Fellowship a campus church that reaches out to college students at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Illini Life is a member church of the Collegiate Church Network and partners with Great Commission Ministries. Russell has a blog at russelldietrich.com.

Latest News

Mon Apr 17 12:37:55 2017

Hello everyone!

Megan and I hope this month's prayer letter (attached below) finds you well. Easter weekend has just passed, and we're both so grateful for the amazing news of Jesus' death and resurrection. We were blessed with the opportunity to lead our church this weekend in worship, and share in a couple meals/potlucks with our church community as we remembered the amazing price Jesus paid on the cross, and His victorious resurrection three days later.

Besides Easter, the Cubs haven't been playing well, so I'll spare you my monthly sports update. Let's just say they seem to be having a "World Series Hangover." They'll shake the rust off, and I'm confident in May I'll have 3 paragraphs worth of good things :)

We love and appreciate you all! Thanks for supporting us.

In Christ,
Russ & Megan

Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Thu Mar 16 15:52:52 2017

Oh, I just discovered I'm a month behind, so first here is Russell's February note:

Hello everyone,

Russell Dietrich here sending along my prayer letter for the month of February. The sports and weather worlds are kind of quiet right now, so I don't have much by way of "quippy intro." So we'll just focus on the letter!

This month's letter (attached below) elaborates on a group in our church that doesn't get much attention: "The Tentmakers." These are the non-students in our church that are on mission with us full-time staff as we reach out to the campus of the University of Illinois. I'm excited to highlight them, because they play a huge role in our ministry.

As well, I'm continuing to raise support. I've hit 15% of my goal to raise $1,250 of new monthly support, which has been very encouraging! If you're in a place to start giving monthly or increase your monthly giving, it would be a huge blessing to Megan and me. If you can't give, would you take a moment and pray that God would provide the new support. Your prayers make a tangible difference (no joke).

If you're ready to give, you can do so by clicking here.

Other than that, we hope you have a great month, and we'll talk to you in March.

God bless,
Russ & Megan
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Then here is Russell's March Newsletter:

Hello everyone! Russell here writing with my prayer letter for the month of March. I want to give a special welcome to new readers of the newsletter, and say thanks for signing up! I hope it's a fun and informative read for you each month.

With March Madness in the air at the U of I, I can confidently say this is the most excited I've been about a bracket since the Illini almost won the National Championship back in 2004. Many people don't know, but I was born in Evanston, and grew up a couple miles south of Northwestern so it's been exciting to see the Cats make their first NCAA Tourney ever! I'm very guilty of being a bandwagon fan, but I'm ready to paint the town purple and root on the Cats. I don't see them beating Gonzaga...but wouldn't that be nice :)

Other than college basketball, I have a prayer letter attached that includes a recap of a missions conference I got to participate in. And it has some highlights from the weekend!

Megan and I are grateful for your friendship and partnership, and we'll be looking forward to talking again in April :)

Go Cats (don't tell the Illini),
Russ & Megan
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Feb 8 15:31:18 2017

See a Christmas card from the Dietrichs.

Wed Feb 8 13:51:37 2017

Hello everyone,

Russell Dietrich here writing with a prayer letter for the month of January! It's a good thing that "being punctual" wasn't one of my New Year resolutions, because this letter is 5 days late. I apologize.

But, better late than never, especially because of the exciting updates and prayer requests you'll find inside this month's letter. I wanted to specifically mention that after 5 years, Illini Life has updated their website!!! I had a major role in this endeavor, and it is where I spent a lot of my work hours during the semester break at University of Illinois. The update was long overdue, and I'm super excited for it. With the University being such an internet-savvy campus, illinilife.org is one of the primary front doors to our ministry. Please visit by clicking here, and while you're there, would you mind saying a quick prayer for it's effectiveness to the new people that come across it?

In my letter you'll also see my brand new Support Thermometer. Taking a page from most NFL stadiums I have a couple letters out to Buffalo Wild Wings and Capri Sun to see if they would be the "official sponsors" of the Thermometer, but they haven't gotten back to me for some reason. The thermometer will be tracking my progress as I work towards raising an extra $1,250 of new monthly support. And you'll see that 6% has already come in, which has been super encouraging and motivating (thanks to you who increased!).

I would appreciate your prayers during this season of raising support, because no matter how long you do it for, it never stops feeling awkward and intimidating.

Well, this is turning into a second prayer letter, so I'll stop here! Thanks for reading, thanks for praying, and most of all thanks for being such supportive friends and family. Megan and I couldn't do this work without you :)

Sincerely,
Russ & Megan
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Dec 17 11:57:48 2016

Hello everyone! I hope this letter finds you well. Out here in Illinois, it is literally freezing, and I'm constantly worried that I've lost a toe without knowing it. The Christmas cheer is keeping us warm, as is the distant memory of a baseball team's recent world championship :)

This month's prayer letter isn't the most "Christmas-y" but rather it is an important update on where we're at financially as campus missionaries. So for those of you that support us monthly, yearly, or are considering starting for the first time, this will be a helpful letter for you to see ways you can help.

I wanted to highlight that if you're in a spot to increase your monthly giving, or want to join / re-join my ministry team, this is a great time to do so. I'm currently $1200 short of my monthly recurring gift goal, so any new support would be an incredible blessing. If, financially, you're unable to give, would you prayerfully consider connecting me with someone you know who would like to support a campus missionary?

To increase your monthly giving or to join the team for the first time, please visit: www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich

Megan and I are very grateful for your support and prayers, and as we enter into a season of intentional support raising, I would just ask that you pray for us. It's a challenging endeavor and we will be deeply relying on the Lord's help.

Have a merry Christmas and we'll see you in January!

Russ & Megan

Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Nov 16 16:54:33 2016

It's funny to think that this time a month ago, I was writing to you about Game 1 of the NLCS featuring the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. And, my oh my, how far have our dear Cubbies come! Well (if you've been living under a rock) they finally went all the way, and won their first World Series in 108 years! I figure many of you (non-Cardinal fans) are buying World Series gear like hats, t-shirts, koozies, commemorative prints, etc. So I thought, why not make a commemorative World Series Prayer Letter? It's attached, and it is glorious.

Speaking of prayer letters, I guess I should actually talk about it. This month's letter (attached below) has an update on a new "membership class" we are implementing as a church, and a prayer request in relation to our worship ministry.

To close, I am indeed thankful for the Cubs winning the World Series, but I'm even more thankful to have people like you supporting me and my wife as we work to reach the U of I campus in the name of Jesus. It's hard work, but knowing we have a team of people behind us keeps us motivated! So we'll be thinking of you and thanking God for you on November 24th.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
Russ & Megan

Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Oct 18 13:49:56 2016

Hello everyone!

You might be wondering: how in the world is Russell disciplined enough to be sending a prayer letter during game 1 of the NLCS featuring his dearly beloved Chicago Cubs? Well, Jon Lester on the mound has calmed my nerves enough that I can do a little multi-tasking. (And let's be honest, baseball can be pretty conducive to doing work in the background.)

Baseball aside, it's another month, and that means another prayer letter from your local neighborhood campus missionary! This month's letter (attached as a pdf below) gives you a recap of our Fall Retreat – which is personally my favorite yearly event that we do as a church. So I especially love sharing about what happens every year!

