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December

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Greetings to all!

I trust you will enjoy a fabulous holiday season filled with many blessings. One of my personal blessings is that I’ll be traveling back to the U.S. for 4 weeks to reconnect with friends, family and ministry partners. I’ll be in Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Arizona before returning to the Netherlands on January 8th.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in Europe now for over 13 months. I’ve seen God do a lot in that time both in my life and in the hearts of those around me. As you may know, my main responsibility in moving to Amsterdam was to assist the lead pastor, Joe Dunn, and serve his family while they served Zolder 50 – the Great Commission Ministries church plant that happened in Amsterdam in 2002. Recently a decision was made where Joe was asked by our missions headquarters (GCM) to return to the States sooner, on December 21st, rather than as they had hoped, summer of 2005. In brief, the reasoning for their decision to agree with the advice of GCM is --

  1. The leadership structure of GCM organization is changing.  Joe’s role in the change will better serve the whole organization, Europe and Amsterdam from the States.  (His primary role will remain serving Zolder 50 and other GCM missionaries and churches in Europe.)
  2. Joe’s travel schedule back to the States has been more than originally expected and further travel will be needed.
  3. The children's education has not been easily resolved.

Joe will continue to serve the pastoral team and Board of Zolder 50 from the States.  His move will not change the direction of Zolder 50 nor the timing of the plans that are in place for 2005, nor does it change the overall strategy and plans for planting more churches throughout Europe. Joe plans on traveling back to Europe 3-4 times a year.

 

Joe senses a peace from God that now is the time to move back to the States because of the following factors: the church in Amsterdam expresses a genuine faith in Christ, an authentic walk with God, an eager desire to grow spiritually, a humility to serve one another in the Zolder 50 church community and a passion to introduce Christ in culturally relevant ways to the people of Amsterdam and Holland.

Here is a brief reflection from Joe and Peggy on my involvement with their family:

From the day that she decided to move to Amsterdam over a year ago until today, Linda's presence has been felt throughout the church in Amsterdam and other churches in Europe.  Linda has provided a profound sense of stability in the lives of many young women in Zolder 50 (Amsterdam church).  She is ready to serve them, share her faith with genuine seekers, help the emotionally hurting and encourage others to grow in their obedience to God.   She is an extremely valuable and necessary part of the Zolder 50 team.  Additionally, her serving heart has allowed me the chance to minister to the churches in Holland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and Poland.  Without her in Europe, our family would not be here, and thus, not able to serve over 50 other missionaries and their families.  As a family we are forever indebted to her sacrifice to serve us.  As for the church, without Linda many lives that have now been touched by God would not have been.

Personally, I sense God’s calling for me to remain in Amsterdam at this time even though the Dunn family is moving back to the U.S. It is yet to be determined exactly what my role will be. However, serving God and His church, ministering to the needs of those seeking God as well as the church family, specifically women, and reaching out to the spiritually lost are all passions of mine. Therefore, I would like to ask for your prayers:

  1. For God’s guidance and that His plan for 2005 is revealed in perfect timing
  2. For the necessary funds in order to remain in Europe – specifics below
  3. For continual confirmation that God is directing my life

In order for me to remain in Europe, I need to raise quite a bit of additional financial support mainly because of needing to establish a legal residence and work visa. In addition, losing 23 to 32 percent on the exchange rate has drastically depleted my funds over the past year. Still, trusting God for His ultimate provision, I would also like to ask for your help in continuing to meet the needs of living in and doing ministry with the young people of central Amsterdam. Honestly, I am reluctant to share my current need with you, because you have already done so much for me and for the work I am doing. You have been a blessing from God. You have given and sacrificed so much to allow the Kingdom of God to grow in the heart of Amsterdam. Your support has made an incredible impact, and I value your contribution more than you will ever know.

I would like to ask you to please pray and consider how God might lead you to help meet my current financial need. For some who have supported us through prayer or special gifts, perhaps this could be a time to begin supporting this ministry on a regular basis… For others, this could be as simple as raising regular support levels by 10 to 25 percent… For still others, giving a special gift to help me cover costs during this time of need could be an important way to help… Of course, above all else, I need people to join with me in prayer. Really, any effort to help support the continued needs of this ministry would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration; please see the attached pledge form for details and follow-up…

Thank you for your support of my life and the ministry in urban Amsterdam God is calling me to. I am extremely grateful for your partnership in the gospel. May God bless you this Christmas through celebrating Jesus.

Linda
linda.kitchen@gcmweb.org