*** One Vision … ***

In this photo I was 22 years old. The man in front is Billy Graham. My wife “happened to see” this photo while she was visiting the Billy Graham Headquarters in the USA. What an incredible memory to have seen thousands of people come to Jesus during the 1986 campaign at Bercy!

It was there that this vision and this passion for the salvation of souls were birthed in my heart. On the platform, behind this great evangelist, I prayed: “Lord, use my life. I would like to be an evangelist like him.”

Just one year prior to the campaign, I had been offered the opportunity to study at a technology university in my hometown, a job,  my driver’s license… but God had told me: “This isn’t my will.” With a heavy heart, I obeyed him.

Fortunately… If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had that tremendous experience in 1986 and today, Top Chrétien and KnowingGod would probably not exist. Neither would I have met the most marvelous spouse  of whom a man can dream.

Thank you, Lord, for insisting that I take the narrow way. Twenty-five years later, I do not regret this choice, and I am so blessed to see the vision realized. Never would I have imagined that one day our team would help the Billy Graham Association announce the Gospel… in the USA! It’s happening today. Thousands of lives are reached every day. And we are delighted to give back what they did for us.

Thank you for your involvement in Top Chrétien’s vision. Each one of us has a part in this extraordinary plan of God.

“Whatever he tells you, do it” said Mary, the day of the marriage in Cana. Could you ask Jesus what he expects from you concerning Top Chrétien? Do just what he tells you to do :-)

Together for changed lives,

Eric

PS: I am currently en route to the United States with two Top Chrétien teammates, Michael Foucault and Marc Ariberti. In fact, we are going to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) as part of our partnership with Top Chrétien. I will once again meet with Franklin Graham (President of BGEA). Can you pray that God blesses this trip and that His grace be upon all of our appointments?

*** To Your Mobile Device! ***

The Internet has become mobile. More and more people connect to the Internet using a smartphone (iPhone, Android phone, Blackberry …). Perhaps you are already one of them?

The future of the Internet is clearly mobile. Top Chrétien could not wait too long without reacting and offering a quality mobile solution. It’s already available!

After having made some attempts with WAP a few years ago, our team seriously considered the need in recent weeks and is now responding with a mobile version much more like an application.

If you have a smartphone with an Internet connection, I invite you to discover this little revolution. To do this, simply type topchretien.com in the Internet browser of your smartphone, and if it is compatible, you will be redirected to topchretien.com/touch, the mobile version of the Top.

We want to give you what you are looking for the most on the Top, such as the Thought of the Day (with the possibility of leaving feedback), the Bible, TopMessages (with audio), TopFamily, etc.

I especially like the Bible because it can be found in 5 French versions and also listened to on audio. I find it very convenient and such a blessing.

I would like to thank the entire Top team and, in particular, Florent Maillefaud who especially devoted himself to this new development. Thank you also to our Top Chrétien donors who allow us to continue to develop new free tools to serve our Internet users.

If you have a smartphone, could you test the mobile version of Top Chrétien? Leave me your impressions, comments, bugs, ideas … below and our team will take them into account with great interest.

Everyone! To your mobile device! Have fun!

Together for changed lives,

Eric Célérier

PS If you do not have a smartphone and still want to see what it looks like, click here.

*** Sur la route ! ***

With Franklin Graham ...

Yes, it’s French and for those who do not know the language of Rousseau that means: on the road! I have been traveling a lot recently and I will be “on the road” again soon!

I wanted to keep you informed of my interview with Franklin Graham held last week. You probably remember the blog: Billy Graham’s Son, and perhaps you even prayed for this appointment? If so, thank you very much because this meeting was amazing. God did things beyond my expectations! This meeting was supposed to take 30 minutes, but instead, it lasted for 3 hours. It seems this never happens since Franklin Graham’s schedule is so tight due to his multiple activities (Franklin is also the president of Samaritan’s Purse, a charitable organization that distributes among other gifts, 8 million gift boxes for children at Christmas). At the end of the interview, with tears in his eyes, Franklin listened and shared his own experiences as well!

God's Ambassadors!

