Photo: Hope Curran
UN
WORKSHOP

While it's exciting to see the number of visits to questions2vie.com skyrocketing, there are also more and more emails to respond to. At the French national staff conference I (Dan) gave a workshop on responding to people's questions online in hope of recruiting some colleagues to share the load. So far, four have said they would help, which is encouraging. The 5 points I shared are equally useful for being intentionally salty in any conversation. Would you like to hear them? Here goes:

  1. The person you are talking with is on a spiritual journey. Where are they in relation to Christ? How can you find out? By asking good questions. Listen well, and remember that each of our spiritual journeys are unique.
  2. Seek out the real needs beneath the questions, the soul desires: to be loved, forgiven, accepted, authentic expression and authentic relationships. How can you uncover this? By asking good questions. Then consider this - how does Jesus meet that need in your life?
  3. Don't say your answers, lead them to the answers. The most reliable and convincing logic will be their own. Even if you've already wrestled with the question, they need to go through the struggle too. How can you do this? Once again, by asking good questions, honest questions, not leading ones.
  4. Lean on the resources available to you! So many questions have already been answered on everystudent.com. Well written articles address: the scientific reasons to believe in God, the reliability of the Bible, why does God allow suffering? Check out what's there and you might find just the right article to share. There is an app called GodTools and other apps developed by Cru to help you.
  5. Express God's love and consider their next steps. The first of the four spiritual laws is - God loves you. We express a message by our words and we also express a message through who we are. If we manage to respond with kindness and gentleness to someone who is antagonistic, that's God's love. The most important thing to express is God's love. At the same time, we all need to grow on our spiritual journey. Like a good coach, how can you encourage them on theirs? What might their next steps be? Jesus brought grace and truth, which is a difficult balance to walk. Grace and truth require the Holy Spirit, intentionality, tact, and for me, courage.

I hope this very condensed version is helpful and encouraging to you! Who has God placed in your life who you can talk with today? What are a few good questions you could have ready to ask them?

Dan's workshop

Dan giving his workshop at the staff conference.

Playing at the National Conference

Silas and Efrem playing with the praise band.

Praise band
Photo: Xavier Lespinas

Please pray

  • for May's efforts to pull together the French fiscal receipts from the new financial system. It has been more challenging and time consuming than expected.
  • for wisdom regarding ministry activities in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak (we both plan to participate in a campus project in Nice next month).
  • that Silas and Efrem will continue to pursue God as well as staying strong in their studies.
Our Signatures

La Lumiere
February, 2020
Celebrating Dan's birthday.
UN
DIGITAL WORLD, DIGITAL OUTREACH

In 19 years serving with Cru we've seen a lot of changes. My hair's turned gray, social media became the main influencer, and time spend in front of screens has skyrocketed. When we first started, our main activity was initiating face-to-face conversations with students on campus. Today, I'm in conversation with seekers every day online. This requires a new set of skills, different than the ones Cru has leaned on for decades past. Email conversations have a different pace, and without the benefit of seeing non-verbal signals or hearing tone we have to be intentional to listen and communicate well. The competitive arena of gaining people's attention on social media also demands expertise. The digital world is a new ministry challenge with remarkable potential. I was encouraged to hear reports of what other countries are doing in digital ministry when I attended the European digital summit in Rotterdam. Video projects, Instagram feeds and Facebook outreaches were in the spotlight. Digital strategies has enormous breadth of possibility, with the need for experts in lots of different areas. I learned many useful things. To follow up on the digital momentum, May and I met with the digital council for Cru in France to talk about our local efforts to use technology effectively. This gathering was in Rennes, which is always nice to visit. The group took advantage of a Google workshop where we heard a presentation about how Google innovates. It's a pertinent subject, because that is exactly what ministry is doing by reaching into the digital realm. How is it working? Here is an email I received just two days ago from Alfred, who is receiving our email series on the gospel of John - "I am completely delighted, very comforted, and well nourished by this biblical study. Since receiving this email series, I feel a big change in myself... People tell me that I have changed, that I'm enlightened, and my way of speaking changed overnight." Praise God for what he is doing in Alfred's life and so many others!

Dan in Rotterdam

Praises

  • that the sound insulation booth is installed!
  • that the transportation strikes have calmed.

Please pray

  • for May's work on the giving sites for Panama and the UK.
  • that the national staff conference this month would be an encouraging time for us all.
Sound booth

Efrem and Silas playing in the new sound booth.

Digital council members

The French digital council outside of the Google workshop in Rennes.

DEUX
FREEDOM!

Efrem stepped into the room within a room, closing the double doors at the entrance. We strained to listen as he started to play his flute. It was faint, amazingly faint. With 9 inches of insulated space between the outer and inner walls, the sound booth is very effective. After three months of effort, calls, emails, and jumping through hoops, it is finally installed. The boys have complete freedom to practice in our apartment! We thank you for your prayers for us and our neighbors. It is an extreme solution, but hopefully one the boys can employ for years to come. Now they just need to agree on who practices when!

Our Signatures