January-February Ministry Update 2010

Hello from Amsterdam,

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:32

In this update you will see a reflection back on the 2009 goals that the Lord allowed us to achieve as a church, as well as some personal goals. In addition, I will share some current prayer requests to get the year started off right.

Special Note: As you read in my December Update, I was hopeful that there would be a way to upload the ministry video which was created late in 2009 and distributed to ministry partners at Christmas time. Well, God answered… an old friend who I knew from the h20 church in Orlando offered to do this for me… thank you, Jesse! Therefore, for all those who didn’t receive their own personal copy in the mail, you can view the video (and the “extras”) by going to my website. Enjoy!

Some 2009 goals or events that God helped our church to accomplish

  • Transition to Communities (from the old home group structure). This process began in the Fall of ’09. Things remain in the developmental stage, but currently there are possibilities for 17 different Communities from the 9 home groups that had existed previously.
  • “24/7” prayer initiative. One of our church’s small groups coordinated a schedule that involved dozens of people from our church filling pre-arranged time slots to cover an entire week with prayer: 24 hours a day for 7 days in a row. It ended up being a very stimulating experience, both for the individuals involved and for the church as a whole–and we hope to repeat the experience again in the future.
  • Social Justice Awareness. The hope was to begin the process of organizing our community around causes of humanitarian and social concern. The focuses were lived out through film nights, discussion nights and activities for topics such as: clean drinking water (included a “water walk” and fundraiser, which raised 800 Euros to send to Africa, The Healthy Vine) and human trafficking (included a prayer walk and talk based on the Luke series we covered as a church)
  • Watkins Family transition. After a good good-bye Todd, Lindy and the kids moved back to America and are now helping to plant a church in Asheville, North Carolina). As a church, we were able to make a healthy leadership transition going from 2 Pastors to 1, with a young Dutchman named Marc La Porte now serving in a Pastor-in-Training role. In addition to Eric (our Pastor) and Marc there were 6 other men who stepped up to give some teachings at our worship gatherings.
  • Healthy Church Ministry seminars. We offered the Listening For Heaven’s Sake and Embracing God’s Grace courses.
  • Church Finances in the “black”. Our young church stepped up to provide enough tithe to cover our expenses for the second year in a row! It’s great to see a more sustainable church develop. Thank you, God!
  • Retreats. 2 for Home Group Leaders and 1 for the Married Couples.
  • Participation in Community serving. Our church made up a large part of the participation with a non-profit organization (HiP) to those in need around Amsterdam.
  • Weekly prayer continued. We pray together as a church from 9-10:00 in the morning on Wednesday mornings. You are welcome to join us in prayer from wherever you are (might be tricky for the 3am E.S.T. folks in the US)
  • Life change! Of course, many people’s lives grew spiritually, and more healthy. But, this is a very difficult item to track. We praise God for calling us deeper into multiplying our lives through discipleship. Theme verses: “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ”. (1 Corinthians 11:1) plus “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Some 2009 goals or events that the Lord helped me to accomplished

  • Serve the City. I led a project for a widow friend involving painting the main room of her home.
  • Ministry Team Development (MTD). I praise God for the ministry team He has given me. The prayer and financial support was strong this year and despite the rough economy the account I am responsible for remained solid.
  • Language. I completed the government contract and took the necessary exams. Despite not passing all the parts, it has been determined that I’ve met the requirements due to not planning on living here permanently.
  • Human Resources. I helped to establish a system for our non-profit organization (Stichting GCM Netherlands, who is my Dutch employer) to keep track of all the necessary documents, insurances, etc. for living here in Holland.
  • Small Group transition. I and my co-leaders (Jen and Jurren) were able to lead our home group through a 4 month equipping and vision casting time prior to the “Communities” developing in 2010. This included each of us teaching several mini-seminars and doing our best to prepare people well.

Prayer Points

  • “Communities” - Further development of the new small group ministry where everyone in the church would find a place to belong and be involved in penetrating a sub-culture here in the city. And, for people to be living out their visions, passions and gifting through this like-mindedness in ministry.
  • Leaders - Specifically for the leadership development within the new Communities — for unity, vision, and effectiveness for the gospel.
  • Healthy Church Ministry — the last weekend in January I was a facilitator for the Renewing the Mind seminar. More than half of the participants were from other churches and locations outside of Amsterdam50. We are encouraged that God is enabling us to equip the Body of Christ here in Holland with these amazing tools of replacing wrong beliefs with truth. Please pray that the work God began in each person’s heart and mind during the seminar will grow and blossom, overcoming the bondage of wrong thoughts or lies with truth.
  • Women in my small group during the recent seminar - Each of these young ladies gave me permission to share their “renewed” belief with you (see below). And, they cherish your prayers for strength to battle against the old lie and to live out their new belief:

    Joleth (Dutch university student) — “I will try my best when given a task or assignment. I am not a failure, even if it's not as complete as I hope or finished within the amount of time set aside for it. There will be someone to help me if needed." Jeremiah 17:7-8 Ephesians 3:20-21 John 14:1 Philippians 4:13

    Nadia (Tyndale Seminary student from Ukraine) — “I realize I am not perfect, therefore it is ok to ask for help. What I do at my church is not about me, but about God and others. There are and will be situations that I cannot control.” Psalm 27:1 1 Corinthians 12:7 Psalm 139

    Olya (Tyndale Seminary student from Ukraine) — “I am accepted. My school scores or marks do not determine who I am. I am a child of God. As a human being I will make mistakes. I am loved by God regardless of my scores.” Ephesians 1:4-5 Psalm 139 John 1:12

Thank you for your involvement in this ministry. Through your faithfulness and God’s power I trust he will continue to act on our behalf as we serve Him together.

God bless you,



Trust in the Lord and do good;… Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;…” Psalm 37:3-7a