Month: April 2014

Jesus is worth putting your weight on and trusting.

“Let me ask you a question. When you started college last fall, did you ever think you’d be here? Trying to decide whether you want to become a Christian?”

“No. I had no idea.”

I was talking again with my friend Nick, a freshmen from New York City. At the beginning of the year, he came on our men’s rafting trip and our fall retreat. He lives on the same floor as our friends Asaph, David, Krysia, Gwynnie, Kate, and Alex. And all year, he’s been hanging out more and more with these guys and becoming part of our community. He’s not yet a follower of Jesus.

I asked Krysia to tell you about Nick in this video clip.

Krysia and Nick from Brian Ellis on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t work, Here’s a transcript:

“There’s another guy Nick who was at beginning of the year an atheist… He actually told one of my friends that he felt like he had very shallow relationships with all of the other freshmen on our floor but that we actually knew him really well. That’s what drew him in — we knew him and he could tell that we cared about him and we cared for his wellbeing — not only just physically but also spiritually. We would have these deep conversations with him and now we’re just seeing him come closer and closer to Christ. We’re seeing all of our community come around him and have these spiritual conversations and dig in with Nick because we want him to know Christ. He knows that and that it’s for his best that we want him and that he’s really drawn to our community and that is really incredible.”

When I talked to Nick, his friends had invited him to an apologetics talk. He said to me that he’s seriously considering becoming a Christian, but he’s not sure what he would say to his friends if they knew that he was about to become a Christian. But, he says, “There is something different about the people that live around him. The students who are involved wit Cru are different. They care about me.”

“But I’m still not sure I’m ready.”

I told Nick about my wife Malisa. “When Malisa’s friend Nan asked her if she was ready to become a Christian, Malisa said ‘no – I haven’t read all the bible yet.’ ‘It isn’t about that,’ said Nan ‘It’s about Jesus. Are you ready to follow Jesus?’”

“Nick, you don’t need to wait until you have all your questions answered to become a follower of Jesus. It isn’t a lack of information that separates us from Jesus. And so what you have to do is say – on the basis of what I know about Jesus, I’m going to choose to trust Him. I’m going to put my weight on it. And it really isn’t until we put our weight on it that we can start to follow Jesus. Jesus is worth putting your weight on and trusting.”

Nick sent me a facebook message last week: “Yea, it’s been a wild ride spiritually I guess haha. Yea, thanks for the advice! I think I’m going to be trying my weight in the coming weeks so it should be interesting.”

Wow… Would you pray for Nick?

Nick and others

Kate, Nick, Grace, and Vivek hanging out at IHOP for some late night pancakes

Loving our Adventurous Lord,

brianandmalisalogo

Project Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Dear Friends,

You have been a critical part of our team over the last few years as we’ve started this Project Breakthrough partnership in the Middle East. Now we need your help again.

I want to start by taking you on a journey with me to the Middle East. And I want you to come into our tiny apartment for one of our weekly lunches.

Each week we would invite our Muslim girlfriends over to our apartment for lunch or tea – often we had over 20 girls crammed into our tiny little place. After lunch I had the girls break up in 3 smaller groups and go through “Soularium,” a spiritual image survey that we use to hear more about what people believe.

That day was incredible. “Pena,” a girl who was studying fashion design, began to share about how she had been having dreams about Jesus. Wow! This is huge! She continued to share all that she was wondering and concerned about in regards to spirituality. The conversation continued at a café afterwards for 3 more hours. Pena is truly wondering who Jesus is.

These are the Jesus moments that you help create. When you pray, and when you give, you’re helping spread the gospel in the Middle East.

Brian and I are so thankful for you for your prayers and financial gifts to our ministry over the years.

Paul tells the Thessalonians, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thes 2:8). That’s what we’re trying to live out on campus every day. But it’s what YOU live out toward us already.

Thanks for sharing not only the gospel but your lives as well. We feel so privileged to be part of your team.

Now, we need your help.

We’ve been asked to leave Boston for the summer, take our family of 4, and lead a team of nearly 50 people back to the Middle East. This is the fourth time we’ve sent a team to this city. It’s by far our largest team. And we are excited to lead them. But to do that, we need to raise $15,000 in special gifts. We think it’s worth it: our team will get to share the gospel and their lives with hundreds of Muslim college students and refugees.

You have been so generous in the past – with your prayers, with your finances, with your lives. Would you consider giving again?

There are three parts of the project:

  • Becoming friends with Muslim college students and making Jesus moments happen
  • Serving refugees – from Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia
  • Developing future leaders – as we lead our team

We can’t do it alone.

Every summer we spend in this city, we see students start to follow Jesus Christ either while we are there or shortly after. Do you have any idea how remarkable that is? For the average Muslim in this country who starts to follow Jesus, it’s 2.5 years from when they first meet a Christian until they start following Jesus. Our students do an incredible job building deep friendships with Muslim students. And they learn to share the story of Jesus and their story in a clear compelling way.

But I think it’s your fault.

It’s your fault that students in the Middle East are starting to follow Jesus – because you pray and give sacrificially. Without your partnership, this project would not be possible.

  • Because of you, we’ve now sent over 100 people to the Middle East for short term trips.
  • Because of you, we’ve shared the good news with hundreds of Muslim college students.
  • Because of you, we’ve come alongside refugees from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.
  • Because of you we’ve seen lives changed for all eternity as they start following Jesus Christ.

It’s your fault – boy are we thankful!

God is drawing people to Himself. He is moving in students’ lives. He is the one – who changes people in the twinkling of an eye. It happens because of your prayers and support.

Don’t you want to continue being a big part of God moving in the Middle East?

I’d like you to consider giving a significant special gift this spring because I want you to be blessed, because I want you to be part of what God is doing in the Middle East, but also because without your support, we can’t go get on the plane on May 25 and lead our team. We need to raise $15,000 in special gifts to send our team to the Middle East.

I’d like to ask you to be one of 30 supporters who gives a special gift of $500.

You can give here.

Whatever you decide, our deep appreciation for you is unwavering. We are so grateful to the Lord for you.

Loving our Adventurous Lord,

Brian and Malisa

p.s. We love these people so much that we want to share not only the gospel, but our lives as well – but we can’t do it without your help today.

family