The purpose of this meeting with Franklin was to see whether a partnership would be possible between the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Top Chrétien to reach even more people on the Internet with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And the first result is that five people (four vice-presidents and a director for the Internet) are coming  to Paris in three days to attend our Jesus.net conference, which will take place next week! Can you pray for this conference?

Jesus.net is the name that includes all our international activities, such as various websites -  ConnaitreDieu.com (16 languages) and also a discipleship website we use in several countries (WhyJesus). At the conference, there will be 75 people (website coordinators) from 21 countries! We will discuss the progress made in different countries and give glory to God together! It’s just wonderful to see what God’s grace has accomplished, and it’s so encouraging to see so many people find Jesus as their Savior through the Internet. To Him be the glory!

With Stéphan and Jean Claude, a French chef we met at BGEA

After the Jesus.net conference, I have to go to South Africa for a conference that focuses on world evangelism. Four thousand representatives from around the world will gather to reflect on the proclamation of the Gospel, share and pray together (see my page on the website Lausanne.org). Some people will represent France. The conference was initiated by Billy Graham in Lausanne in 1974. That’s why it’s called the Lausanne Conference. It occurs very rarely and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of people worldwide (The Lausanne Movement) so that the name of Jesus, the only name given among men by which we can be saved, still be proclaimed forever!

The Top team has provided somewhat outmoded but very humorous communication for this conference to mobilize the troops for evangelism through the Internet. I will tell you all about it in an upcoming blog. Fasten your seat belts, we will soon take off ;-)

Be Blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** The Top Offices: Purchase Agreement has been signed! ***

I’m sure you have been following the fund-raising campaign for the purchase of the Top offices throughout the summer! Several thousand Christians were mobilized to pray and give so that the dream would become reality. If you are one of them, I want to say a big “Thank you” again on behalf of the entire Top Chrétien team and all the Internet users who benefit from this ministry.

Here’s how things went: the Monday after Pentecost Sunday, during a time of prayer, God put it on our hearts that the time had come for us to own the offices that we rent and expand the space to give the team more room to accomplish its mission: proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ through the Internet.

A few days later, though we hadn’t said anything to him, the owner contacted us and proposed that we acquire full ownership, that is, of our offices and of the other part of the house, which was more than double our workspace. After having had the property evaluated and negotiating the price, we reached an agreement. Then we approached you Top users to gather at least 300,000 Euros for the down payment to the bank. You answered the call with great generosity and encouragement. See this page, it is such a blessing!

Now, by the grace of God, we have met half the total. We believe that God will provide for what is missing. So, with great confidence in God, we signed the purchase agreement on September 16, 2010, as you can see in the video below.

TopMission, the organization, will buy the property. TopMission manages all the activities of the web portal Top Chrétien such as, TopChrétien.com, ConnaitreDieu.com, MonEglise.net, etc.. The President of the association, Nathalie Texier, was mandated by the General Assembly to carry out all the necessary steps. You see her signing the document in the video. TopMission is a recognized general interest organization, empowered to receive donations, give tax receipts, and, of course, buy offices to accomplish its objective.

Here is the agenda set at the signing: The final sale will take place November 30, 2010. Meanwhile, we have 20 days to prove that we have taken steps to seek the remaining funds from banks. Then, we have 40 days to obtain a loan agreement. That’s what the document states. However, we believe that God will provide for the full amount and we will not need a bank loan. This may sound crazy, but crazy and faith are two very similar words in the dictionary! We’re not crazy, but we have faith. How God will do it, I do not know; But, he will do it, that I know!

If we pay cash, we will not have to pay rent every month, and we will be able to invest more in Top Chrétien’s projects. Also, if God has already provided half the amount, why wouldn’t he provide the other half? Why limit God? It’s his work. It’s his kingdom. It’s for the salvation of souls for whom Christ died that we are buying this property! So count on him! He made water gush out of the rock, rained down manna, fed a prophet with crows … he is the same God we serve. As a friend wrote me recently: What God commands, he pays for!

Join your faith with mine and together let’s experience God’s provision. This purchase will not only be an encouragement to Top Chrétien, but for all of us, will also be further proof that our God is alive and that he owns gold and silver!

