How God Moves: Jerry & Beth Crosby
by Erin Bruzda
Ministry is a journey of faith that takes us from the known to the unknown, from where we are to where God wants us to be. He uses both the significant and seemingly trivial moments of our lives to lead us on the path He has planned for us. This post is a part of a new ongoing series entitled How God Moves. Each story in the series will share how God directed an individual or couple’s life to minister with InterAct.
Many families vacation to theme parks, historic cities, or even Hawaii, but InterAct Ministries’ human resources director, Jerry Crosby, grew up in a close-knit family of outdoorsy folks. Instead of packing suitcases for a time away from home, the Crosbys packed up the family vehicle with tents, food, hiking boots and all the camping necessities. Their destination was often somewhere in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York, about four hours from home. As a young boy, these adventures with his family instilled in Jerry a passion for the outdoors. Perhaps that’s why God directed Jerry’s vision to the mammoth wilderness of Alaska as a teenager.
During high school and into his college years, Jerry worked as summer kitchen and lifeguard staff at Montrose Bible Conference in the Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. One day while taking a break in the meeting place known as the Tabernacle, he picked up a copy of Moody Bible Institute’s Moody Monthly magazine and began leafing through it. A small corner advertisement caused him to stop flipping the pages. The ad’s picture of an Eskimo girl surrounded by various ministry descriptions like “Bible Institute,” “Correspondence School,” “Camps” and “Village Missions” arrested his attention.
Jerry recently reminisced, “I was intrigued with the fact that there was a Christian camp in Alaska. I recall thinking, ‘You mean I could be doing what I’ve been doing at Montrose in Alaska? Wow!’ So, with Eskimo girl ad in hand, I headed over to the registration office nearby. I stepped behind the counter and sat down before an old Olivetti manual typewriter and banged out a letter to Arctic Missions (now InterAct Ministries) in Oregon beginning with, ‘To whom it may concern.’ Thus began a ministry journey continuing to this day.”
In 1975, while a student at Moody Bible Institute, Jerry spent the summer serving in Alaska at Victory Bible Camp (then a ministry of Arctic Missions/InterAct). Later he received a graduate degree in organized camping administration. In 1980 he married Beth, an Illinois girl and kindred camper. Just two years later, Jerry and Beth moved to Alaska, and Jerry began serving full time with Arctic Missions as assistant director at Victory Bible Camp. In 1989, mission leaders asked the Crosbys to transfer to the U.S. office in Boring, Oregon, for Jerry to fill the position of personnel director. Today, 31 years later, though their responsibilities have changed slightly, they continue faithfully serving in God’s mission through InterAct Ministries!
Isn’t it amazing what God does with a picture, a few words and a responsive human spirit?
“As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 9:13 NLT)
Is God calling you to cross-cultural ministry? InterAct has opportunities for ministry across all our fields. Click here to learn more.