Month: May 2012

From Jesus to Christ

This month, we want to share a little Facebook exchange between me (Malisa) and one of our student leaders named Jeremiah….






Hi Malisa, I wanted to message you and let you know that two of my friends from my class called “From Jesus to Christ” are going to be at your life group tomorrow! They are part of my group that is doing a project on CRU. There is a Freshman named Lindsay (she is Jewish, btw) and a MDIV student named Najah (she is Muslim and from Egypt). They are both excited to check it out! Is it OK if I give them your cell phone number?

Hi Jeremiah, Oh, That is great. Give them my number and have them meet me in the lobby of Warren Towers at 6:55pm tomorrow!

The Life Group

On Monday night, Lindsay and Najah are waiting for me in the lobby of Warren Towers. It’s the week before Easter and I wonder, “what will they think of lifegroup tonight?” I know that they think they are coming to the life group to do research on a Christian Group on campus but I wonder, “Does God have a bigger plan for the night?”

Pretty sure HE DOES.

We make our way up to the small lounge on the 7th floor and then I catch a glimpse of Najah, rolling out her prayer mat and facing Mecca to pray.

I make small talk with Lindsey as other girls file into the room. There’s Caitlyn, a strong believer from Boston; Erin, a girl struggling to surrender to Jesus; Andrea, a sweet freshman from Alaska with a huge heart for Jesus; Cindy, an international Student from China who doesn’t know what prayer is; Alex, a sophomore who is eager to grow in her faith. Many more girls walk in the door right before we start to talk.

This week, after checking in about how everyone’s week is and we transition to talking about the Resurrection of Christ.

It is amazing! Lindsay and Najah are asking all sorts of questions. Najah even volunteers to read some of the passage that we are talking about from my Bible. At the end of the night, Lindsay is full of questions and wants to meet up again to talk more about the mission and vision of the group. So we plan on meeting tomorrow to talk more.



Hi Jeremiah, Just wanted to let you know how great last night went with Lindsay and Najah. They both were so fun to have at lifegroup and participated a lot. Najah had to run off right before we were finished but I gave her my card and she said she would love to come back. I’m wondering if you could invite her to our large group meeting tonight? Also, if you could pray, Lindsay and I are grabbing coffee today at 1pm in Warren Starbucks to talk more about the mission and vision of Real life. I would love your prayers for that conversation as I hope to have more of a gospel conversation with her. Thanks your leading in so many spheres on campus, Malisa


Hi Malisa, That is amazing! I will definitely pray!



Our Meet Up

As I met up with Lindsay I am still on a sort of high from the night before. A Conservative Jewish girl, A practicing Muslim, and a girl from China all discussing the resurrection of Christ. Did that really happen? Lindsay and I talk for two hours. It is a great conversation and God is really pursuing that girls’ heart. She is fascinated with the New Testament.

The biggest question that she has is, “Why did Jesus have to die?”

After several back and forth questions and answers she looked at me and said, “I get it, that makes sense why Jesus had to die.”


Hi Malisa, I just talked to Lindsay and she said your time together today was awesome!



My Prayer

“Jesus would you continue to bring clarity and understand that you are the True Messiah into the heart, mind, and soul of Lindsay. Jesus, would you continue to give her a deep love and passion to understand you Word. Thanks so much for all your powerful prayers. As I think back on that night at lifegroup it was one of the most significant pictures of those who don’t yet know Christ wrestling with the truth of who Christ is. A Jewish Girl, a Muslim, and an Athesist. Oh, would it be that someday soon all three of these girls know Jesus.


John 21 – Sermon preached at First Congregational Church of Hamilton, MA

I preached a sermon on John 21 at the First Congregational Church of Hamilton, MA on April 15. The writing and preaching process was really fruitful for me. I loved getting to dive deep in the scriptures. Feel free to have a listen. You should be able to right click this link to download the file to your computer.

Click here to listen to Brian’s sermon

Click “Read more” below to see the text of the sermon.

Read more

Nestor the Wrestler shares his story


It has been a joy for me to work with Nestor over the last three years. I’ve told you a bit of his story in our prayer letters, but recently at our Northeast vision dinner, Nestor got to talk about his spiritual journey in person. He shared with over 500 people how God has been working in his life.

Here’s the transcript of Nestor’s story:

“Good evening everyone, my name is Nestor Taffur and I’m a member of the BU wrestling team. I am here today to share a little about my story. Prior to becoming a follower of Jesus, my identity was heavily invested in the sport of wrestling.

“Winning matches and reaching the pinnacle of the sport meant everything to me. Every time I stepped on the mat, I was representing myself and wrestling for my own personal glory. My performance was a big part of how I measured myself because I believed that it was the only way to gain approval of others.

“It wasn’t until the passing of my grandfather, where I started to question the spiritual life and the meaning of life altogether. I began to notice that I was living life to my own terms and that there was something missing. There had to be more to life than just the physical existence.

“I arrived on campus my freshman year as a member of a D1 wrestling team and wrestling continued to be my identity. It was at one of our Sunday trips to church, a member of a college ministry approached my teammates and I with a chance to get involved. Looking back, this chance was no coincidence. It was an opportunity that I knew I wanted to take because I still had many spiritual questions.

“It was around then when I started to meet with Brian Ellis and was able to learn more about the spiritual life and what it meant to really know God. I started to build a relationship with the Lord and he started to work in my life in ways that I didn’t know were possible. I learned more about his unconditional love for us even though we don’t deserve it.

“To have someone that cares for you so much regardless of the amount of times you neglect or reject them is truly something special.

“It really pulled me in to want to learn more. I also began to realize that it wasn’t all about winning or losing on the mat, that God had a better plan for us. He had equipped me with a set of talents that would serve as a useful source for something bigger.

“More specifically, our wrestling team has always been a very close set of guys that truly care for each other. The more I grew in my faith, the more I learned to care about my teammates in a different and meaningful way. I knew that the Lord wanted to use me to help them grow spiritually the way I had in my few years at college. I’ve been recently named one of the captains for the upcoming season and I see this as an opportunity to lead these young guys on and off the mat.

“This spring, I decided to start my own bible study within my own team. The first day I had planned, we had no guys show up and it was a bit discouraging. After more prayers, I gave it another shot and had 8 guys show up, half of which were not Christians.

“It was a great point in my spiritual journey and I started to truly see the shift in my identity. I know that I’m not perfect but my faith has helped me become the better person that I am today. Since I’ve received Christ into my life, I have joined a beautiful community that I have learned so much from.

“I will continue to use theses experiences and wrestling as a source to grow and reach out to others. For this I am grateful of the Lord and everything he provides in my life. Thank you for your time.”