PS: If God leads you to talk about our need to those around you or to help the Top take this second step, we would be very honored. To donate, please contact:
David Broussard
Phone: 678-205-6859
FAX: 866-516-9404
givingfunds@ccfof.org

Mailing Address:
Christian Community Foundation of France
829 Stansbury Drive
Marietta, GA 30066
USA

The Christian Community Foundation of France is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organization, EIN #20-3098434.

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

*** Billy Graham’s Son ***

Those of you who know something about my life story are aware that my first full-time job, after military service, was working for Billy Graham. That was 25 years ago in 1986! At that time, I had the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at a university specializing in Computer Science in Toulouse. I gladly accepted, but after praying, I realized that God’s will was something entirely different! I had to return to my mother’s home in the Paris area. Young in the faith, it was not easy for me to obey, and I must admit that I resisted as much as I could. But one day I surrendered and I said to God, “If it’s what you want, then I’ll do it. You win!” It was the end of my computer dreams … At least, that’s what I thought, but you know Top Chrétien and you see that God had the final word!

At that time, I found myself unemployed! That lasted six months. After six months, I was desperate. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I prayed to God, saying, “I can’t take this anymore. I am in this situation because I wanted to obey you. You’ve got to help me!” Shortly afterward, the phone rang, and Marcel, an elder from my church in Pontoise, said to me, “Have you ever heard of Billy Graham? He’s an American evangelist who is coming to preach the Gospel at the new Paris Bercy Auditorium (the Palais Omnisport in Bercy was brand new at the time). He is looking for a team of highly-motivated youth, willing to work without being really well-paid, so I thought of you!” I didn’t know Billy Graham at all, but I joyfully accepted. So that’s how my first job in life came to be preparing an evangelism crusade that would affect tens of thousands of lives in Paris and also many others by satellite retransmission.

My work was really very insignificant. My main job was to stamp letters, and since the machine was very noisy, I was relegated to a garage next to the offices. Often, I prayed for the people who would receive these letters. I was a very young convert and my attitude was far from excellent. Sometimes, I complained as I did my job, and unfortunately, I was also negligent. Nevertheless, these people trusted me even though I was the youngest member of the team. I learned a lot about serving God, about organization, about teamwork, about the big, multi-denominational family of God, and especially, about evangelism. On certain evenings, I had the great privilege, for a twenty-one year old, to sit on the stage and see thousands of people respond to the call. And it was there, on that stage at Bercy, that I said to Jesus. “I, too, want to be a soul-winner. Use my life, use me so that others know you!”

And this is what God has done! He has made me an evangelist, and my passion, which has not changed, is to see men and women find Jesus. And it is by means of the Internet and computers that this is happening! God has blessed me beyond my expectations by allowing me, with this great team around me, to see so many people come to him through the website KnowingGod.net. It now exists in sixteen languages. Glory to God! I know that this has been possible because the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) had confidence in me. Today, I would like to give back to them a “return on their investment”.

In a few days, I am going to meet Franklin Graham (the president of BGEA) and offer his organization a KnowingGod website that our team has specifically designed to reach the USA and the wider English-speaking world.

The meeting will take place on September 21st at 10.30 am (East Coast Time). I would really like for you to pray for this appointment. I believe that it is a time set by God from all eternity, and I would not want us to miss what God wants to do. Thanks for supporting your French friend so that I can represent you well. Stéphane, the coordinator of the TopChrétien web portal, will accompany me.

Will you pray for us?

Be blessed!

Your friend,

Eric

*** The TOP! It's Each One of Us! ***

Yesterday, someone asked about the campaign for donations to purchase the Top Chrétien offices. I thanked the person. He answered, “You don’t have to thank me because the Top, it’s each one of us!”

He’s right! The Top is like a living building consisting of its members. Pastor Yvan Castanou told me, “Each Internet user must understand that he is a living stone in the building you want to buy.”

Do you feel that you are part of Top Chrétien, of its history and of its future, or are you just a user/consumer of the Top?

As of today, nearly 2000 Internet users have understood that they’re the Top. They have understood that it’s a collective work that we are building together. What an encouragement for our team! How we praise the Lord for their support!

