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Schaller Family News

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” John 10:9

Unconditional

Following the “Meaning and Source of Life Soirée,” our co-workers Laurie and Yannick prepared a Discovery Bible study and contacted those who had marked interest. I (Tara) also invited Marjo and Marie, my friends who wanted to attend the soirée but couldn’t. Twelve other non-believers had marked interest in the group. Within Agapé, we were all quite excited to see what the Lord might do!

The Discovery group was planned as a breakfast on a Saturday morning in April. Mauricette was out of town for a wedding. Annie doesn’t speak enough French to participate, so she asked if she could meet with just me. Marie was working that day. So Marjo and I went together (she’s in top pic chasing Lydia). In total, five people showed up. Four Christians and Marjo. Four women and Yannick. We all introduced ourselves and awkwardly started the breakfast. Before we knew it, we were laughing about how Laurie and Yannick met. Then Yannick proposed that we each share a couple minutes of our life-story: where we grew up, basic current info, and an overview of our spiritual journey. Some people shared a lot, some a little. I wanted Marjo to feel comfortable, so I highlighted my time as an atheist/agnostic and how I enjoyed reading and searching. Every story was honest, vulnerable, and showed glimmers of God.

Marjo talked a bit about her family upbringing and that there was some sort of feud among the adults the day she was supposed to receive her first communion. She didn’t end up attending, even though she had done the classes and was ready to go to the ceremony. Her parents soon divorced, her family felt rejected from their church, and her community and stability were gone. She remembers some of the hurtful things church members said to her, which mark her to this day. But she concluded her story with, “Despite all that, I’ve never doubted that there’s a spiritual world. I’ve always felt different, like I can connect to some sort of God-force. So, in recent years, I’ve looked into Buddhism and Hinduism. I feel accepted there. But I’d like to consider what the Bible has to say now, although I think parts of all religions are good and true.”

Laurie transitioned us into the Word. We looked together at several passages in the book of John. We talked about God’s unconditional love and how he calls us each to love others. Laurie asked, “Who is someone in your life who loves you unconditionally?” What makes their love different? We looked at Jesus as the Good Shepherd, willing to lay down his life for his sheep. He does not want to lose even one. In those days, an outdoor rock wall was built in a square for sheep to graze in, which kept the wolves out. There was a narrow entryway, and the shepherd would then stand in that little gap and be the gate. This is like the Gospel. Marjo had already heard my summary of the Gospel when she came with us to the “500 Years Since the Reform” expo. She didn’t seem confused at all by this message. But when we began talking about God as our heavenly Father, she had a harder time with that. I knew she hadn’t talked with her own father in many years. But it was still good to look several scriptures about God’s love for us, and how He came to reunite us with Himself. As we left together, Marjo didn’t say much about the Bible Study. She seemed to want to talk about other things. I finally asked her, and she said, “Yeah, I liked it. And I’m available most Saturdays if you want to do it again.” Fortunately, that was the plan. To be continued...

Thank you for your prayers and support!
Love, Trent, Tara, Lydia, Rachel and Sweet Pea

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Ephesians 2:8-9

By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast.