Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Makin' it happin cap'in"

Agape Night was sweet tonight! We had 15 students (11 of which were new). I won't go into details about the crazy stories and circumstances that brought 11 new people here on one night, but just that God did some sweet stuff to get them here.

The night started at 7 as we enjoyed a tasty dinner of spaghetti that Kellie whipped up. (One student commented that it was her first time ever eating spaghetti and she loved it.)

Tiana led the discussion tonight. She talked about love and how we need to be loved in different ways (love languages), and then she closed with talking about how God showed us His love by sending Jesus. She did a great job and we are really proud of her!

After discussion we usually hang out and have tea with the students who want to stay. Tonight God had other plans. As we were getting the tea ready, one of the students asked Jason about his story. This opened the door for Jason to share the story of his spiritual journey with the whole group. (If you haven't heard his story, you should ask him sometime - it's amazing!) What he shared opened the door for students to ask some deep life questions. Many of the students stayed until well after midnight. . .

. . .It's 1:30 right now, we just got done cleaning the apartment. It's time for bed. :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Picture This

Sharon and I got to go to Vilnius on Thursday and Friday of this last week to do some training.

Thursday night we met with the Agape Vilnius student group to teach them how to use Soularium, (a new method of using a mix of photo's and questions to see if students are spiritually interested). It was fun to see them get excited about using this new tool to talk to other students about God. These students will be trying out Soularium this coming week. Please pray that God opens doors to life-changing conversations and that these students will be encouraged in sharing their faith.

Then on Friday Sharon got to meet with Jolita, a Lithuanian Agape staff member in Vilnius. This has been awesome for Sharon, something she looks forward to every month. For although we are excited about the many opportunities we have to do evangelism, discipleship is something we love too - and we don't have as many opportunities for that over here.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Last night I (Matt) led our first Agape night of the new semester. Being that it was the night before Valentine's Day I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss the issue of love and sex (sekso in Lithuanian).

I asked some thought provoking questions to try to get people talking:
- How much do Lithuanians talk about sex?
- Why is sex so powerful for women? for men?
- What's the biggest lie students are told about sex?
- How can sex help or hurt people?

Once students started feeling more comfortable discussing this topic, I asked them this, "What is God's view of sex?"

I went on to show them what the the Bible says about sex - (which is very different than what many students assume the church teaches.) I handed a Lithuanian Bible to the guy sitting next to me and had him read Song of Solomon 7:7-9. By the nervous giggles I got in response, I could tell there was some surprise that this passage is in the Bible. I wanted them to understand that God created sex and intended that we enjoy it, in marriage of course.

"Sex is a glimpse of heaven," I continued, amused at the quizzical looks I was getting in return. By that I meant that the most intimate thing two humans can experience on earth is just a taste of the soulish type intimacy that followers of Jesus will experience one day with our Lord. That is why Jesus states that there will be no marriage or sex in heaven (Mt 22:30). In heaven we won't need these metaphors God gives us on earth that point to Him.

Even in our desire for sex, our souls are ultimately longing for God.

I could tell this was a new concept to many present. Hopefully it will open new doors to discussions with our students.

Click on the post title "sekso" above for a link to a great article on this topic that I found by Philip Yancey while I was preparing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back to School

We did our semester kick off yesterday by heading to one university to talk to students about God. We tried out a new tool called "soularium" which is a set of 40 pictures of random things. We asked students to identify pictures that...
1. Describe their life right now.
2. What they wish was part of their life.
3. Select a photo that describes God.
4. What they have experienced spiritually.
5. What they wish were true of their spiritual life right now.

So, by students selecting photos to describe their life and spiritual views we get an amazingly quick and often deep look into their experiences and how they see things. It opens the door for questions and great dialogue. We also get to share what we believe about God, how we have experienced Him, and how He can change their life and give them hope. If you want to know more about this tool you can go to the soularium website by just clicking on the title to this blog post.
So we did that for a few hours and then went to the other university that evening to meet students in the dorms and hand out welcome back gift bags and do some evangelism too. This too went really well and we had a student who has been a part of Agape come with us, which made it even cooler.

In all it was a brilliant day. My team did a great job, I am so proud of them. They Rock!

Conference call

So, we got back from our stint conference in Spain a week ago. It was great to go be with other stinters from all over Europe who are doing what we are doing and know what we are going through. We also got a chance to meet some really cool people and have some sweet times of Bible teaching and worship In English!!! (I say that because we rarely get to sing worship songs in English, so it was cool.)

We were also praying that God would use this week away to help us figure out what is next in life for us after we leave Lithuania in 5 months. I think He did answer our prayers and helped us narrow down a little more what's next for Sharon and me. More about that later though...