Published On: November 8th, 20215782 words28.9 min read

On this episode of indoubt, Daniel speaks with Greg Stier. Greg manages the Dare 2 Share Christian ministry – Helping Youth Leaders to empower students in sharing the gospel. Greg speaks about his new book “Unlikely Fighter”. The first 21 chapters of the 22 chapter book speaks of the challenges he faced before turning 16. Raised without a father in the inner city and within a violent family. He speaks of finding his identity in Christ.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Indoubt Podcast, where we explore the challenging topics that young adults often face. Each week we talk with guests who help answer questions of faith, life, and culture, connecting them to our daily experiences and God’s word. For more info on Indoubt visit indoubt.ca or indoubt.com.

Daniel Markin:

Hey, this is Daniel Markin and today on the episode, I have Greg Stier. You’re going to hear some amazing stories. Greg runs a ministry called Dare to Share. You might have the book on your shelf, maybe you’ve read it, maybe you’re familiar with his ministry, but we’re chatting with him. We’re talking about what it means to share the gospel. If you’re a high school youth age, or if you’re even young adult age, how do you share the gospel right now in our crazy world? And so hope you find this episode helpful.

Daniel Markin:

Hey, welcome to Indoubt. My name’s Daniel Markin and I’m joined today by Greg Stier. Greg is an author, speaker, former pastor, evangelist. I mean, am I missing anything here?

Greg Stier:

I can work the nunchucks pretty well.

Daniel Markin:

The nunchucks, how about a samurai sword?

Greg Stier:

No, no.

Daniel Markin:

Have you got a little bit of, no samurai training? That’s okay. Greg, thank you for joining us here on the program. For our listeners who might not know who you are, would you please give us a little bit of a brief bio of what you’re about?

Greg Stier:

Well, I’m married, I have two kids, one’s 20, one’s 16. I lead a ministry called Dare to Share. We’ve trained, equipped millions of teenagers around the world, primarily in the United States for our first 25 years, but we’ve really been going global the last five to six years. Curriculum resources, apps, events, trying to mobilize a generation for the gospel. So we believe in the power of the gospel and the potential of teenagers. That’s our deal.

Daniel Markin:

That’s a great deal. First, let me ask you this though, I mean you’re in Colorado.

Greg Stier:

Yes.

Daniel Markin:

And we’re up in Canada. So some similarities there, some skiing, some snow. Colorado’s amazing. But have you been up to Canada with some of your time?

Greg Stier:

Yes.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah.

Greg Stier:

Yeah. I love Canada. We were in BC and Thetis Island, which is just out of there. And then we went up to Whistler as a family and I’ve done some preaching in Toronto area. And I do a live simulcast called Dare to Share Live and it used to be October 13th, we moved it to November 13th because we discovered we were on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. So this year we’re at November 13th and we’ll be mobilizing teenagers from coast to coast in Colorado, United states and Canada, it’s going to be a party and we will not be on Canadian Thanksgiving, which is great.

Daniel Markin:

Let me ask you this, between United States and between Canada, what are some of the differences or maybe similarities you’ve seen among the youth, working with youth, working with young adults in Canada and in the United States?

Greg Stier:

Well, I think the similarities is America is a little bit behind, but in the same trajectory of kind of this post-Christian generation of young people that actually have a pretty blank slate when it comes to Jesus and the gospel message, they may have heard of Jesus, but they don’t have what we would say gospel fluency like a generation ago. And obviously-

Daniel Markin:

What would gospel fluency be? What would gospel fluency, just let me ask that quick?

Greg Stier:

Just being able to understand the basic storyline of the Bible. 40, 50 years ago, it was just kind of commonplace, people knew who Noah was, Adam and Eve. There’s the teenagers today that don’t know who Jesus is in the United States and in Canada and Europe. I mean, it’s almost like an unreached people group, generation Z. And so I really feel like we need to attack it like missionaries. We need to really paint the story of Christianity in a unique and powerful and biblical way. It’s a beautiful story. It’s a love story.