Megan and I hope you know how much we value your support and prayers. Your generosity makes it possible for me to do ministry full-time and it is making an impact on our campus. We appreciate the sacrifices you make to partner with us, and we really couldn't do it without you. So from the bottom of our hearts: thanks!

We'll see you in November!

With love,
Russell & Megan

Wed Sep 21 14:18:07 2016

Hello everyone. Well I can confidently say we're entering into fall (are you supposed to capitalize seasons?) – mainly because I'm just getting over my "annual" get-sick-at-the-end-of-the-summer illness! Also, all of the drinks at coffee shops are starting to be infused with pumpkin and spice :(

Nasty drinks and illnesses aside, I'm excited to be sending along my prayer letter for the month of September! In it, you'll find an update about our Sunday service (which is pretty exciting), and an update on Megan's job search (no spoilers)! So please read and pray for us when you can.

Something I didn't get to mention in my prayer letter, is I started to play tennis this summer. Admittedly, I'm terrible, but I used my newfound interest in the sport as an excuse to join the Tennis Club at U of I. Would you pray that me being in this club leads to me making some friendships with non-believing students. Being "not a student" and "terrible at tennis" may present some road blocks, but I'm ultimately praying for some Gospel opportunities and conversations. And I won't hate it if I learn to serve like Djokovic... (or Roger Federer if you don't know who that is) Pray for me when you can!

Sending our love from Urbana!
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Aug 16 10:20:16 2016

Hello from Columbus OHIO everyone. Though it pains me that I had to sleep overnight in the same town as "the" Ohio State University, it's nice to be only 4.5 hours away from our sweet home in ILLINOIS! That's right, Megan are on the road returning from Adirondack Leadership Training (LT) in Silver Bay, NY.

This month I'm excited to get to share two prayer letters with you! One is my normal letter, with some personal updates from the summer and for the Fall. BUT! In addition to that I have a beautiful LT prayer/update letter that was designed, compiled, and edited by one of my wonderful co-staff, Michelle Bedker, who is a campus missionary at University of Pittsburgh.

The ADK LT Prayer Letter is a great overview of the summer, and I hope you'll take the time to read it, so you can familiarize yourself with the work I've been doing in the summer for the past several year! (even if it means you skip my normal letter ;)

Well, I'll leave it at this, so you can get to reading! Megan and I are very grateful for your support and prayers, and we'll talk again soon.

In Christ,
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Jul 20 16:50:56 2016

Hello everyone! I hope this prayer letter for the month of July finds you well. It's been a good couple of months. Megan and I are back in Silver Bay, NY working on staff with the Collegiate Church Network's Leadership Training program for the summer. It's my fourth and her second. We've been here for 4 weeks and we'll be here for another 4, and then it's back to Champaign, IL in mid-August.

My letter has an LT update and some prayer requests for our last four weeks here!

In the wide world of sports, it was also great to see approximately 41 Cubs play in this year's All-Star Game. We can only hope that they continue their ascension of greatness to that ultimate goal which I will not name for fear of jinxing ;)

Other than that, Megan and I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July, and we're so grateful for the time you spend reading our updates and praying for us! We can't do this work without you.

We love you guys,
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat May 14 16:38:20 2016

Hello everyone! Russell here, reporting live from the University of Illinois, and I have some exciting things to share with you this month. First and foremost is the monthly prayer letter. It's attached below as a pdf! I got an update in there about a student I asked you to pray for in December, and some other good stuff.

In addition to the prayer letter, I wanted to share this amazing video that my friend and co-worker Alan Hable put together for our "Celebration Sunday" service. It's a beautiful re-cap of the year for Illini Life, and will give you an insightful picture of the work you're supporting through your prayers and your financial giving.

And lastly (speaking of financial giving) the missions organization that you all support me through (Reliant) has completed the update of their website!!!!!!! The site looks beautiful, and is going to be such a wonderful asset to all of us missionaries, working in the digital age.

Click here to see the new site, and enjoy exploring!

To close, similar to last year, I will be taking a break from writing for the month of June. But I will be back in July ready to update you with much vim and vigor. Until, let's hope the sun keeps shining and the Cubs keep winning!

With love,
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Apr 16 10:18:31 2016

Hello everyone!

I hope you're enjoying some warm weather wherever you may be reading this from. Champaign-Urbana finally broke the 70s today, and it's been beautiful and warm. Megan and I are excited to finally remove the plastic wrap off our drafty windows.

Like a breeze of warm spring air, I'm sending along the breeze of
my prayer letter for the month of April :) In it you'll find a collection of prayer requests, one for our small groups in the fall, another for my humility in ministry, and a third related to Megan's job search. We hope as you have time and are feeling led, that you'll pray for us.

We're grateful as always for your support and friendship, and we'll be excited to talk again in May. Let us know if there are any ways we can pray for you.

Besides that...Go Cubs!
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Sun Mar 20 18:56:34 2016

Hello everyone,

I write to you on the evening of the third Super Tuesday (you'd think they'd come up with different names for them), and Illinois finally got to have their primary. It was fun for Megan and I to walk to our polling place together and vote as a married couple (we tried to share a ballot, but for some reason the election judges said "no." ;)

It was an honor to participate in our civic duty, and I was telling Megan that every time I vote I'm reminded of how amazing it is that we live in a country where the President peaceably steps down for someone new to take over every 4 or 8 years. It's easy to take for granted how special this is.

Politics aside, I got a prayer letter for you all (attached below). This month I cover the "Speaking Seminar" which we put on in the end of February, and share a prayer request about Megan's job prospects post-graduation. We appreciate your prayers, especially during times of uncertainty, and we hope you'll pray for us when you can.

Other than that, the high today was 72º, which has me feeling a little sweaty and very happy to send this along to you! We'll see you in April.

With love,
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Feb 17 14:20:41 2016

Happy 1/2 Priced Chocolate Day everyone!

I hope this month's prayer letter finds you in good spirits, good health, and enjoying some discounted Valentine's Day candy.

The focus for this month's prayer letter is a new initiative I'm starting of called Artist Bible Collective (or ABC for short). In a few words, it's an attempt to reach out to students that are a part of the School of Art & Design at Illinois (which is my direct Alma mater – it's the college I graduated from). I've had a heart to reach out to artists for about 2.5 years, and it's finally happening, so I'm super excited. In the letter I get into a bunch of details about it, so I hope you'll read.

We also have a Facebook page, that you are welcome to "Like" as well. :)
https://www.facebook.com/artistbiblecollective/

Before I go, I wanted to pass along a link to my latest sermon. I taught on "The Concept of Covenant" in our Epic of Eden series that I wrote about last month. Your prayers made a huge difference, and the sermon was a big success (it wasn't boring! Which is a relief, considering the subject matter runs the risk of being dry). I hope you'll take some time to listen.

For sermon audio, click here. Once on the page select "Launch Message Player" and then my sermon is from 2/7/16 and is called "The Concept of Covenant."

Alrighty, that's all for this month! We'll see you in March :)

Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christu

Wed Jan 20 10:38:06 2016

Happy Friday everyone!

We are four days away from the University's semester starting, and the excitement for us on staff is growing at the same rate with which students "back-to-school-dread" is growing :) I kid, I kid!

