| Internet Cafe|
I wrote in another forum about IFES, as well as another story, but I thought it best to write under this forum this time. So this is another story from the IFES "Special Report".
Located five minutes from a major university, there is a lighthouse of faith in this otherwise very dark land.
THe Good News Coffee and Internet Cafe, wedged between many other cafes, bars and shops, is where you hear comments like this from university students:
'I sense so much genuine love in this cafe.'
'Where else can we go to discuss these spiritual questions?'
'Would I have become a believer if you had not opened this cafe?'
All religious clubs and activities are forbidden on our campus, so we decided to open a cafe nearby to attract students. It started as a joint venture with a local church plant in the area, with hopes that the cafe students would then find their way to the church. Though the cafe earns money from Internet use, drink and snack purchases, and from English Clubs, it could not meet its monthly expenses without the IFES team members raising their own support from friends and churches at home.
There are many Internet cafes in this university city but ours is unique. We advertise as 'The Only English-speaking Cafe in town'. We hold nightly English conversation clubs led by IFES team members; we offer an English library of secular books and magazines for loan; students can come to watch English videos, and we play English CHristian and secular music constantly. BUt the biggest attraction is native English speakers, us, the IFES team, with whom the students can simply come and sit and sip tea, or have a significant conversation. Each month we pass out flyers on campus, advertising our cafe and students learn about us either from these flyers or from friends.
Students who join our English Clubs already know some language but need to practice. Our curriculum is geared towards raising moral and ethical issues so to discuss deeper and spiritual issues of life is very natural. We live in a 'religious' culture and it is quite simple to speak of these matters. As foreigners we are expected to be Christians and so again we can naturally speak of spiritual realities.
Our day-to-day cafe life is rather exhausting as studetns constantly come with questions, or just wanting to meet us. Ninety percent of the time we are the very first foreigners they have ever met, and more important the first Christians.
Ibe student said, 'Before I came here I didn't think there were any CHristians now.' The IFES member clarified, 'You mean any CHristians remaining in this city?' He replied, 'No I mean any real, practising Christians in the world!' It is astounding in today's media-connected world that so many live in utter darkness and ignorance of Christian realities.
For Christians to operate a cafe in order to serve students and speak about spiritual truths is not illegal in this land, but neither is it appreciated. From the start in 2001, the local authorities have been attempting to hinder and actually close our cafe. Currently we are being taken to court for the false charge of running an illegal language school.
Honestly, the pressures are very heavy in this cafe ministry but at the same time the benefits outweigh them. Literally hundreds of university students have heard the gospel because of the cafe. Very few have professed faith, an extremely costly step to take in our land, but we believe when religious freedom really becomes a reality here, these 'seed-bearing' students will blossom.
Furthermore, we are clearly dismantling false ideas of Chrisitanity, and allowing students to experience biblical faith, even if they do not personally choose it right now.
So we will continue to serve tea, embrace each student who enters with CHrist's love and turth, and remain confident that as long as the Lord of the Cafe wants our doors open, we will remain open.
**Nayiri is now in her fifth year as pioneer and team leader. She reflects; 'Personally I never wanted to be in this land, where all my grandparents were born and raised and later forced to flee during an ethnic cleansing here. But God's redemptive love and mercy worked powerfully in my hard heart, to lead me here to pioneer the IFES student movement for this nation. So I am daily seeking the Lord for his guidance, strength and unconditional love for these people; especially the precious, yet lost, students.'
| 2005/12/4 16:39||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Internet Cafe|
This sounds great brother, where is this located?
| 2005/12/4 16:54||Profile|
Well, actually, all the article says is 'The Meditteranean'. It does say that they cannot post pictures due to the sensitivity of it, so I'm assuming they left out the location and perhaps other details on purpose.
| 2005/12/5 9:46||Profile|
Thousands of students will be trained to lead evangelistic bible studies for their friends
We want more and more students around the world to meet with the living Christ. What better way for them to encounter him than in the pages of the gospels?
Since 1994, IFES movements have embarked on large-scale projects to put a copy of the gospel into students hands. Using Scripture in evangelism builds students confidence in its power to speak into peoples lives.
From the start, the plan has been for each gospel to be handed out personally Christian students holding out the word of life to friends on their courses, on their corridors; in their sports clubs. With each gospel comes an invitation to discuss it in a small group with other students; and in countries where it is possible, to come to a meeting on campus to hear it explained.
Some 500,000 gospels are being given to friends over the next two years, right across the Middle East and North Africa, Francophone Africa and South Asia. It is the biggest project of its kind we have ever attempted; and some of these countries are among the toughest places in the world for students to be known as Christian believers. We urge you to join with them in prayer. (Please see side panel.) The scale of the project is stretching our faith to its limits.
Middle East and North Africa
40,000 copies of the New Testament were printed for us in Egypt by the Bible Society, in Arabic. We are distributing them in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Israël and Palestine, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
The IFES regional staff have worked to produce a booklet of 15 Bible studies for Christian students to work through with their non-Christian friends. To achieve the best cover design for the New Testaments, we launched a competition. We wanted something which appealed to the students, and so it seemed best to ask the students what they would like to see. It looks very smart, with the matching study book. Distribution is taking place now.
Please pray with us that Christian students will open their Bibles with their non-Christian classmates on the campuses. The project has met with much approval, especially within the Coptic Church in Egypt. We have been asked for a further 40,000 copies to be given out in Egyptian universities. This illustrates something of what is happening in that region. Alongside all else, there is an unprecedented openness to the message of the gospel.
We continue to welcome your support in prayer for this project, and for the Arab and Muslim people. Thank you.
Daniel Bourdanné writes: Johns gospel has been produced in 35 sections, with questions for each. Christian students will meet daily with their friends to go through these. The square gospels have a contemporary feel, without chapter and verse divisions. They are called Vivre libre. Picking up on the story from Acts 8, our whole programme is called approche-toi de ce char (Go to that chariot), and is led by Dr Pierre Ezoua, who is in charge of mission and evangelism in our region, assisted by Chantal Téhé. Each national movement is training its students to be Philips, and urging students to encourage one another in the serious commitment they have undertaken through forming prayer triplets. We also want to use the gospels in our programme of raising awareness about HIV/AIDS, and Gods care for those in need.
Pauldurai Jebaraj writes: Discover Life, our project to bring Marks gospel to students, extends across the whole of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. We have printed a total of 220,000 copies in 14 languages, together with training material and questions for group Bible studies. The gospel has been specially designed in a student-friendly way with some notes and graphics to help readers.
All the students trained in these sessions will first study the gospel of Mark for themselves, and then lead evangelistic Bible studies for their friends. This will be happening on college campuses throughout South Asia, over the year. Thousands of students will be trained in this way, with a course in 100 locations for students who will go on to lead Discover Life discussion groups.
Please pray with us for this huge initiative. We look to God for much reaping as Christian students some very apprehensive, some in hostile environments, some very new Christians themselves hold out the word of life.
| 2005/12/5 15:59||Profile|
I could keep writing these articles for you, but I found their website and it has everything you could ever want to look at. Go to:
| 2005/12/5 16:01||Profile|