The Top actually counts tens of thousands of daily users. Imagine if each one brought his little stone to the building. We could construct the house pretty quickly! Imagine that each one realizes the opportunity to invest by sowing seed in a ministry of evangelism like the Top! So then millions of people could be reached and discover faith, perhaps even their own families! It’s today that we need you and your step of faith, for tomorrow will be too late.

Mohammed Sanogo has captured it well. Watch this video and you will understand why this former Muslim, now a pastor, thinks that the Top is each one of us.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDutGDGdFoc]

If you are part of those who haven’t yet sown seed for the purchase of the Top offices, could you take a moment to ask God what you should do?

The Top is you, too!

Eric Célérier

Campaign for DonationsMake a Donation now

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P.S. Testimony of an Internet user: ” At our small level we made a gesture that has given us joy. The Top is a blessing for the French-speaking world and for the entire world through KnowingGod.net. … May the abundance of the Lord be poured out over all of you. Gaël

*** What if We Offered All Christian Music Free-of-Charge? ***

The Internet has changed lots of things in our lives, hasn’t it? Even the way we listen to music.

Cassette tapes are already a part of ancient history and maybe very soon, gone the good ole’ CD… it’s time for downloads!

Oh, yes, those famous downloads… At first, they were illegal with lots of hacking. But we have to admit that an easy way to buy music online just didn’t really exist. Then, new systems appeared like iTunes, for example. Now, it’s very easy to buy music online; so, no more excuses for hacking! Things seem to be coming back into order and the music industry has reset the standard, at least in the secular music field. And that’s good, artists need to be able to produce and live! Let’s hope, and especially act, to bring back this standard to our Christian music environment, too.

Did you know that websites for free listening are on the Internet, such as Last FM or Deezer? So, we started dreaming at the Top: Why not create a platform for listening to Christian music free-of-charge? In this way, we would make the French-speaking Christian artists known throughout the French-speaking world. If someone likes a certain artist, he could order the CD at a store or buy the songs by downloading.

We also became aware of this through our large survey in 2009 (Together, Let’s Improve the Top). Out of 18,000 respondents, 14,000 wished for a music section on the Top. Those results spoke loudly!

So, we began to consult with Christian artists who, in general, have reacted very positively. Special mention goes to Youth with a Mission (YWAM) who is putting its entire catalog for free listening on TopMusic … Surprises will rain down! I would like for all the Christian labels to do the same and for all the Christian artists to be there. Become leaders! Offer our resources and see God bless us! Would somebody say “Amen”?

No business transactions for the Top since we gain nothing on sales. The sales, particularly those relating to downloads, go to the artists. And I hope many of you will encourage them by buying their albums! At the Top, we will pay taxes to the SACEM who will then redirect them to the registered artists. Thanks to the donors of the Top, we will also pay for the significant costs of bandwidth that the service will generate: thousands of dollars each year …

So why do it? Our mission is to proclaim the Gospel and encourage Christians. Music is a great way to achieve both goals. In addition, we will encourage Christian artists by promoting them. So why not do it? This is planned for Sept. 6th with the launching of a new section on Top Chrétien: TopMusic.

What do you think? Do you like this idea?

Together for changed lives,

Eric

*** Should we discontinue TopInfo? ***

As you must know, the web portal TopChrétien offers various services such as TopMessages, its well-known Thought for the Day, TopFamily, TopTv, TopBible, etc. The main purpose of each one of these sections is to encourage Christians in their relationship with God.

TopInfo is one of the sections that attracts the most visitors. Its objective is to inform. Up to now, we have gathered information and then proposed the news that seems pertinent and interesting to the visitors of our portal. Every day thousands of people go to TopInfo and many comment on the different articles.

However, in the history of TopChrétien, I noticed that our problems often come from this section. For example, certain subjects (homosexuality, abortion, Islam, ecumenism, politics, …) regularly create controversy. In addition, we sometimes get complaints from disgruntled visitors. Some Christians do not understand why we have released this or that information and form a negative opinion of TopChétien through the narrow lens of one single article.

Moreover, following the dissemination of information from a Jewish Agency considered defamatory, we lost a lawsuit against an Islamic association, and we were forced to pay 15,000 € in damages and interest. It is the only lawsuit that we have suffered in the space of ten years, but logically, it has caused some changes in how we work.