Here at Illini Life, we have been planning out our semester schedule, and I'm really excited about what we have coming down the pipe. In my letter I highlight the sermon series that we'll be kicking the semester off with – which I'm heavily involved with, and I have some other goodies in there too. Illini Life will also be ordaining our third pastor at our first Sunday service! His name is Casey Summers and he's a great friend of mine and a godly man of character. It's exciting to see him taking this next step in his ministry.

Please be praying for us during these critical weeks of re-connection, and please pray that God would bring new students in our path during the middle of the school year. And please pray for me specifically as I reach out to a couple of new students I've been able to connect with.

Stay warm, stay dry, stay happy!
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Mon Jan 11 16:33:31 2016

First of all here is the Dietrich's Christmas Card.

Then there is their December email below that got lost in my mailbox for a while:

Well, it's been in the mid-60's all week, and you know what that means! It's Christmas time!!! With temperatures like this, Santa might need to re-locate his North Pole operations....to Mars? It's cold there right?

But in all seriousness, it is that time of year again, and Megan and I are super excited to be sending along this month's prayer letter (attached below), because we both love Christmas! Trimming our tree, making cookies, and decorating oranges with cloves – we love getting into the festive spirit, and celebrating one of the most important days of our Christian calendar! Emmanuel, God is with us, and He invaded earth in the form of a Child named Jesus! And we get to celebrate together with you all. We're so honored.

We hope you enjoy our letter for this month, and I wanted to let you know that I updated my personal site http://russelldietrich.com, to be little more acknowledging of Megan (because we're married), and a little less of a blog, (because I don't blog). So give it a visit – unfortunately it looks bad on a phone, but looks nice on a laptop (I'm still trying to get with the times).


We love you all a ton, and we truly do wish you a very Merry Christmas :)
Russ & Megan

--

Campus Missionary with Reliant

www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Fri Nov 20 19:01:57 2015

Hello everyone, it's the 15th, and that means it's time for a prayer letter. I'm attaching it below as a pdf.

My heart is feeling heavy as I send along this month's letter, because I'm sending it at the end of a week that has been marked with tragedy and heartbreak across the entire globe. I haven't fully known what to say, so I wanted to include a quote from one of our students at Illini Life, because I think it sums up my heart better than I could myself. The student's name is Sarah Weldy, she is a junior in Linguistics, and she's in my Home Fellowship. Here's what she posted:

In light of all the horrible things going on in the world -- from Mizzou to Paris to Kenya to Baghdad to the ongoing plight of refugees from Syria and to the children dying because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... I really needed this reminder: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:12).
Here's to loving harder, praying harder, encouraging one another harder, giving harder, protecting each other harder, and praying for the strength to love our enemies.

This month's letter touches on some of the good happening in our church, and with our family back home in California, and I hope it provides a bit of respite from the seemingly endless bad news we kept getting this week. Megan and I love you all very much, and we hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving.

In Christ,
Russ & Megan
--
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christu

Thu Nov 5 16:30:58 2015

See a thank you from Russell and Megan.

Fri Oct 16 15:49:03 2015

Hello everyone, This month's prayer letter (attached below) is fully loaded with extra positivity, because something amazing happened in my life personally. That's right! The Cubs won the NLDS for the first time since 2003!!! (I was 16 years old!) I hope their victory over the Cardinals has been as invigorating for you as it was for me. And hopefully by next month, we'll have even more exciting news to write about the Cubbies ;) If I could, I would have spent my whole prayer letter talking about the Cubs, but that would be irresponsible. Instead I have a pretty big prayer request for the young men of our campus - who is one of the hardest demographics to reach out to for the sake of the gospel. I also have some prayer in there about discipleship and our Fall Retreat. We're almost at the half way point of the semester, and I can say honestly that this has been one of our most successful semesters since I've been in I-life (way back in 2007). There is a good momentum and optimism in our ministry and I'm excited to see ways that God continues to grow and stretch us. Thanks as always for your prayers, and I'll be excited to write you in November! Go Cubs, Russ (& Megan (who is now a Cubs fan. Sorry San Diego)) -- Campus Missionary with Reliant www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Sep 23 16:56:47 2015

Hello everyone!

Russell here, writing to you with my September Prayer Letter (attached below as a pdf). I'm excited to report that we are no longer knee-deep in cardboard, but rather we're knee-deep in love and happiness as we have settled in to our new apartment. The only thing missing now is a sofa, which we (stereotypically) bought on Labor Day, but it won't be arriving (it seems) until Thanksgiving (I'm exaggerating...but it feels like forever).

In light of our "BIG" move into our "FIRST" home, we wanted to share with you a video tour of our cozy little apartment. We don't get to be physically close to many of you, so this is probably our only chance to give you a tour. We hope to host many students in your name – and already in just four weeks of living here, we've had 3 students over for dinner, hosted a "Colbert Late Night Debut" showing party (per a student's request), and hosted a "Bears v. Packers" party. We've had a blast so far cramming in as many students as possible for fellowship and to build community around different media spectacles!

So without further ado, here's a link to the HOME SWEET HOME VIDEO TOUR!

We hope you enjoy it, and we miss you all a ton. Thanks again for your generous support of Reliant Mission (not GCM remember?!?!) on our behalf, and thanks for your prayers. We'd love to pray for you if you need anything.

Talk to you in October!
Russ & Megan


Russell Dietrich
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Fri Aug 21 19:06:21 2015

Hello everyone! Megan and I are officially back in Champaign-Urbana. And we are officially re-acclimating to a nasty thing called "humidity" which doesn't exist much in the mountains. And I'm officially very happy to be emailing you my prayer letter for the month of August (it's attached below).

A wise man once said, "Changes; that's just the way it is." That man is Tupac, and for me, this month, "changes" are especially "the way it is." So below, I have some new info for things that have changed – mainly my "electronic" mail and my "regular" mail (we moved!!!!).

New Email!
russell.dietrich@reliant.org (please don't spam me ;)

New Mailing Address!
703 W Nevada St. Apt. #1
Urbana, IL 61801
(we love mail! and are very open to receiving care packages from our moms)

New Wife!
Name: Megan Christine Dietrich née Gerber
Birthday: July 27
Favorite Holiday: Fourth of July

Besides all the changes, it's exciting times back home at Illinois. Megan and I are pretty much all unpacked in our new apartment! (I'll be sending out a video tour of it next month! Which should be fun.) We're also both getting ready for a new semester to start, and we're excited to have your prayers as we begin to reach out to students at the Illinois campus. With the sudden resignation of our Chancellor, this should be an interesting semester for our campus, so please keep all of us in your prayers.

Lastly, Megan and I are trying to build a habit of praying together nightly, so please let us know of your prayer requests...so we have things to pray about ;)

We love you and we'll talk to you in September!

Russell Dietrich
Campus Missionary with Reliant
www.reliant.org/russell.dietrich ~ Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Jul 21 16:48:40 2015

Hello everybody!!! I have to be honest, it was very refreshing taking a month off from the prayer letter, BUT it was also very weird... Fortunately the break is over, and I have a fresh pdf prayer letter for you attached below. Since I've last written I've gotten married, driven from California to Urbana to New York and have been living in Silver Bay, NY for the past four weeks! It's been a crazy time.