Greg Stier:

What I find was when I talk to teenagers and explain Christianity as a relationship with God, not a religion, that God loved us, but there was a breakup, sin, right? And no religious acts or good deeds could ever bring us back to him, but God sacrificed his own son to pay the price for our sin, Christ rose from the dead and brings us back together to God if we put our faith and trust in him and that relationship is restored. I mean, I find teenagers who’ve never really understood that message intrigued at the minimum. Like, “Wow, I never heard it put that way.” And I’ve done evangelism in Canada as well as a lot in the United States, as well as in Europe and everywhere I go I think we just need to reframe the gospel message as a relationship with God, not a religion.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah, absolutely.

Greg Stier:

And it happens to be true, it’s based in history, in fact.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah. And I want to ask you this, do you find that there’s animosity towards spirituality, because oftentimes when you hear of people sharing their faith, I’m scared I’m going to be rejected, right? We’re scared that we’re going to be shadowed down by a lot of people, but it seems to me at least, maybe in Canada, in Vancouver, that a lot of people like you mentioned really don’t even know much about Christianity. They think we’re kind of like Ned Flanders, right?

Greg Stier:

Yeah.

Daniel Markin:

They have no real understanding of it. But what I’m seeing now is most people, they’re not angry at Christians. They’re kind of just indifferent, like they don’t really care. Do you find the same thing?

Greg Stier:

Yeah, I think so. And obviously there’s a lot of reactions to evangelical Christians that are viewed as sometimes a political block or known more for what we’re against than the gospel of Christ, what we’re for. But the gospel message itself, I think people are intrigued by Jesus and open to at least engage with the message of the gospel. One of the things we do at Dare to Share is we have an app called Life in Six Words where I ask people, if you were to describe your life in six words, what would they be? There’s 14 words for them to choose on the app and they choose the words. And I just ask them, “Tell me why you chose those words.” And in the next five to 10 minutes, I discover their story.

Greg Stier:

Then I ask if I could share my six words and then can I share the Bible’s six words? And by that time we’re having a conversation. It’s no longer a presentation and I just swipe through it and share the gospel. And I’ve never been turned down, in hundreds of times using that app, to engage with somebody in a conversation. And it naturally goes into a spiritual conversation. So I think you’re right, it’s how we engage with people.

Greg Stier:

One of the things we talk about at Dare to Share is ask, admire, admit. Ask questions, admire what you can about what they believe, find common ground like Paul did in Acts 17 and then admit the reason you’re a Christian is you desperately needed Jesus to save you and then share your story and share the gospel story. And they may not accept it on the spot, but I think reframing that gospel message as good news to a person who’s never heard it before is a giant step in the right direction.

Daniel Markin:

Absolutely. And you don’t know the seeds that you might have just planted there, because one of the things I have been frustrated with in evangelism is this expectation that the moment you talk to someone, you have to have the entire gospel message planned out perfectly, with all the questions in line that you can ask people in order to reach them to a conversion in a five minute conversation. Now I know that people like Ray Comfort are incredibly it in that and actually have mastered the way of doing that. He’s an evangelist often going to college campuses, but he’s also really caring and loving and unique in that way. But I feel like that puts a lot of pressure on people, especially youth to feel like I have to know all this stuff and now I have to convince them on the spot to become a Christian. And I like what you’re saying there, basically it’s entering into a journey or entering into a relationship with them, a friendship with them to pursue further discussion.

Greg Stier:

Well, I would say yes and last night, okay, I’m in Dallas, Texas, and we are at a restaurant and we’re just talking to Jennifer, the server, started about the gospel. She was so intrigued. She, I mean, literally was this close to putting her faith in Christ. We weren’t pressuring her, but her friend who was a server has been working on her, she came over, gave us extra large cut of cherry cobbler pie because we were sharing Christ with her and we had no idea she was a Christian. Well, she’s going to follow up with at her. I think that not everybody’s going to come to Christ right away, but we have to be ready. Sometimes you shake the tree and the fruit just falls.

Greg Stier:

And I think the other side of that is we don’t want to miss an opportunity to give that. So what I do is when I share the gospel with somebody, I say, “Does that make sense?” And if they say, “Yes,” I say, “Is there anything holding you back from trusting in Jesus right now?” I like that question because it’s just enough pressure, but it’s not manipulation. It’s asking honestly, and I’ve seen people who go, “Yeah, there are some roadblocks.” “Well, let’s talk about that and, or continue talking about that.” Or, “You know what, there’s no reason I couldn’t trust in Christ right now.” You don’t want to miss that opportunity either, on the other side of that, because that may be the moment of their salvation, that all those past conversations others have had have led up to.

