Years ago our colleague Didier Heslon was inspired while reading John 15 to do a photo shoot in a vineyard. The result is a series of photos printed on canvas which artistically affirm Jesus' words to us. In 2010 the Cru team in Rennes developed an outreach event centered on these photos and the verses from the gospel of John. We sat around small tables with friends we invited and discussed "What kind of fruit do you want your life to bear?" and also "What is your vine, your source of life?" We liked it so much that this year we did a reboot! The ambiance was classy, with wine and cheese and authentic French baguettes. Jazz piano played in the background as people cheerfully discussed these deep spiritual questions. Christians around the table had a perfect opportunity to share with their friends how Christ is at work in their lives, all in a relaxed atmosphere. Silas and Efrem played a duet which was met with exuberant applause. Who knew sharing your faith could be so much fun!
So what holds us back? Why do we feel anything but relaxed when we consider talking with our non-Christian friends about Jesus? It doesn't have to be stressful, and may be as simple as having a few good questions at the ready: How do you think faith or beliefs affect our lives today? What effect does it have for you? Who has had the biggest impact on your life? And impact for humanity? What comes to mind when you think of God? Or when you think of Jesus? Asking questions like these brings us into the heart of what is truly important. It is essential first to listen well, to genuinely care. Then be prepared to share your answers to these questions if possible. Put these questions in your pocket and pray for opportunities to ask them. It's thrilling to see God at work!
Two summers ago we attended our first Crescendo music festival in Tokaj, Hungary. We loved it! Crescendo is a ministry of Cru. Silas and Efrem both took master classes and performed, and I (Dan) was able to serve as a volunteer. This summer we look forward to being in Tokaj again. May and I were both accepted as volunteers, and Silas and Efrem as musicians. Do you know any young musicians who could benefit from high quality teaching and an amazing nurturing atmosphere? If you do, please share the video above and have them contact us!
In the week before Crescendo, we will attend the European all staff conference. The last one was five years ago in Tallinn Estonia. This time it will be held in Switzerland. They're calling it the Family Gathering. With at least 900 staff in western Europe, this will be a big family reunion!