In honor of our marriage, I also re-designed "our" prayer letter, because it's no longer just me who is the "campus missionary" but Megan has officially signed on to be my "life partner" which means she's giving the monthly contribution of hugs and kisses for the rest of her life :) She's a great ministry partner!

In all seriousness, Megan is in fact a great ministry partner. Since we've been in New York and she's taken a break from school it has been cool to see her take to discipleship like a fish in water. Last count I had she's been mentoring and loving on at least 6 women who are participating in LT. It blows me away how natural she is at discipling young women, and how much these young girls admire and respect her in such a short span of time! I'm a proud husband, and hopefully you don't mind a little gushing.

It makes me cherish your financial and spiritual support all the more, because I know that your support of me is going to help me support and encourage Megan as she volunteers her free time as a grad student during the school year, and out here at LT. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that two are better than one, and I'm getting a first hand look at how true it is!

We love you all, and we'll write you in August!
Russ (& Megan)
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries // Reliant Mission
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat May 16 08:46:36 2015

Happy Friday everybody! It's your local campus missionary, Russell Dietrich, writing with my monthly update :)

This month's attached prayer letter celebrates baptism and marriage. In it I share a little bit about how I had the privilege of baptizing my friend and roommate, Mark Holmes. AND! In 15 DAYS I'm getting married!!!!! Wow. Hard to believe. In the letter I give you all a little update about our post-wedding plans for the summer.

After we get married, Megan and I will be heading out to the Adirondack State Park to help facilitate and run the Leadership Training program in Silver Bay, NY. It'll be my third year in a row, and it'll be Megan's first year. We're really excited.

I wanted to let you know that I'll be skipping the month of June for sending a prayer update, just because of timing with our honeymoon, traveling, and other stuff. So, you'll hear from me in July! And hopefully this prayer letter will have a fresh new look :)

Until July, Megan and I would love your prayers over our marriage, over our travels this summer, and for safety and stability with our car as we travel from Illinois to New York (our vehicle has required several repairs, but should be okay to get us through the summer). Please pray that as we start a new family that we'd have open hearts and an open home to the students and other people in our midst as we learn what it means to be ministers together. And that we'd be a picture of Jesus' love to each other, and to those around us. Megan is such a blessing to me, and I'm excited to see what God has in store for us after May 30th and beyond.

See you in July!
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries // Reliant Mission
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Apr 18 16:11:07 2015

See his Christmas Card.

Wed Apr 15 20:33:42 2015

Hello everyone,

April is here, and with it comes the changing of the seasons! All of the brown grass is turning green, and all of the trees that overhang over my street are beginning to bud their little green leaves. And it's not just the local flora of my neighborhood that's changing! I'm excited to share with you about a "name change" that my missions agency is currently going through.

That's right! GCM (or Great Commission Ministries) is changing their name to Reliant Mission. Below I have a brief message about the name change, and as normal, I have my monthly prayer letter attached as a pdf!

Before I head off, I want you to know that nothing else is changing: my church remains Illini Life Christian Fellowship, my association remains Collegiate Church Network, and I, personally am still 100% committed to our mission of reaching college students with the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the University of Illinois. I'm excited to now be a "Reliant" missionary, and I couldn't be more thankful to have you as a continued partner in prayer and support. Alrighty, here's a brief message about the name change:

GCM—Our Mission Agency—Is Adopting a New Name.

For those of you who have financially supported us for many years, you've given each month towards Great Commission Ministries (GCM) who partners with Illini Life Christian Fellowship. GCM is the critical piece that helps make ministry at I-Life possible: providing strong financial accountability and missionary care – so you can give with confidence.

GCM is sending announcements that they are changing their name! In 2015, GCM will be known as Reliant.

We're excited about the new name: it reflects how we are all dependent (Reliant!) on God as we take risks to give our money and lives for the gospel. Nothing happens unless God shows up!

Some could wonder if Reliant will still be committed to the Great Commission. We want to assure you that they are more committed than ever, and have seen growth over the last several years that has really expanded their impact for the gospel.

Important: if you give automatically via LifeLink (credit card or bank direct debit), you don't need to make any changes to your giving. The ministry account and fund number remain secure and exactly the same. Eventually you will see "Reliant" appear on your bank statement. If you give via paper check or via your own bank billpay, we ask that you start making your gift out to Reliant starting in May. The address remains the same. Check gifts need to be switched over to Reliant by July 31, 2015.

Okay, I'm back! Please let me know if you have any questions! My number is 773-329-3710. Feel free to call me directly, and I can help field any queries you might have about this change in names :)

See you in May!
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries / Reliant Mission
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Mar 25 20:32:25 2015

Welp, the brackets have been set and once again, the University of Illinois is nowhere to be found in this year's March Madness tournament. Even more sad (is that proper English?), there are NO teams from Illinois in this year's tourney. Which is totally unacceptable.

The best thing to do in order to take our minds off of this is probably to read my attached prayer letter for the month of March!!! In it you'll find an update about a seminar I'm teaching, and a re-cap of a sermon I just preached addressing "party culture."

Your prayers for our campus are greatly needed and greatly appreciated – so I hope you know that. I'm grateful for your support of GCM on my behalf, and I'll be excited to write again in April. Until then, please take care and enjoy some excellent (Illinois-free) college basketball :)

Hoops there it is,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Mon Feb 16 15:11:18 2015

Hello everyone! It's Russell here. I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. It is the 15th of February (aka the day all the candy goes half price), and that means I have a new prayer letter for you! As promised, this month's letter focuses mainly on my new fiancée, Megan Christine Gerber.

To whet your appetite, I'm including some fun questions below that didn't make the cut for the final interview. To read the full-length interview, please see "page 2" of the attached pdf prayer letter.

Other than that, I'm so grateful for your continued support of GCM on my behalf, and I hope you're staying warm. As of writing this, it's 7º in Urbana. Brrrrrrrr!

Fun Questions with Megan G
Favorite Color: Red
Favorite Book: Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Favorite Musical: Funny Girl
Favorite Actress: Babara Streisand
Shoes or sandals: Shoes
Thing You Love the Most About California: The Ocean
Thing You Love the Most About Illinois: The Seasons
Most Attractive Thing About Russ: His puppy dog eyes, and his ability to make friends where ever he goes
Most Annoying Thing About Russ: He leaves things open (refrigerator door, cabinets, drawers)

There you have it! See you in March!

In Christ,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Thu Jan 15 12:48:40 2015

Hello everyone,
It's hard to believe, but students will be returning to campus in less than 5 days. Illini Life will be jumping in to the deep end of campus ministry as we continue to reach out to the University of Illinois with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm excited to continue building up the next generation of Christian leaders, and I'm really looking forward to the Spring semester. I'll be excited to see how God chooses to use I-Life in the coming months.

My attached pdf prayer letter this month doesn't focus too much on campus ministry work, but rather has two major personal updates. So I hope you'll be able to read and keep me, my family, and my new fiancée in your prayers as you can.

If you're caught in the polar vortex, I hope you're staying warm, and I'll be looking forward to writing again in February. Until then, God bless, and please let me know if I can pray for you.

