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July Reflection... August Ahead.

In this ministry update you’ll receive a glimpse at the recent past, as well as a look into what this month holds with ministry opportunities here in Amsterdam. (Prayer highlights are at the very end, if that’s all the time you have to read and respond…I cherish your prayers!)

Outreach

  • Last month I had the extreme pleasure of being able to reconnect with the woman, Jenny de Zinger, whom I helped to paint her kitchen during the May “Serve the City” project.

We spent an afternoon in a small remote village outside of Amsterdam, called Broek in Waterland. One of the reasons for our get together was so that I could present her with a photo of our StC team, as well as the gospel of John (in Dutch).


Photo: Serve the City Festival - Me and Jenny

During the project we had several spiritual conversations, which led to giving her the story of Jesus through John’s account. In addition, while we were talking I was able to share the gospel and also give her a gospel tract. She was leaving a few days later for vacation in Turkey and mentioned that she could take along this new “reading material”.

Our conversation in July was the deepest we’ve ever gotten “spiritually” and Jenny’s heart appeared soft to the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord!!! Please pray for Jenny’s salvation.

  • A cool event I volunteered at was the Windmill Windup (Ultimate Frisbee) tournament here in Amsterdam. This event drew over 400 participants, teams from 12 countries, including a lot of European National Teams. For 2 days I worked along side the other “staff” serving in multiple tasks ranging from picking up garbage, stocking and selling concessions, cutting meat and vegetables (the meals were prepared and served at the field), filling water jugs, making coffee, cleaning tables, distributing competition results/next round schedules to various places. You get the idea – a “Jane of all trades”, right?

The competitors were men and women from 15-50 (a guess on the upper end) from all walks of life. It was so crazy that after every round many would stream into the big tent (to get out of the rain or drizzle) and immediately “light up” (cigarettes AND marijuana, which of course is legal here). I just don’t know how they can make it to run up and down that field with all that stuff in their lungs. Crazy!!

In “Ultimate”, the teams come together arm in arm following the match to congratulate each other on the game. (In the photo below, the Dutch National Women’s Team is in dark shorts) Usually a representative from each team (often the last one to score OR the team captain) will reflect on the match and comment on how the other team played in that game… quite friendly!!

The best part of the “Windmill” is that I got to know more of the men and women who participate in the regular Amsterdam Ultimate League, so now when I’m at weekly training times there are more people to interact with.

Please pray that God will continue to allow me to connect with more women through Ultimate, for His glory and to grow His Kingdom.

Women’s Ministry

  • The last weekend in July we had a delightful Daughters of the King overnight trip. 12 women from Zolder50 participated. We traveled north of Amsterdam to a beautiful area where the woods, dunes and beach were all accessible. Everyone brought their bike on the train or rented one once we got there so we could easily make our way to and from the train station, to the hostel and surrounding areas.

God really came through for us, by pushing the rain clouds further east on Friday, which allowed for a wonderful day of traveling the short distance to Castricum/Bakkum. And, the entire time away we didn't need to use our rain gear at all... thank you Lord!!!

The "Speed Dating" on Friday night, while sitting outside under a slightly chilly summer sky and the beautiful large tree at the hostel, gave everyone an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better through finding out what our childhood memories were, what we like to do in our free time, what God has been teaching us lately, what we wanted "to be" when we were young, and something we never knew about that person.


Photo: Italian dinner experience at La Trattoria

Saturday morning we had a group devotional where I shared some things God has been teaching me lately: our situations and circumstances in life may not always seem "right" or the "way it's supposed to be" (meaning not according to our plan or society's structure). But, God says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness..." (2 Corinthians 12:9) So, just as God used women in the Old Testament to change and affect the genealogy of Christ, I believe God has a beautiful plan for each one of us to impact the Kingdom of God, regardless of our circumstances.

The rest of the day was full of "down time" and provided a very relaxed environment whether women flew kites, read, had conversations, walked along the beach, shared a group picnic lunch, cycled in the dunes, rested/napped on the beach, etc. Some even were able to stay in Bakkum longer to enjoy the beautiful peace and quietness of being in nature and the extraordinary day God provided.

We all enjoyed celebrating together the remarkable treasure it is to be a "Daughter of the King".

A few of the women reflected on how God ministered to them during our time away:

“I enjoyed it very much. So many activities are going on in the city that when you leave it is so refreshing. I was pleasantly surprised that we were such a nice group of women. Although I didn’t get to talk deeply with each woman, it was a start and yesterday we greeted each other at church. I am looking forward to knowing all my brothers and sisters just like in any regular family. I am gradually enjoying celebrating the remarkable treasure of being a daughter of the King.” - Avantia

“These two days were great. I enjoyed riding my bike a lot. Saturday was nice spending a few hours in the sunshine in the dunes. That was from God. Thank you for organizing these two days.” - Nathalie

Please pray that God would continue to grow the sisters in Christ at Zolder50 in unity, love for one another, and that our relationships would deepen with Jesus.