Greg Stier:

So there’s a balance. And I use the illustration, a teeter totter, we want to be relational and relentless. And if we’re more relational, we tend not to ask the hard questions. And if we’re more relentless, we tend not to ask and listen well, so whatever side of the teeter totter, you’re on, just ask the Holy Spirit to sit on the other side.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah. I like that.

Greg Stier:

I’m more relentless, but God has used my wife to make me more relational. She’s more relational, God has used me to help her become a little bit more relentless. So there’s that balance.

Daniel Markin:

Absolutely. And there’s a partnership there, right? It doesn’t ride on us. It’s ultimately the work of God, work of the Holy Spirit moving through people. And for me, that takes the pressure off hugely. It’s like I just got to be faithful in communicating and ask the Lord to be doing the rest. And I like what you’re saying about being relentless, because I think deep down, most people really do actually enjoy deep conversations and we just don’t have them that often.

Greg Stier:

And this Daniel, this is where gospel fluency is important for the Christian because we find a lot of Christians could not clearly explain to gospel. And I think that’s true, not just with young Christians, it’s true with people who have been in a church for years, Old Testament, New Testament, they used to memorize creeds. You look in a New Testament, there’s little creedal statements. We have the Apostolic Creed, so we developed a gospel creed for young people to, actually we encourage them to memorize it, but not articulate it like it’s memorized, like chords on a guitar, get the chords down, then you can play beautiful music. So it actually is an acrostic that spells gospel. God created us to be with him, Genesis one and two. O is our sin separated us from God, Genesis three. Sins cannot be removed by good deeds, Genesis four through Malachi four. Paying the price for sin Jesus died and rose again, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Everyone that trusts in him alone has eternal life, John. And life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever, Acts through Revelation.

Greg Stier:

So it’s really kind of a chronological meta narrative that we distilled in the six points that we have students teenagers memorize, practice until they can play it like music. So when they’re in those long conversations, they kind of got a mental outline they’re able to walk through and explain the gospel message in a clear and cogent way. Some there’s a handful of teenagers that just are more savants, they’re just gospel savants, they just got it. That’s an exception rather than the rule.

Daniel Markin:

I like what you’re talking about there with equipping and that’s huge. I think a lot of people might not give high school students enough credit, because we think, oh, they didn’t know anything. They’re so young, but I’m sure from your experience, you’ve seen the opposite. You equip them, you train them, they’re bold. They are willing to go and be missional with their friends.

Greg Stier:

So here’s the deal, November 13th we’ll do Dare to Share Live. We right now have almost 700 churches just in the US signed up. And on one day they’ll engage their friends through social media in gospel conversations, they’ll text a friend. They’ll go out and do a service project where they just have gospel conversations with people, prayer, care and share. And they’ll come back with stories, significant stories. And they get pumped. I think teens are looking, we need to reframe the great commission as the greatest cause because it is, go and make disciples. And I told them, you could stop human trafficking and soul trafficking. You can give the hungry bread and the bread of life, water and the living water, and bringing that together. And I think that’s true with teenagers and 20 somethings as well.

Daniel Markin:

Especially with generation Z there seems to be a real desire to be actively engaged in these sort of causes. And I like that you’re framing it as a cause. It’s true, it is. And especially if we believe as Christians, that the kingdom of God is breaking into our world. That we are ambassadors of this. It’s like, this is our cause. We are representing the King. So let’s go and do that well.

Greg Stier:

I love that Daniel, because one of the things I tell youth leaders is your teenagers are looking for a king, a cause and a crew. King Jesus, all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, therefore, here’s your cause, “Go and make disciples.” And here’s how you do it. And guess what? I’m part of your crew. “I’m with you always to the very end of the age.” You give teens a king, cause and crew, they become unstoppable.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. We could talk a lot about this, but I do want to jump into your new book that you have coming up because you’ve done writing before and how is this book different from some of the other ones that you’ve written in the past and would you just give us a brief sort of synopsis on that?