In Christ,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Dec 17 11:35:17 2014

Hello everyone! I'd like to wish you all an early Merry Christmas! It's hard to believe it, but for Cub fans, Christmas has come early today with the official introduction of Jon Lester as one of our starting pitchers. Hopefully this time next year, I'll be writing with tear-filled eyes about our first World Series in over 100 years.

But I'm getting distracted! We have more pressing things to discuss like this month's prayer letter – which is attached.

The theme of this month's letter is mainly concerned with giving you an update on my financial situation as a support-based missionary, and explaining several ways you can partner with me and GCM financially.

One way I'd like to highlight is the opportunity to become a "monthly" partner. Because of several circumstances (which I cover in the attached letter) I'm in need of raising $300 of new monthly support. That means finding people who can commit to giving monthly, and help me along my way to being sustainable as I minister to college students full-time. Would you consider giving a regular gift of $25, $50, or $75 a month?

If you decide you want to give, please visit this link here and set up your giving today.

I do hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See in 2015!

Sincerely,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Nov 19 18:00:32 2014

Hello everyone!

I'd like to wish you an "early" Happy Thanksgiving.

Like normal, you'll see my prayer letter for the month of November attached as a pdf. This month's theme is "outreach," and some of the challenges my small group has been experiencing this semester. I hope you'll read it, and take a moment to pray for us. As we definitely need it!

I don't mention this in the prayer letter, but I'm preaching tomorrow morning at Illini Life on the topic of Resurrection: Forever. So I'll have about 35 minutes to cover all of eternity and then some. No big deal ;)

It's an obviously daunting topic, so please pray for me and my church as we study 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 22 together.

And please let me know if I can pray for you. Your generous support of me as a GCM missionary for I-Life always makes me feel so grateful, and I'd love to pray for you in return. I can't do this work without you!

Happy Turkey Day and Go Bulls! – football season is over :'(
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Oct 15 15:08:30 2014

It's strange to be writing this late in October, and the Kansas City Royals are still playing baseball... I'm not sure if many of you are baseball fans, but for me it's been cool to see the Royals make a playoff run. Hopefully it'll be time for the Cubbies to do the same next year.

Hopefully sport updates and better than weather updates for you, but regardless it's ministry update time!!! Attached you will find my prayer letter for the month of October. This month I focus on the worship ministry that I direct, and a cool opportunity we got to participate in. As well as an answered prayer!

One thing I wasn't able to include in the letter is that starting Nov 2, my church will be doing a three-part sermon series on the Resurrection. It's a sermon series that I conceived and will be helping to write, execute, and preach. It's sort of the next level in my progression as a preacher. I want to ask for your prayers as we prepare to teach on one of the most important truths of our faith: that Jesus not only died for our sins, but rose again three days later proving Himself to be God and defeating death itself! How amazing that through faith in Him, we can share in His resurrection.

Come November, I'll give you a more full update on how it all went!

Thanks again for the support and love. I hope you're doing well, and please let me know if I can pray for you in any way.

Much love,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Sep 17 14:01:55 2014

Hello Friends, Family, and Partners in Ministry,
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm riding high on the Bears victory that just transpired, and I send along this prayer letter with the jubilation of an amazing comeback win over the 49ers!

Football aside, I'm excited to send along my prayer letter (attached below). In it, I will be updating you about one of our key outreach ministries called Connect Group, and I will also be giving you an update on the three guys that will be my roommates this school year.

Before I go, I wanted to share some statistics I learned about from a presentation that was given by the Office of the Dean of Students to the Religious Workers Association. As of this year, only 8.3% of students surveyed had participated in a religious or interfaith group. Of that 8.3% only 3.5% identified as leaders. A whopping 73.5% declared that had not been involved with a religious group during the past year. Even more staggering over 35% of students on campus are identifying as having no religious faith. U of I currently has about 42,000 students enrolled this year, which means that over 14,000 students are identifying as having no religious faith.

These statistics were challenging to see, but also encouraging, because it's makes Jesus words ring all the more true: "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

So please join me in asking God to send out more workers, and please continue to pray for me that I'd be faithful with the students he entrusts to me.

I'll see you in October :)

With love,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Mon Aug 18 16:54:56 2014

Hello everyone,
It is still feeling surreal, but I am back in Illinois! After two months in New York I have returned to the wonderful Midwest. I do miss the beautiful green mountains, but it is really good to be home. For instance, I ate at Portillo's today (a Chicago classic) and I'm feeling very full in stomach and heart.

Besides eating Italian beefs and chopped salads, I'm also sending along my prayer letter for the month of August! In it you'll find a little reflection, an update about LT, and some prayer requests. As always, I'm so thankful for you and your generous support of GCM on my behalf. I hope you enjoy the update, and I would appreciate any and all prayers as I enter into my second year on staff.

Please let me know if you have any prayer requests, and I'll talk to you in September :)

Sincerely,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Wed Jul 16 20:24:32 2014

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful July. I'm writing to you from the Silver Bay YMCA where I am part of the team that is putting on the Leadership Training program (LT). We have officially reached our halfway point, and this month's letter is about some of the key leaders I'm working with this summer, and different ways you can pray for us and our group.

Thanks as always for your continued support of GCM on my behalf. Your support allows me the opportunity to minister to and disciple college students in very deep and powerful ways – all for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Speaking of GCM! I wanted to quickly mention that GCM has released their annual ministry report for 2013 this past month. This year's edition is totally digital, so you won't be receiving a copy in the mail. Please follow this link to read about all the exciting work God is doing through Great Commission Ministries and missionaries like me. It's called "Growth & Impact."

Next time you hear from me I'll be back in Illinois! Please keep in touch and let me know if there are any ways I can pray for you :)

Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Fri Jun 20 20:33:43 2014

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful June so far.

I'm writing from Upstate New York in the Adirondack Mountains, where Illini Life is participating in LT (aka Leadership Training) this summer with two other churches from the Collegiate Church Network.

I'll be staying at the Silver Bay YMCA until Aug 11! If you'd like to snail mail me I'll include my address below, and if you let me know, I'd love to send you a postcard :)

RUSSELL DIETRICH - EMP
87 SILVER BAY RD
SILVER BAY, NY 12874

Otherwise, my pdf prayer letter is attached, and this month's theme is "LT"!!! I'm going to take on the daunting task of explaining what exactly LT is (which can be surprisingly challenging).

Thanks again for your support and prayers and please keep in touch this summer! I'll be excited to update you in July about how God is working this summer in New York.

Much love,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Mon May 19 18:13:44 2014

Hello all :)

I hope you're having an enjoyable May thus far. This Sunday is graduation for many of our seniors and graduating masters and doctoral students at Illini Life. I'm going to be able to attend a couple ceremonies – which I'm really excited about.

It's a bittersweet time of year, because we get to send off well equipped young Christians who are ready to continue growing in their relationship with Christ and sharing it with others. But we also have to say goodbye to people that we have developed close bonds with. In the end though, it's good to be sad, because it means real relationships with Christ were developed and hopefully the friendships will continue long-distance.

As usual, my monthly prayer letter is attached as a pdf. I'm so grateful to have your prayers and support of GCM on my behalf. It means a ton to me.Please let me know if there are any ways I can pray for you! And I'll be talking to you in June.