Zolder50 – August “change up” & H88

  • For the past 3 years it’s been tradition for the Zolder50 community to do something different during this month. We have experimented with alternative forms of church, seeking to break down the myths that “church” is only about ministry facilities and/or worship services.

Eric, one of our pastors, gave a great message last Sunday on the 4 misconceptions of what “church” is. You can check out the teaching on our website, under media, miscellaneous (2007-07-29) – The Church: http://www.amsterdam50.nl

Over the course of the month we have planned weekly opportunities for people to invite their unsaved friends or family members to “non-stereotypical” church events:

August 5- Vondel50, we met in the park with flowers to give away and food to share. It was a sunny summer Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam; most Amsterdammers were in the Vondelpark! So we took the church to them… not the building (obviously) or the worship gathering per se... but the Church. The people of God. The Body of Christ. We brought God’s presence with us to the Vondelpark.

August 12- Homegroup50, a fun team-based adventure, facilitating relational connection and exploring the city with others. Our Home Group will be hosting a dinner a few nights later to get to know those who are a part of our group during the scavenger hunt (Speurtocht).

August 19- Boat50, a 2-hour chartered party boat excursion on the waterways in and around Amsterdam providing a fun social interactive opportunity to bring a friend along.

August 26- Open Mic50, an all-evening display of local talent where the musicians, poets, writers and artists of our community and from around Amsterdam can showcase their talent.

Please pray for God to deepen relationships in our community and grow spiritual interest in those who don’t yet know their Maker (as we live out what it means to be the Body of Christ).

  • It may come as a big surprise (at least, it did for us in Zolder50) that we have finally reached an agreement with the owner of the H88 (Herengracht 88 building) that could have us meeting in that space on Sundays as soon as sometime in September! It’s been a long, drawn-out, painful process that’s brought us to the brink of a court case on a number of different occasions – but we’re very pleased to announce that we have finally reached an agreement securing permission for at least 120 people and distributing responsibility for the extra renovation costs that have been incurred along the way.

Of course, in the give-and-take of business negotiations, we had to make some (financial) concessions to reach this agreement; however, the final agreement still kept us within our means, and it has definitely provided for eventual allowance of at least 120 people (and maybe even as many as 150, now that they’re going to have to put in a second fire exit after all). The actual timelines are still working themselves out, but at any rate – we are now moving forward again! For those interested in catching up on all the stories regarding H88, you can visit a separate section on Eric’s blog titled “Relocation”.

Please pray for God’s guidance as we move forward again in this process. And, also for wisdom for Lee Dubois as he oversees the building project (construction projects, new floor, kitchen installation, audio and visual installation, and coordinating teams of people from interior design to laborers, etc).

Amsterdam

  • A hint of “summer”… for three days in early August we actually were blessed with sunny skies and temps in the upper 70’s and low 80’s, after experiencing an unseasonably cool and rainy June and July. The flowers even seemed to like the blue skies. Now it’s back to reality – daily highs of upper 60’s and low 70’s. Well, at least we’re not in a drought.

Personal

  • Recently my staff profile was posted on Great Commission Ministry’s website. If you’d like to take a look, go to www.gcmweb.org and look under “WHAT’S NEW”, click on “Leadership Development”.

  • At the end of August or early September I am excited to announce that I’ll have 2 new companions…. Kittens. They will be 8-9 weeks old when I bring them home. It’s been 2 years (on August 5th) since my loss of Bagheera and the Lord has brought me to a good place of emotional healing over the last several months of working through some fears and challenges that came along with her death. I praise God for the new upcoming blessing of pets.

Thank you for your prayers and support. God bless you this summer!

Serving a Great God with you,

 

Linda
linda.kitchen@gcmweb.org

Prayer Highlights

Thank you for praying for:

  • Jenny’s salvation;
  • Opportunities for me to connect with more women through Ultimate Frisbee, for His glory and to grow His Kingdom;
  • God to continue to grow the sisters in Christ at Zolder50 in unity, love for one another, and that our relationships would deepen with Jesus.
  • God to deepen relationships and grow spiritual interest in those who don’t yet know their Maker (as we live out what it means to be the Body of Christ).
  • God’s guidance as we move forward again in the ministry center process;
  • Wisdom for Lee Dubois as he oversees the ministry center project (construction projects, new floor, kitchen installation, audio and visual installation, and coordinating teams of people from interior design to laborers, etc).