Greg Stier:

Sure. I’ve written 20 books, but it’s been mostly to teenagers and youth leaders because that’s what I do, I’m the Dare to Share guy. I’m like Liam Neeson in Taken, I have a very particular set of skills, right? This is my first general market book for adults. It’s called Unlikely Fighter and it’s a memoir, which sounds weird coming out of out my mouth. But here’s the deal, it’s 22 chapters long, the first 21 chapters happened before I turned 16. So it’s really about being raised as a fatherless kid in the inner city, in a very violent family, the Denver mafia, the Small Bones nicknamed my uncles, the crazy brothers. Three of my uncles were competitive body builders, a fourth one was a bouncer at toughest bar in Denver. The fifth one was a Gold Gloves boxer, judo champion and war hero. My mom was the only girl in the group and they were all afraid of her.

Greg Stier:

And in and out of jail, cops over all the time. Lot of blood and violence I saw growing up, I was a one night stand basically, I never met my biological father. Mom was a partier. I was a result of the party. She drove from Denver to Boston to have a illegal abortion, changed her mind last minute, came back, had me. And I was like a non atheistic young Sheldon in the hood. I was a bookish quiet kid that did not fit into my family. And I was terrified of my family, of my neighborhood. I didn’t know why I was here. And one of my uncles gave me a present in front of the family on Christmas and it was a doll. And I was like, “Why is this a doll?” He goes, “I figured you don’t have a dad, so you like to play with dolls like a little girl.” I was like six years old at the time.

Daniel Markin:

Wow.

Greg Stier:

And I shoved it in his stomach and I go, “I’m not a girl.” Everybody was like, “Maybe he’s one of us after all. You see that temper.” It began a search for identity. Who am I? How did I get in this family? Who is God? Why am I here? And that search was fulfilled 10 years later over the course of that ten years. So it’s about how a preacher from the suburbs, who is from the deep south, whose nickname was Yankee, for some reason, reached my toughest uncle with the gospel of Christ and one by one, my family was radically transformed by the power of the gospel. So in that 10 year period, I watched the utter radical transformation of the toughest guys you could imagine through the power of the gospel.

Greg Stier:

And Yankee, this preacher had a youth group and I went to his youth group. I was trained, equipped to share my faith and mobilized. That’s where I got, here’s where the king, cause and crew. I had my king, my cause, I had my crew and this fatherless scared little kid from the hood, all of a sudden had everything I need for life and godliness, found my identity. So really the book is about the power of the gospel and the potential of young people and how the gospel changes everything. Everything.

Daniel Markin:

Wow. That’s a crazy story. Of stories like that feel like they’re seldom to come by and I’m happy that you’re writing about this because I think we need to hear more of these stories because right now, oftentimes we don’t hear a lot of these stories of amazing faith because we think that some people are unreachable. We think that sometimes, I’m not going to go to these people in the hood because they’re just going to reject the gospel. I’d rather just stay safe and reach the other kids maybe at my school or my neighbor, but I’m not going to go to those people. Did you ever experience some of that, as you were looking for identity and faith? I mean this guy Yankee was coming to be with your family, but did you ever feel like why is the church not reaching out to me?

Greg Stier:

No. See we were those people. I mean, we were those people. And the reason Yankee came is because there was a guy named Bob Daley who knew my uncle Jack, who was the toughest one of my uncles, spent time in prison for choking two cops unconscious at the same time on a dare. He dared Yankee, Bob Daley dared Yankee to go talk to my uncle Jack. Went to his door, Jack, no shirt on opens the door, tattoos everywhere, huge guy. “What do you want?” He goes, “I’m here on a dare from Bob Daley to tell you about Jesus.” He goes, “I don’t know of Jesus, I know Bob, I’ll give you five minutes.” Sat down and explained the gospel, that Jesus came for sinners. Jesus came for those people. He said, “Does that make sense?” “Hell yeah,” was his answer. He put it, that was his sinner’s prayer was, “Hell yeah.” He put his faith in Christ, brought 250 people out to Yankee’s church in one month.