God bless,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Thu Apr 17 22:35:56 2014

Hello everyone,
I'm writing two days earlier than normal, because our staff team is heading off to that beautiful mitten in the north (Michigan) for our annual Collegiate Church Network Staff Conference.

This is a 3 day retreat for all staff across the country to come together to get re-envisioned for campus ministry, get re-connected as a national movement, and get re-charged by having a little fun and blowing off some steam together.

It's one of my highlights of the year, and I'm really excited to go! Please pray that it is a beneficial time for me and the rest of the Illini Life staff as we prepare to do our final push here in the end of April/early May. I'm really hoping God uses it give me a fresh encounter with Him and His word, and that my spirit would be re-invigorated by the time.

As usual, my prayer letter is attached as a pdf, and please let me know how I can pray for you!

Take care,
Russ

PS. I think I used the suffix "re" a little too much :)
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Mar 15 16:42:58 2014

Hello friends, family, and partners in ministry.

Even though I currently live about 130 miles south of Chicago, it still makes me happy to see that they're still dying the ole' Chicago river green every year. And you know what a green river in Chicago means? It's Saint Patrick's Day! So I know, I'm early, but I hope you have a fun holiday. Maybe eat some Corned Beef and Cabbage? My mom used to dye the meat green for us (delicious?)

Holidays aside, I'm sending along my prayer letter for the month of March. It's attached as a pdf below.

As well, I wanted to link you to the sermon I preached back on March 1st. I asked you all to pray for me, and it went really well. I got some encouraging feedback from students, and I even witnessed people in our church taking steps to confront their own bitterness.

To listen: please follow this link to find our sermon player and look for "Church People: Bitterness - Russell Dietrich - Saturday Night Grace - 3/1/14." And thanks for praying!

Besides that, I hope you begin to enjoy the impending spring weather, and thanks as always for generously supporting GCM on my behalf! As you'll see in the prayer letter it's making a difference :)

See you in April,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Feb 18 23:10:02 2014

Hello Everyone,
Happy belated Valentine's Day. I hope this ministry update finds you well. As usual, my prayer letter is attached as a pdf. Please let me know if there are any ways that I can be praying for you.

In addition to my prayer letter I wanted to pass along two videos that I created over the past month. They are both "promotional videos" for a summer program we do called LT (or Leadership Training), which I've talked a bunch about over the year. I'm going back again this summer, and this year I'm helping with recruitment. A big way I do that is by making videos. With my background as a graphic designer and artist, it is fun for to flex my creative muscles and get a chance to do creative work for my church. I hope you enjoy them, one is silly and one is more serious.

ADK LT 2014 Promo - Silly Version
ADK LT 2014 Promo - Serious Version

Thanks for supporting GCM on my behalf, and I hope you know I appreciate all that you do for me with your sacrificial giving and sacrificial prayers. It all makes a difference, and allows me to be a full-time minister at the Illinois campus!

See you in March :)
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Fri Feb 14 19:51:34 2014

See Russell's Christmas Card.

Sat Jan 18 23:16:17 2014

Hello partners in ministry!

Attached you'll find my pdf prayer letter for the month of January.

Students are resuming classes on the 21st, so we're in high-gear preparing for their return and the beginning of the spring semester. A new semester brings with it a lot of optimism and excitement.

Please keep me and Illini Life in your prayers as we continue to share the gospel of Jesus with the U of I campus. And pray for the students in our ministry as well, that they'd have a fruitful semester – both academically and spiritually.

I'm very honored and blessed to have your support of GCM on my behalf. I hope you know that the sacrifices you make to support me are making a difference down here in Champaign-Urbana (and beyond).

Much love,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Dec 14 18:01:39 2013

Hello Partners in Ministry,
It's snowing here in Urbana, and I can't think of a better setting to be sending out my prayer letter for the month of December.

I hope that as the Holidays are approaching you aren't too stressed and you're finding time to connect with family, friends, and other loved ones.

As usual, my prayer letter is attached as a pdf. Please pray for me as you can, and as always, let me know if there is any way I can pray for you.

Have a very Merry Christmas for unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. What great news!

Peace and joy,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Sat Nov 16 20:17:26 2013

Greetings friends, family, and partners in ministry,

Here is my prayer letter for the month of November (attached as a pdf). As I'm sending this letter along, I want to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm extra thankful this month as I'm reminded of how your generous support of GCM on my behalf, allows me to pursue the call to full-time ministry that God has placed on my life. Without you I couldn't be a full-tim campus missionary!

So please know that I'll be thinking of you all this Thanksgiving as I reflect on the things I'm grateful for. I hope you're well, and please let me know of any ways I can be praying for you.

Don't eat too much :)
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Oct 15 22:45:28 2013

Hello friends, family, and partners in ministry,

Russell Dietrich here with Great Commission Ministries and Illini Life Christian Fellowship. I am writing with my prayer letter for the month of October. Within you'll find an update about my Home Fellowship, a re-cap of our Fall Retreat, and a specific prayer request for me. The prayer letter is attached as a pdf.

I hope this email finds you well, and please let me know if there are any ways I can pray for you. Just click that ole' reply button and send it my way. It'd be my honor to do so. See you in November!

Apple cider and pumpkins,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff // Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich // Nos stulti propter Christum

Tue Sep 17 21:47:52 2013

Hello friends, family, and partners in ministry,

It's your friendly neighborhood campus missionary! (Well, I guess I don't really live in your neighborhood, but I am friendly.)

Anyhow, I'm writing today with my prayer letter for the month of September which is attached below as a pdf. There are some encouraging updates and a handful of stories within.

One thing I wanted to encourage you to do was follow Illini Life on Facebook. We do a good job of updating our Facebook feed as a ministry, and it's a great and easy way for you to see what we do on the day to day. Click this link here to find us on Facebook, and like us to get updates in your news feed.

And just so you know, this isn't a "church-wide" initiative to get more "likes," it just occurred to me that some of you might want to know what's going on more than once a month, and this is a great way to keep up to date.

Other than that, I'm very grateful to have your support of GCM on my behalf. Just this month it has allowed me to interact with hundreds of new students, and start friendships with about ten of those students that have been getting connected in my specific small group. Hopefully these relationships will continue to develop and we'll see these young people grow up into mature disciples of Jesus. Please pray for me and for them.

Talk to you in October!
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich

Sat Aug 17 17:24:07 2013

Hello Partners in Ministry,
It has been a whirlwind these past couple days. I left Silver Bay, NY on the 11th, drove several hours to Buffalo, stayed the night, and then drove from Buffalo to Champaign, IL (it took over 14 hours!!!). Along the way, I saw the Baseball Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls, which was pretty fun way to end my summer.

I have arrived in Champaign, moved into a new place, and had my first "staff meeting" as an official Illini Life staffer. It's been hectic, and I'm looking forward to settling down and resting for a couple days before the semester starts. But despite the tiredness, I'm feeling very blessed. Blessed to be fully supported, blessed to be back with my church family after being away for a year, blessed to have had such a positive support raising experience in Chicago, and super blessed to have experienced such an amazing summer out in Silver Bay, NY.

This month's prayer letter is a re-cap of the Adirondack Leadership Training that I helped facilitate this summer. There are some exciting stories and prayer requests (if I do say so myself) so I hope you'll read it.

