April-May Ministry Update 2010

Greetings from Amsterdam,

Spring in Holland always seems to be a mixture of beautiful sunny days and dreary rainy days. I guess you need both for the bulb flowers to produce.

On the last Saturday in April my friend and colleague, Patricia, and I loaded our bikes onto the train and set out for the flower fields, where we enjoyed a delightful day of cycling, gazing at and photographing the beauty. Thank you, Lord!

Amsterdam50 Communities

Since January our church has seen 12 Communities formed, including: Students, Young Professionals (both Dutch and English), Healing, Social Justice (x2), Writing, Music, Art, Persian, and Young Families (x2). All are at different stages of growth and have a need for clear leadership and direction.

One of the two Social Justice Communities, of which I am a part, has been studying the Bible and using videos and discussion questions to deepen our understanding of what it means to follow God’s example in this area.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31: 8-9, 20

** Please pray that the Amsterdam50 Communities will be effective in shining God’s Light into different subcultures of the city, resulting in many opportunities for the gospel. And, pray that God will rise up new leaders for each of these communities and that the Servant Leadership Council will have wisdom and insight in knowing how to coach these new groups to develop a vision and direction for their communities.

Great Commission Global Fellowship (GCGF)

In April our team hosted a group of men from the GCGF representing Great Commission (GC) Ministry Churches, GC Europe, GC Latin America and GC Ministries (USA). This was the first time the GCGF was held in a location outside of the US borders. Thankfully the group felt very cared for and were able to focus their time and energy on seeking the Lord through prayer and strategic conversations for His Will as collective ministries working together to build God’s Kingdom worldwide. Here’s a reflection from one of the participants, Joe Dunn, GC Europe Co-Director:

Wow! What a blessing you were to the GCGF guys. It couldn't have been any better. You made every person feel like a 100 million Euros. Countless times each of them commented on the care and hospitality you provided. Great was my boasting in you and you exceeded and excelled beyond my boasting. Needless to say, thank you. Please know your sacrifice and service made the gathering seamless and a success. I am so proud of you and how God is working through you individually and collectively.

Serve the City

May 21st -24th in Amsterdam 500 volunteers will be “serving the city” in many different capacities through 70 projects. This has become an annual opportunity to show God’s kindness and love through providing a hand on approach. This year I am leading a 2 day painting project for the same woman, Jenny de Zinger, who 3 years ago her kitchen was painted during Serve the City. This time around we will serve her by transforming the main hallway in her home, which hasn’t been painted for 25-30 years.

** Please pray for this project — that we can complete everything on the 22nd and 23rd of May and not run into too many difficulties (keep in mind, it’s a 100 year old building!), and for Jenny’s salvation, that she will experience and understand God’s deep love for her. I praise the Lord that Jenny’s heart continues to soften through the Holy Spirit. Pray with me that she fully opens the door of her heart to God’s amazing grace.

Personal Spiritual Retreat

The last weekend in May I am setting aside 2 days for a spiritual retreat. I try to fit this into my schedule every 6 months or so. I desire a deep connection with my Father and for the love of Christ to be revealed in new ways.

** Please pray that I am able to quiet my heart and hear clearly from the Lord.

Cultural Connection - “sun in the city”

Every few months I hope to include a ‘cultural connection’ segment in the ministry update for your reading/viewing pleasure as well as to give you deeper insight into the uniqueness’ that I experience here in Holland.

In Amsterdam’s sea-climate culture the sunny, warmer days are always cherished and appreciated any time of the year. As a matter of fact, when the sun shines there is some sort of transformation that takes place in the city where you literally see people longing deeply for the absorption of those Vitamin D rays. In some cases, people literally will sit facing directly into the sun with their friend to their side, versus sitting across from one another, in order to gain the most benefit from the warmth, etc. Enjoy viewing some examples in the photos below of this cultural experience:

Thank you for your prayers and support of the work here in Amsterdam.

God bless you,