Finally, after years of loyal service, Didier Biava, – who insured the information gathering – preferred to discontinue this service to focus on our evangelism website, ConnaitreDieu.com (KnowingGod.net). A big thank you to Didier for all those years of dedicated service to Internet users.

You probably now understand better the title of this blog! Should we discontinue TopInfo?

Personally, I see three options:

1 / Discontinue TopInfo, despite the large number of visitors, considering that this service no longer has its place in TopChrétien.

2 / Limit TopInfo to a feed aggregate (like Google News). TopInfo would automatically retransmit information from other Christian news sites.

3 / Transform TopInfo, so that the service is more consistent with the overall vision of TopChrétien: evangelism, encouragement, interaction and communication.

What do you think? The TopChrétien Team and I would love to hear your opinions and ideas. Tell us which option you prefer and why.

Together for changed lives,

Your friend, Eric

*** Persevere! ***

Oh yes! How we need perseverance: perseverance in trials, perseverance during sickness, and even perseverance when everything seems to be going well. The Bible says that it is by persevering in doing well that we inherit the promises!

And so, I would like to encourage you to persevere. Top Chrétien’s story is one of perseverance. If Top Chrétien still exists today, it is because many times we have had to persevere and wait for God’s help. And his help never fails to come! Someone once said that God’s help sometimes comes late but never too late! It’s those who persevere who are helped!

Jesus has often encouraged me not to give up ! And I have to admit that I have sometimes felt like it… May the one who has never felt like giving up, please tell me. I would like to know his secret.

A song has encouraged me during the years of sickness and opposition. It’s “Persévère” by Olivier Cheuwa. I even made it the ring tone on my telephone! Therefore, every time someone called me, even for a problem, I would let the phone ring a few seconds and I would hear:  persevere! oh oh, persevere… In this way, I was ready to face any situation.

Just recently, I discovered another song on perseverance composed and sung by my friend, Pastor Mohamed Sanogo of the Ivory Coast. I asked him if I could offer it to you. He said yes, so here it it, especially for you Top Blog readers whom I love so much. Mohammed and I dedicate it to all those who need to persevere. My friend, persevere!

This song is part of the album “Persévérez” available on Top Boutique

[audio http://media.topc.fr/mp3/perseverer.mp3]

*** Are you a blessing? ***

I received this testimony from a young Swiss woman via Facebook. It really encouraged me, especially the post script, and I wanted to share it with you because it illustrates what the Holy Spirit does behind the computer screens.

I am a 17 year-old Swiss student. I have known Top Chretien for quite some time, and I regularly read the Thoughts for the Day and the messages for leaders. I have also been watching the MonEglise.net programs for several months. I truly wanted to thank you. I have always loved worship and that’s what drew me to MonEglise.net. I have tremendous experiences, and every week I can hardly wait until the next broadcast.

I don’t always listen to the preaching, but when I do, I find the teachings to be of good quality and well-adapted. I truly believe that God can do great things through your work and the work of your team, regardless what certain people may say. The Internet is an excellent means of evangelism, but also simply a means of getting together, and I find that you make magnificent use of it! We also clearly see your passion for God, and that, that’s fantastic. :-D

I would sincerely like to encourage you to continue all the work that you do, in spite of the difficulties, and, especially, in keeping simplicity. That’s all, I don’t know if one day you will read this message, but I really wanted to encourage you and to thank you! Finally, and briefly, my goal was to particularly encourage you for MonEglise.net, even if the other things are also great!

PS I know that God loves watching you :-) and seeing the impact that this has on us, it’s fantastic. :-D

I didn’t know this young student, but when I shared this testimony with my Swiss friends, they told me that they knew her very well and that she had a very difficult health issue. I would also like us to pray for her and tell her how much we appreciate her whole heart for the Lord and her spirit of encouragement. Go ahead, young woman, God is going to move in your life, he is already doing it, because you are a blessing!

Why not imitate this young woman, and develop a spirit of encouragement by telling those who bless us how much we appreciate what they do for us? It’s good to be blessed, but it’s even better to be a blessing! There is more joy in giving than in receiving…