"Am I going to hell? I'm afraid, not joking, seriously!" was a question Dan received through the questions2vie web site. Andre was raised as an orphan and had no knowledge of the Bible. Yet one day he decided that God must exist and began searching for Him. Through a faithful Christian and the Alpha course he accepted Christ as his savior. So why the question? Andre was struggling with pornography. A relatively high percentage of emails Dan receives are concerned with this. When asked if he really wanted to break free from it, his response was that his sin wasn't really that bad. Through a series of about 25 emails, Dan brought him to scrupture and challenged him to see his sin from God's eyes and the Lord's desire for purity. They looked at Ephesians 5 and a handfull of other passages. He began to feel convicted. Dan encouraged him to trust God's forgiveness and rely on the Holy Spirit to help him. Then Andre was up all night once studying his Bible, and the Lord showed him something that made him appreciate Christ's sacrifice on the cross more profoundly. When Christ cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" it's the only time we ever hear Jesus call his abba, his papa, God. That sudden distance was created by the effects of sin, his, yours and mine. This long night marked a huge change for Andre. The following emails were all thanking Dan for his responses and council, noting the days he'd remained pure. But this change isn't because of Dan, it is God working! How about in your life? Does Andre's story inspire you? Is there something God wants you to be freed from?
- for God’s work in Andre's life.
- for Efrem and his enthusiasm.
- that everything we do would flow from a rich, loving relationship with Christ.
- for progress for May and her team.
- that the upcoming student weekend (April 6,7) would be challenging for those who attend, and help unify them.
We were out of town at the national staff conference the week of Efrem's birthday, but we made every attempt to make it special. We brought a batch of homemade fudge which held his candles for about 100 of us to sing. Efrem was kind enough to share, and everyone could try a small piece. We did promise Efrem a real cake – the picture is him with his carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Efrem is growing up fast, but still has a precious innocence about him. He shimmies beside us and asks for hugs, asked recently if animals go to heaven, and wears his emotions freely on his sleeve. This is his first year of flute, but recently his teacher told him he already finished – so they started in on second year stuff. He has entered a regional competition to play a duo with another first year student. We're very proud of him, but what parent isn't?!