Stories from our field

Lucio Croes: “If the Holy Spirit is at work, all will be right”

Stories from our field

Lucio Croes: “If the Holy Spirit is at work, all will be right”

For five years he worked as a chat operator, initially for the English team and later for the Spanish team, for four years. Lucio Croes was able to give a lot to others as well as receive a lot himself. “I learned to look for answers in the Bible.”

Lucio has an IT background and was working as a business analyst. “I found I was sitting behind a screen too often and developed the desire to engage with people. I have a heart for evangelizing,” he says. Lucio first spent some time visiting inmates at various prisons. From Catharinus Doornbos, with whom he was involved in street evangelism in the Dutch town of Zwolle, he heard about online evangelism. That’s how he ended up behind a screen again, but now to be in contact with people.

No fear

Having spent six months on the English chat team, he was asked to join the Spanish team. “That offered me a great opportunity to brush up on my Spanish. But at first I also found it a challenge: do I master Spanish enough to chat with people? Soon there was a lady in the chat asking for prayer, for herself and for her family. I wrote down a prayer and sent it to her. For herself, I prayed for her to be filled with the Holy Spirit, that He would give her wisdom and love to be able to raise the children. 

A few days later she wrote to me, ‘As soon as I read that prayer, I experienced a warmth that started in my head and went down to the soles of my feet.’ I thought to myself, ‘Lucio, what are you worrying about? If the Holy Spirit is at work, it will be alright.’ That enabled me to continue without that fear of whether or not I would succeed.”

You were able to give a lot to others. What have you learned yourself through the work?

Lucio: “I have learned to look in the Bible for answers, first. When questions come up, my first question is: What does the Bible say about this? That’s how you give the Bible the authority it deserves. 

The most beautiful thing is to see how God is at work, in people but also in me. For example, there was this 17-year-old girl who asked our team for help for being addicted to pornography. When she turned 12, she had received sex education at school. She had also been given a cell phone by her parents. That education impressed her and once at home, she started looking for porn online. She said, ‘I watched porn twice a day. I didn’t want to go out with my girlfriends; I wanted to be alone and watch porn.’

She had been addicted for years and asked us for help. We sent her a prayer with which she could ask for forgiveness for things that weren’t right and ask for help from Jesus to say ‘no’ to temptation. Three days later we received a message, ‘I haven’t watched porn for three days. That’s thanks to God and thanks to you!’ You might think, what’s three days? But for her, that was quite a victory. I wrote back, ‘Keep updating us!’ After 20 days, we got another message: ‘I haven’t watched porn for 20 days, thanks to God and thanks to you.’ She sent us another message later, when she got to day 50. She had also installed an app with a counter that kept track of how many days she had been keeping it up.”

Not interested in your appearance

Chatting brought Lucio closer to God. Lucio: “God was at work in me. When I’m busy with someone and with the Bible, I pray: ‘Lord God, will You help me?’ Then God helps me to find something in the Bible that I can use as an answer. That encourages me.” 

Lucio is reminded of one time when a mirror was held up to him from an unexpected source: “I work out in the morning. One morning I asked myself: ‘Lucio, why are you doing this? Are you doing this to look good, athletic and slim? It would be better to do the exercises for your health.’ 

I then returned to my chat sessions. One chat was still open. It turned out to be a cartoon clip someone had sent me, in which Jesus says, ‘I am not interested in your appearance, but in the condition of your heart.’ How beautiful to be made aware of this via a clip in a chat session! I told this story to my fellow chat operators to encourage them with it.”


Lucio is full of stories. There was a woman from Venezuela who entered the chat with her grief. “She told us that she had not seen her son for a long time and asked if we could pray that there would soon be a meeting between her and her son. Three days later we got a message: ‘Do you know who is sitting here in the living room with me? My son!’ To her, that was a work of God.”

Were there any challenges; things he found really difficult? At this question, Lucio falls silent for a moment. “Challenges? I experienced that I was always helped with such matters. There were subjects I did find difficult, such as marriage and divorce. Sometimes I received questions like, ‘My husband treats me very badly, he beats me. What should I do? Should I stay with him?’ Then you try to give the best advice you can.”

There was also someone who had had many different partners; felt guilty about that and indicated that she couldn’t go on like this. Lucio: “I told her the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, from John 4. You see, Jesus did not condemn her, but offered her to drink of the living water – despite her past.” He smiles. “She wrote back to me, ‘AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN,’ with capital letters, you know.”

"There is no need to be anxious about it"

Lucio is going to stop ‘chatting’, because he finds it’s time to involve himself with other things. What would he like to say to people considering joining the (Spanish) chat? “God is with you, there is no need to be anxious about it. You will grow into it as you go along: in your faith, in your knowledge of the Bible, in your cooperation with God.

Chat operators wanted for the Spanish team!

We need a lot of new people for the Spanish chat! If you are interested, click here for more information and to apply. 



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