Other than that, I have moved to a new place, so I have a new "personal" mailing address – if you want to send really big cookies or funny postcards. It is below:

Russell Dietrich
711 W Nevada St
Urbana, IL 61801

Other than that, I'm consistently encouraged and grateful for your support of GCM on my behalf. It's humbling to have your vote of confidence and I'm excited to have my first real semester on staff with Illini Life. Please pray for me and I'll talk to you in September!

Sincerely,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich

Wed Jul 17 22:13:45 2013

Hello Partners in Ministry!

Attached you will find my pdf prayer letter for the month of July. I'm feeling very blessed and excited to write you this month, and I hope my letter will bring you some encouragement.

As always, I hope you know that I'm super grateful for your support of GCM on my behalf! I couldn't imagine doing this without you, and I thank God daily for the sacrifices you make to support me financially and through time in prayer!

Lastly, since I'm done support raising, no more quick stats :( But hey. That means shorter emails for you to read right?? haha.

I hope you're having a great July and I'll touch base again in August.

Oh! And before I go, my missions organization GCM is going through an address change. Please take note of that information below if you need to send any correspondence to GCM's offices.

Address Change!
GCM in Orlando is moving its offices to a new larger facility and the mailing address for your gift is changing!
Before August 1: P.O. Box 7101 Winter Park, FL 32793
As of August 1: 11002 Lake Hart Drive, Ste 100 Orlando, FL 32832
GCM will automatically change the address on its giving envelope, but please double check! We wouldn't want a gift to go missing. Your support means so much to us.

God bless,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich

Mon Jun 17 22:27:30 2013

Hello Partners in Ministry,
I'm writing to you all from a little hotel in Syracuse, NY. Myself and 4 other staffers from Illini Life are heading out to Silver Bay, NY to participate in the Leadership Training (LT) program I have told you all about in months past. Which means...

God has answered our prayers and brought me to 100% of my initial support goal for GCM!!! All of my giving has been pledged, and I will be spending my summer out at the YMCA Silver Bay. My role will be to help facilitate our LT program, which is an 8-week intensive disciple program. This summer we're going to help students grow in their relationships with Jesus and grow in their practical ministry skills (evangelism, discipleship, bible study, etc). On a heart level, my desire is to see these young people grow in their love for Jesus and continue to build on their existing Christian foundation. I want to see these students grow up into "life-long" disciples of Jesus, and summers like these make a huge difference. There will be about 30 students there from both University of Illinois and Michigan State. I-life is sending 13 students. Needless to say, it's a super cool opportunity for me as a campus minister. Please pray for us! In July, I'll give you a more "robust" LT update, and specific prayer requests.

Here are the final quick stats for support raising:

I've been support raising for 265 days
God has provided 107 financial partners, 51 special gift partners, and 125 prayer partners
Which has brought me to 100% of my goal!
Over 50 churches are represented by the different people giving!

Thanks again for going through this support raising journey with me! I'll be excited to give you updates about LT and the different students that I'll be interacting with. All of this is possible because of your generous support of GCM on my behalf, so please know that I am grateful, and very practically, your giving makes a huge difference in my life.

Two quick notes to end:

My summer mailing address is:
Russell Dietrich - Emp
87 Silver Bay Rd
Silver Bay, NY 12874
If you've made a pledge to support GCM on my behalf, please sign up online at http://www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich

God bless,
Russ

P.S. As always, my prayer letter is attached as a pdf which you can view in your browser or by using Adobe Reader.
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/russell.dietrich

Tue Jun 4 22:57:47 2013

See a thank you from Russell.

Fri May 17 15:39:01 2013

Hello Partners in Ministry,

Russell Dietrich here, with my prayer letter update for the month of May. Unfortunately, the Bulls just lost their last game in their playoff series against the Miami Heat, so I'm writing with a heavy heart. Those beat up Bulls showed a lot of guts. Very proud of my home team. Anyways...in other (more pertinent) news: I'm still support raising! I'm finishing up with month seven and beginning to look out towards month eight. As you'll see in the letter, I'm currently 13% away from finishing with "initial support raising" which means I could be released to campus by the time summer starts. There are 15 days left in the month of May, so I want to ask you to continue to pray that I finish by the end of May. I'm not sure of the "how" but I know God is fully capable to do it. Please pray that He will bring in the last of my support.

Here are the quick stats for the month:

I've been support raising for 235 days
God has provided 94 financial partners (that's almost 100!), 50 special gift partners, and 112 prayer partners
Which has brought me to 87% of my goal! Only 13% left to raise.

As always, my prayer letter is attached as a pdf which you can view in your browser or by using Adobe Reader. And I want to continue to say "thank you" for being so generous with GCM on my behalf – with your finances and also with your hearts. It has been fun to spend time in Chicago and be around people who support me. You guys are always faithful to ask me how I'm doing when we run into each other, and it means the world to me. The road of raising support is very very difficult, but having a team like you always keeps my chin up and motivates me to keep going. Very appreciative of you all.

Enjoy the weather and I'll see you in June,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich

Mon Apr 15 17:53:15 2013

Hello Friends in Ministry!
I'm excited to write you this month, because God heard our prayers and provided in a huge way. Last March, in my previous prayer letter, I requested that you would ask God to bring me to 75% of my initial monthly support goal. And...God provided! I reached 75% the day before I prepared this letter.

During my time support raising I have had to learn to be okay with the times when God says, "no." But it always exciting to see Him answer specific prayers in the affirmative. So, I wanted to say thank you so much for praying for me. I feel so blessed to have a very robust team of ministry partners who do pray for me, and check in and send encouraging notes. I have been blown away by how kind you all have been to me through this process. It's been very humbling, and has made support raising with GCM a real joy. I hope you'll see that God does hear our prayers – which is something that I can have a hard time believing. And what a great testimony it is to our Father's provisional nature!

Here are the highlights for April:

PRAYER REQUEST HIGHLIGHT / ACTION POINT
As I mentioned above, I have reached 75% of my initial monthly support goal. So I have 25% left, and I want you to join me in asking God to provide this last chunk by the end of May. It's a tall order, but I know that God can easily provide if it's according to His will.
With this request in mind, if you haven't come on to the ministry team as a "monthly partner" would you consider partnering financially today? I have a real desire to return to campus, and there is an exciting opportunity for me to pursue this summer with Illini Life, but I will only be able to make it with your help. If you are already giving or if you have committed to pray for me, would you set aside a couple moments this week to lift my request up to God and ask on my behalf.

A major reason why I am making a push to finish in May, is because I will have an opportunity this summer to work in New York at the Silver Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks. Our church network puts on a 8-week program called Leadership Training, and it is "a summer-long program for believers who desire to be transformed into people who impact their world as they live out their faith." Illini Life currently has 14 students heading out this summer, and I hope to join them as a staffer to help train, mentor, and minister to them as they dedicate a summer to God in the hopes of seeing Him dramatically change their lives. I participated in an LT in 2009 (some of you supported me to go), and it was very transformative for me, so I would love to have a chance to multiply into college students this summer, and encourage them in their walks with Christ, and join them in sharing the gospel with those around us at the YMCA. So that's why I'm praying for May, and I really do hope you'll join me in asking God to provide the means to do so.

QUICK STATS

I've been support raising for 204 days
God has provided 85 financial partners (so cool!), 44 special gift partners, and 100 prayer partners
Which has brought me to 75% of my goal – a 14% jump this month. God is being super generous.

As always, my pdf prayer letter is attached below. Please pray for me when you can, and I hope it's an encouragement to you. Please let me know if you have any prayer requests.

Looking forward to connecting again in May! Please let me know if there are any ways I can pray for you. And here are instructions on how to set up giving online, if you are interested in coming on as a monthly partner:

Go to www.gcmweb.org/give
Select my fund, by searching my name (Russell Dietrich) in the search bar. My fund number is 7402.
Choose "Give Now."
Choose "Regular Giving"
Create a new GCMID to log in. Use a valid e-mail address and your own password.
Add your banking (debit) information or credit card information
(Tip: Automatic giving via direct debit through a checking account reduces administrative costs, so I would recommend that)
Choose "Complete" or "Update" to confirm.
You're done!
Return to www.mygcm.org at any time to stop, start, or change your giving.

With love,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries

Mon Apr 1 01:17:00 2013

Hello friends and partners in ministry,

It's your friendly neighborhood campus missionary writing this morning to wish you all a very Happy Easter! I hope you have a great time celebrating this day that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. And if you live in Chicagoland, I hope you're enjoying the long-awaited warm weather :)

Thanks for all the support and prayers over these past months! I feel very blessed to be able to share an email like this with you all. To end, I want to leave you with one of my favorite passages of scriptures concerning Jesus' resurrection. It was written by the Apostle Paul around the year 55AD to a church in the city of Corinth (located in modern-day Greece). Here it is:

"But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead."
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (NLT)

He is risen,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
Hello friends and partners in ministry,

It's your friendly neighborhood campus missionary writing this morning to wish you all a very Happy Easter! I hope you have a great time celebrating this day that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. And if you live in Chicagoland, I hope you're enjoying the long-awaited warm weather :)

Thanks for all the support and prayers over these past months! I feel very blessed to be able to share an email like this with you all. To end, I want to leave you with one of my favorite passages of scriptures concerning Jesus' resurrection. It was written by the Apostle Paul around the year 55AD to a church in the city of Corinth (located in modern-day Greece). Here it is:

"But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead."
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (NLT)

He is risen,
Russ
--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries

Fri Feb 15 22:35:04 2013

See Russell's February prayer letter.

Mon Feb 4 21:51:47 2013

See Russell's Christmas card.

Wed Jan 16 01:01:00 2013

Hello everyone! Russell Dietrich here, writing with my prayer letter for January!

It can be easy to get into a "routine" of saying thanks to you all every month. But I hope you know that my gratitude is not mindlessly habitual, but rather, fresh every month as I think about your generosity. Whether it's through financial support or through spending time praying, it's very humbling to receive and makes a difference in my life.

Here are the latest stats:

I've been support raising for 113 days
God has provided 48 monthly financial partners, 30 special gift partners, and 47 prayer partners
Which has brought me to...44% of my monthly support goal! Incredible!

It has been a great month. I'm closing in on the half-way mark and I would ask for prayer for the second 50% because it tends to be harder to raise.

This month, I wanted to focus less on myself and more on the students that I'll be serving. So this month's prayer letter is kind of like a "Student Special Edition." I'm including two things:

I made a video that interviews three of our students from Illini Life, and I ask them about how God has used Illini Life to impact their walk with Jesus. You can view the video by
clicking here.
In the pdf prayer letter I attached, on page 2 I have an interview with one of our former alumni, David Andersson. I talk to him about his experiences with Illini Life as well. (You can view the pdf in your Internet browser or by using a pdf viewer like Adobe Reader.)

My hope is that these interviews will be an encouragement to you as ministry partners and a testimony to the effectiveness that we're having as a campus ministers. It's also fun for me to hear what students think so I can grow in my abilities to serve them.

Thanks for praying for me and I hope God blesses you this New Year! See you in February!

Russ

PS. A point of business, if you've given to GCM during 2012 whether through a recurring gift or a special gift you will be receiving your "End of Year Statement" between Jan 15 – Jan 30. Click here to find out more.

--
Russell Dietrich
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries

Tue Dec 18 20:59:42 2012

See his recent letter.

Sat Dec 8 16:07:12 2012

Hello Monthly Ministry Partners,

You are receiving this email, because you have made a financial
commitment to partner with me on a monthly basis. Giving monthly is the
_most_ proactive and effective way to partner with me, and without you
and your monthly support I couldn't do what God is calling me to do at
the University of Illinois. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Your generosity makes a HUGE difference in my life.

The reason I am writing is because one of my monthly supporters has
offered up this challenge to you all:

They said that if I could get *5* of my monthly givers to give a
*special one-time* gift of *$100*, he would match that total with his
own special gift of *$500!!* The parameters are tight. You have to be a
_monthly giver_, and the gift _has_ to be for $100.

If this challenge is met, it would result in $1000 of special gifts for
the month of December, which would be a huge blessing to me during this
time of support raising, as I am accuring backpay and not seeing much of
a monthly paycheck yet.

So, would you prayerfully consider accepting this challenge and blessing
me with a one-time gift of $100 in the month of December?

*The deadline for this is December 15th. If you would like to answer
this request with a "yes!" please reply to this email, and I will send
you instructions on how to give a special gift using your MyGCM account.*

Thanks for considering,
Russ

--
*Russell Dietrich*
Field Staff
Great Commission Ministries
www.gcmweb.org/give.

Biography

I was born in a Christian home, and accepted Jesus as my Savior at a very early age. However, though Jesus was my Savior, He was not always Lord of my life. For many years I would profess to be a Christian, but the way I lived did not reflect an obedient relationship with God. During my junior year of college, I became involved with a campus ministry called Illini Life Christian Fellowship. Through this church, God showed me how to walk in the light, confess sin, and be open with others about my struggles as a Christian. I gave my heart back to Christ in 2008, and fully embraced Jesus as Savior and Lord. In that same year God called me to pastoral ministry: to care for God's flock and feed his sheep the living water and everlasting bread that is Jesus Christ. I am pursuing this call to pastor through full-time staff with Great Commission Ministries.

Many people ask, "Why college ministry?" Well, college is a very strategic place to do ministry, because it is where young Christians lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. Many students who have grown up going to church walk away from the faith in college, and my passion is to reach out to these students and challenge them to resist temptation and be committed followers of Jesus. I'll be doing this work through Great Commission Ministries, a missions organization that serves local churches by mobilizing missionaries (such as myself) to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). Through the support of GCM I will be working in the field with my local church Illini Life Christian Fellowship, a campus church that has a deep passion and love for Christ. Illini Life desires to be a family of believers that lead people to Jesus.

At Illini Life I will be working directly with students. Through home groups, leadership coaching, Bible study, and one-on-one meetings I intend to make disciples, and be an encouragement to people as they run the race of being a believer in Jesus Christ. Being a Christian isn't always easy. But Jesus tells us to pick up our cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23). I want to be a cheerleader to students exhorting them to persevere and hold on to the promise that Jesus wants to give us life and life to the full (John 10:10).