Greg Stier:

My uncle Bob fully surrendered to Christ in the back of a squad car after he beat a guy to death, went to Florida Bible College. Every one of my family members radical transformation because somebody was willing to reach out to those people. We were those people. Who did Jesus come to reach? He came to reach the bad, the broken, the bullied and the bullies. So I tell teenagers, “Look for that kid sitting by themselves at the cafeteria table. Look for the poor in spirit. Those who know they have a need.” It’s hard, hard, hard to reach rich people, upper class, middle class people with a gospel. Poor people, speaking as a guy who was raised an apartment complexes and trailer courts, are more open to the gospel. Jesus came to preach to the poor.

Greg Stier:

Spurgeon, when he took over the church in South London, somebody asked him, “Why did you start a church in the worst part of London?” He said, “If you want to set a house on fire, start the fire in the basement, because fire burns up.” And so we have to go to those people and we were those people. And once those people get a hold of something, they go crazy in all the right ways. They want everyone to know. And it was so awesome being raised in this family and seeing the power of the gospel. I knew by the time I was 15, I was going to be a preacher because of it.

Daniel Markin:

Let me ask you this. As you think about youth, as you think about young adults and the crazy world we’re living in right now, what are some of the more pressing questions that youth and young adults should be preparing answers for? Because maybe as they start sharing the gospel, I can think of things from all sorts of, like for example, LGBTQ issues or they might have issues around depression and suicide anxiety. What are some things that along with the gospel that we can actually be incorporating into our evangelism, but some things that we should be well versed on as leaders, as youth, as young adults emerging in this culture?

Greg Stier:

You know what’s interesting, I did a podcast with Louis Giglio a couple months back and I asked him, “How’s the spiritual climate among college age, 20 something?” He goes, “Greg, I’ve never seen a generation that has been more open to talk about life and death, heaven and hell even, than this generation, because of COVID.” And it was interesting, I said, “I was a pastor, you’re a pastor, when you do a funeral service, everybody’s open to talk. They’re thinking about their own mortality.” This has been like a global funeral service where I think people are really actually more open to talk about life and death and a simple way to get in there. I mean, something I use all the time is, “Hey, is there any way I can be praying for you?” And it’s all of a sudden you become the priest. And they’re like, “Well actually,” and sometimes they open up about some of their fears, some of the challenges if they lost somebody during COVID and just turn that, make a salvation segue toward Jesus and make it conversational.

Greg Stier:

So I think the key to really getting the evangelism down and being sensitive to the spirit of God and taking whatever subject and turning it toward Christ, that old quote that somebody said, Spurgeon said, I can’t it in the Spurgeon sermons, but he did it all the time. “I take my text and I make a beeline for the cross.” So whatever we’re talking about it, just asking God to open that pathway up to get him to Jesus and the cross, because it is so important and we can do it in a loving way. We don’t have to yell at people. My goodness, I go confront the people who are yelling at people on the streets. I’m like, “Dude, how much success have you had doing this?” “Well, you don’t know anything about it.” I go, “I lead a ministry called Dare to Share. We’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve trained millions of teenagers. I know a little bit about it.” Talk to people, love people, care about people, engage with them.

Daniel Markin:

Yeah. I was literally watching videos of street preachers last night. And not planning to talk about this, but it is something that I’m always, it makes me sad because it feels like they’re really maximizing on the relentless, but not on the relational at all. And I’m with you, it’s like, yeah, the Lord could use that, but how much success are they having? Because it’s like, okay, well, no, I’m doing it from a place of love. Okay. But is that being communicated from, does that look like to them that it’s coming from a place of love?

Greg Stier:

Exactly. Yeah.

Daniel Markin:

Because we like to say hard things, right? Like, “Oh no, I’m saying a hard thing because I love them.” And it’s like, “Do you? Do you really?”

Greg Stier:

If you love them, you’re going to engage them in a way that they’re going to listen. And I was, years ago at Pearl Street Mall in Boulder and there was a street preacher, and he was yelling at everybody and I just went in the crowd. There’s probably 73 people yelling at him. It was very antagonistic, but I was able to engage in conversations. I actually was able to lead four people to Christ in the crowd by simply saying, “Hey, what do you think of this guy?” “Well, he’s a jerk.” I go, “What are you thinking? You think Jesus would do it this way?” And they’re like, “No, I don’t think Jesus would do it.” And I go, “Matter of fact.”

