Dr. Jeanene Reese, Jennifer Crisp and Cliff Barbarick are a few familiar names involved in the wide-reaching renewal ministry Come before Winter.
Founded in 2001, Come before Winter is a ministry based on the renewal of leaders around the globe. These renewal trips are lead by a team of members of the ministry who all take on different roles to more effectively serve those involved in their ministry. Come before Winter, which got its name from Paul’s letter in 2 Timothy 4:21, strives to encourage and inspire missionaries through serving those as God creates renewal.
Crisp, alumna (‘93) and wife of the dean of the College of Business and Administration, Dr. Brad Crisp, became involved in Come before Winter about 10 years ago. Invited by Reese, Crisp said she was at a transition point in her life.
“I was looking for my next call from God, I had been home with my kids for several years and was looking to do something new,” Crisp said. “It actually came through an actual phone call from [Reese] inviting me to join a team, and it all worked out.”
During her time of involvement in Come before Winter, Crisp has served as an administrative liaison as well as a worship leader, including her assistance in writing the worship curriculum for recent renewals.
“I’ve done 11 trips with Come before Winter now,” Crisp said. “One of my favorite things about this ministry is that we join God in bringing renewal to women in ministry around the world. What we’re doing is creating an experience that facilitates them spending time with God to find renewal to continue to serve where God has called them.”
Being involved in the worship aspect of the ministry, Crisp said she gets to watch the transformative work God is doing through their ministry.
“One of the sweetest things about leading worship in this ministry is you literally get to watch it happen,” Crisp said. “You get to see God bring renewal and bring relationships with the other women that are there and bring honor and blessing to them.”
Reese, a professor emerita of biblical studies, has been involved in the ministry since its inception in 2001.
“Part of what she has brought is not only excellence in worship leading but good theological insights into it, so that’s part of why she was invited and continues to be apart of her role,” Reese said.
Reese has traveled with the team on 37 of 39 renewals that Come before Winter has held and continues to work with the ministry serving on the leadership board alongside Crisp.
“Each curriculum immerses them deeply into a biblical text and it’s not just teaching but experiencing it and reflecting on, it’s a very immersive experience,” Reese said. “Initially, we really focused on renewing the spirit of the women who served and giving them new tools. Eventually, our donors challenged us to think about how what we’re doing is affecting the ministries and churches and no profits in which they’re working.”
Come before Winter not only serves women across the globe with their ministry, each team member facilitating the renewals raise the money for themselves as well as the other participants. $4,600 is the approximate cost of a renewal for one team member and three participants. Though the money may be an obstacle for some wishing to participate, the Come before Winter website has links in which you are able to donate to different team members.
People with questions about the ministry are encouraged to visit https://www.comebeforewinter.org/ or contact the ministry for more information.