Let’s Give ‘Em Something To Talk About. [SP Training.]

Giving my seminar.

Yesterday, my team and I spent the day training our SP. We gave a total of four seminars [Cash and I combined ours], covering:

  1. 1. How to follow up with students. [Christy]
  2. 2. Catholics and Jesus. [Ben]
  3. 3. Islamic theology and how to see the “soul questions” in things that students like to talk about. [Cash and I]
  4.   The “Gospel Tool Kit” and what it means to be an Ambassador for Christ. [Dayton]

 The SP trekked through an ocean of very foreign information with a sort of admirable [albeit rather glazed over] formidability that can only be attributed to some very beautiful hearts for Jesus. Of course, it doesn’t hurt anything that they’re all still in college and used to absorbing fanatical amounts of information running on half an hour of sleep and half a dozen pots of coffee! […or was that just me in college?] 

Dancing with Ben before the second round of seminars started after lunch. Spontaneous dance parties happen rather frequently on my team...

 It was fun to break down the basics of Islamic theology for a group of people that were largely unfamiliar with it-and to help them see some of the haunting soul questions that Muslims are already asking. St. Augustine once said:

  “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.”

I have found this to be exceedingly true of my sweet Muslim friends in Senegal-there are longings and wonderings that shake them to their very core—desires that cannot be met by a god that cannot hear or save, questions with answers not contained anywhere in the lines of Arabic they cannot understand. [Once the Qur’an is translated out of the original Arabic, it is no longer considered to be under the divine protection of Allah. Thus, my students do not understand what they are saying when they recite their Arabic prayers, nor do they understand the lengthy selections from the Qur’an the mosque blares over loudspeakers throughout the week.] One of my favorite things to do

in Senegal is to spend time listening to girls talk about their lives-the things they love, the things they’re afraid of, the things they secretly hope-and as I listen, it’s so easy to find those deeper questions and longings. I wish you could see the look on a Muslim woman’s face when she understands for the very first time that the gospel beautifully, perfectly speaks to those “soul longings” and questions.  It is almost as if you are

watching her come up for oxygen after years and years of drowning-up until that point in her life, she has been intimately acquainted with the crushing weight of fear, inadequecy, and frustration-but never, never before grace. Jesus is the gentle answer to a thousand questions that her aching heart has been screaming for years. My job is easy in a way, because we were all created to know and walk

Some of the SP guys hanging out with our students at the party last night.

with Jesus-and when a Muslim finally comes to understand that Jesus longs to redeem her, the response is ardent, organic, reckless joy! It is a lengthy, patient process-but I defy you to find something more compelling or beautiful. There is no other way that I would rather spend these two years of my life.

 After a full day of training, my team and I invited all of our students to come to the SP’s hotel [about a five minute walk from my apartment] so that the SP could begin interacting with Muslim students. It was fantastic to have other people doing my job! I can’t tell you what an incredible thing it is to have twenty-six people join my team and I in going to war on the statistic that 88% of the students on my campus have never even met someone that follows Jesus.

Christy and I with Matt-who offered me as a wife option to one of the students he met last night. Revenge will be ten-fold.


  1. Bob Richardson says:

    “Reckless joy”! Wow!

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