Greg Stier:

And afterward I came up to him and I go, “Hey, how did it go?” And he goes, “Yeah, nobody trusted Christ. I got persecuted.” I go, “I led four people Christ while you were yelling at them.” And he goes, “What? How’d you do that?” And I said, “I’ll train you if you try it.”And I trained him and we engaged a guy who was walking down the Pearl Street Mall. And I don’t think he trusted Christ, but he goes, “He talked.” He goes, “Well, forget this street preaching stuff. I’m doing this.” He was a sincere guy just doing the all only thing he knew how to do.

Greg Stier:

But yeah, I think again, that’s the rarity. The average Christian just doesn’t share the gospel at all. So I would just encourage you to bring it up. We have a saying at Dare to Share, awkward is awesome. Because Jesus, he was the Prince of Peace and the king of awkward. “Go get your husband.” “I don’t have a husband.” “You’ve had five husbands. And dude you’re shacking up with now is not your husband.” Awkward, right. But that’s where change happens. Lean into the awkward, lovingly lean into the awkward and God will do his thing.

Daniel Markin:

Absolutely. Let me give you the last word. As you think about us in Canada, as you think about youth and young adults, what encouragement, what would you want to encourage us with, us Canadians up here?

Greg Stier:

I love Canadians by the way. So here’s the encouragement I would give you. We are sitting on a sleeping giant, a lot of young people that if they can embrace the gospel, Christian young people can embrace it as their cause and be mobilized to engage in loving conversations, that the power of the gospel is the game changer. And it doesn’t matter if a 12 year old girl or a 30 year old Marine pulls the pin on a grenade, it’s going to explode. And the gospel is explosive and it will change lives. We just need to pull the pin and duck and God’s going to do his thing. So man, start praying about the people you want to reach and go for it. Go for it. And God can use you in a powerful way.

Daniel Markin:

Amen. Amen. Well, Greg, thank you for being on the program and thank you for joining us. And man, I look forward to talking again. This was amazing for me and I learned a lot through this. And so looking to apply this in ministries and hoping that anyone listening to this too, will take it to heart and definitely go out and find your book. Where can they find your resources?

Greg Stier:

Just anywhere, go to Amazon, just Google Unlikely Fighter, Greg Stier, S-T-I-E-R and just so you know, every dollar in dime goes back into the ministry, I don’t take any of it. Never have of any of this stuff. I just want to reach generation with the gospel. I think people that read it are going to be encouraged, deeply encouraged about the power of the gospel.

Daniel Markin:

Amazing. Hey, thank you for joining us and we’ll talk to you later.

Greg Stier:

Thanks for the opportunity, Daniel.

Daniel Markin:

Well, thanks again for listening. That was Greg Stier and if you’re looking to find any more resources, maybe some of his books, podcasts, Greg’s all over YouTube, but his website is Dare, the number two, share.org. So dare2share.org. You can find all the stuff there. Well, that’s all we have for you today. Thank you for listening and we look forward to talking to you again soon. All the best.

Speaker 1:

Thanks so much for listening. If you want to hear more subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or visit us online at indoubt.ca or indoubt.com. We’re also on social media, so make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Daniel Markin:

Indoubt is a ministry of Good News Global Media designed to speak into faith, life and culture. These are challenging conversations for young men and women who have chosen lives for Jesus, while at the same time are constantly engaged by the culture and philosophies of the world around them. It causes us to ask about the relevance of the Bible, how to engage our world, how to share the gospel and perhaps the most difficult question, how does the young follower of Jesus live a holy life? Join us each week as we dig deep into faith, life and culture. For more information about Indoubt or to offer a gift of support to this young adult ministry, visit indoubt.com or call 1-844-663-2424. Thanks.

Greg Stier
Greg StierDare 2 Share Ministries
Greg Stier is a champion for unleashing this generation with the gospel. As the founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, he is driven to help the church activate Christian teenagers to reach their friends. In the last 30 years, Greg has trained millions of youth leaders and students how to relationally engage their world with the Good News of Jesus. A much-sought-after speaker, Greg is a former pastor, church planter, and youth leader, as well as the author of numerous books.

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