*** An Open Letter to My Friends ***

ONE VISION ...

Our ministry developments are impressive. They are occurring nationally with Top Chrétien and internationally with Jesus.net. Opportunities present themselves one after the other, and the list of projects is getting longer and longer. As our Anglo-Saxon friends say “Every one of them is very exciting.”

Recently the president of a big international ministry told us: “I want this project for 5 million churches...” All of this seems very good but one question keeps growing in me: “What does God want? What should we accept, refuse, put off until later?” I have an evangelist’s heart. I would like everyone to know Jesus but I cannot save the world. It’s Jesus who is the Savior!

I am also feeling the pressure on our small team. Lots of work but few workers. I do not want them to “burn out.” They are very precious, especially my wife.

So what should we do? I know the spiritual response: “Pray, ask God, let the Holy Spirit lead you,...” That’s true, but it’s not that simple! God also speaks through opportunities, divine connections, circumstances,... What I understand is that God expects me to become more and more of a “true” spiritual leader, that is someone who listens to him and obeys him. God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts!”

It's a challenge for me. The future of a family, a team, and a ministry depends upon this listening and divine direction. Would you like to accompany me with your prayers? I never want to stop learning, growing and, when necessary, changing.

Thank you for your friendship and your advice which are so precious to me.

Eric Célérier

*** 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?

*** We are all Ivorians! ***

You may remember the words of John F. Kennedy “I am a Berliner”. He pronounced them in June 1963, during an official visit to West Berlin.

He wanted to demonstrate both his support for a population divided by a horrible wall and his disapproval of this shameful situation.

I want to say to Ivorians, and particularly to my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, that I love them, I pray for them and today I feel Ivorian. We are all Ivorians!

Today I want to express my support to the Abidjan residents, my love to the Ivorian people, and also share this sense of shame I feel about certain French military interventions. Let’s not forget that France is the former colonial power and, therefore, probably in the worst position to interfere in the internal affairs of the Ivory Coast.

Faced with such desolation and this tearing apart of the country into two camps, I can only imagine the feeling that reigns in the hearts of the Ivorians … Incomprehension, anger, hatred, rejection, fear of all kinds, etc..

I have no other response to this crisis than to say that I sympathize with all my heart and I pray for the Ivorians. I support my friends in the Ivory Coast and I salute their courage in these difficult times! Stand firm! “I lift my eyes to the mountains … from where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121.1.

Dear Ivorian brothers and sisters, I love you and the Top does, too!

Eric Célérier

Our Ivorian sister, Constance, sings: “I look up …”

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