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January Ministry Update

Greetings from Amsterdam,

I hope the New Year has started off with many blessings in your life. Last week our ministry engaged in a week of prayer and fasting in combination with a National prayer week, resulting in unity within the Body of Christ, a deeper passion for those who don’t yet know Jesus and direction from the Lord for the coming year. Please pray that our hearts continue to be united and for God to shine brightly in Amsterdam this year.

Photo, below: Sunday there was prayer for Siggi, a Norwegian who studied for his Masters Degree in Amsterdam and was a meaningful part of our community over the past year. Many times a year we pray blessings over people being “sent out” returning to their home countries or moving to different parts of the world as God’s ambassadors.

“…Seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33

The following are some other exciting developments that have happened within Amsterdam50 recently:

Christmas Outreaches:

Our church united with the Anglican Christ Church in the city center of Amsterdam for a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. An atmosphere was created for people to invite their unsaved neighbors, friends or co-workers to a social time beforehand gathered in the courtyard under heat lamps to enjoy conversation, delicious baked goods and hot drinks before the special service. The church was packed, Christmas carols sung, communion taken and the message of Christ’s birth and reason for God Emmanuel clearly shared.

Then on “Second” Christmas Day (December 26th), which is also a National holiday in the Netherlands, Amsterdam50 put on a Celebration in our festive ministry space, where we sang carols and read aloud from Luke chapters 1 and 2, followed by a carry in dinner, time of puzzling/games, fellowship and a Christmas movie. Many people who came were not regular church attendees and many spiritual conversations took place. One of those present at both Christmas Eve and the Second Christmas Celebration was a young African refugee named Dennis.

Less than a week later following a time of prayer on New Year’s Eve, Dennis repented of his sins, placed his life in God’s hands and asked Jesus to be the Lord of his life. We are thrilled to have a new brother-in-Christ! Please pray for protection over Dennis’ life and for God’s provision in all ways, including his next steps of faith.

Another person who attended both events was Fiona, a single mother, along with her 10 year old daughter, Madina. I had a long spiritual conversation with Fiona and we met a few weeks later. God is working on her heart as she searches for spiritual direction. It’s challenging because Madina’s father is Muslim and so they have both the Koran and the Bible in their home. Please pray that Fiona and Madina will understand God’s love for them through Jesus Christ – He is the way, the truth and, the life!

Photo, above: Beginning the puzzle with (l to r) Lucas, Amber, Ineke and me.

Leadership Development:

We began the year with a focus on leadership development in order to carry out our vision as a church of Knowing Jesus, Becoming Like Jesus and Making Jesus Known. There are about 14 community leaders and 6 ministry leaders within Amsterdam50. The Servant Leadership Council (SLC) organizes a Leaders Gathering every 6-8 weeks in order for us, as leaders, to be unified to carry out our vision. It is our prayer is that we are a group of disciples of Christ whom are making disciples throughout the city.

Here is an encouragement from Farah and Mirjam, two of the community leaders, about how they were impacted through our recent leaders gathering:

The time connected us to what’s going on; we were inspired to be sharing in this Kingdom work; the stories of what God is doing are so beautiful and encouraging. It’s good to be reminded to rest in God and our relationship with him in order to have our own heart in a good place.

The SLC (Patricia, John and Linda) do so much and see everything; a lot of good things are happening, going beautifully, and there are a lot of new people… God is blessing us. Remember: really good things are happening; don’t be discouraged.

Please pray for God’s blessing over all of our leaders and that we reflect Christ in every aspect of life: Arjen, Mirjam M, Leslie, Saskia, David, Marcus, Neelke, Renske, Sergei, Willem, Claire, Sunita, Farah, Mirjam B, Ronnie, Jurren, Colby, John, Patricia and Linda.

Prayer results from my last update:

  • During my short support raising trip to the US in November nearly 50% of the needed monthly funds were raised.
  • Being with my parents over Thanksgiving was a very special time! My father had his last chemo treatment on December 10th and the PET scan in early January revealed that the cancer is gone!!! We are praising God for His healing provision and trusting for many more years together. I hope in 2015 they’ll be able to travel to Amsterdam.
  • The young Dutch woman, Liz, received clear direction from the Lord in early January, which resulted in her joining a Discipleship Training School in Quebec, Canada through Youth With A Mission. She’ll be there for 3 months before going on a 3 month outreach.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in the gospel.

United with you for His glory,