November/December Ministry Update

Season's Greetings from Amsterdam,

With a thankful and hopeful heart I send you the warmest of Christmas wishes for a joyous season of good tidings and great joy!

I’ve been back on Dutch soil for less than 6 weeks and one might say it’s been a whirlwind of activity. Recently a team member descried what our current ministry lives are like as “no mold growing here”. It’s been wonderful reconnecting with the Amsterdam50 body and others in the city after being in America on furlough.

Thank you for your prayers and involvement in this ministry. It’s a blessing to be partnered with you and to share the latest ministry happenings for the year.

GCM-NL team: John Shepard, Naomi Triggs, Patricia Flynn, me and Leslie Phillips

Leadership Transition (continues on…)

Within 48 hours of arriving back, at the Amsterdam50 worship gathering it was shared publically that the two Pastors in Training with our ministry over the past 18 months had decided to step down as Pastors in Training (PIT). "Stepping down" doesn't do justice to all that led up to this decision because it was a joint decision between the PIT and the Apostolic Oversight Team (Joe Dunn, Eric Asp and John Shepard — who moved to Amsterdam in September for the purpose of mentoring the PIT).

According to John, this decision did not come easily. He also shared that the Apostolic Oversight Team (AOT) had formulated a plan they thought best for two reasons; both for the future of the Amsterdam50 church and also how the PIT was to work within it. Due to some differences which were not based on doctrinal issues (God, Jesus as Lord, His love and desires for His bride, the Church, the work of the Holy Spirit, etc.), however, they were based on how those doctrines come alive within A50, in this context, place and time. Never once was there a question of the veracity or character of Marc or Michael's beliefs, only how are they assimilated here and carried out. Therefore, the AOT asked Marc and Michael for a season, to do the following:

  • step back from the majority of teaching while John would help them work on their skills of developing effective messages.
  • develop relationships through starting a community group where they could be life-on-life with others.
  • that John would take over much of the administrative details of shepherding A50, including the development of leaders.

While the AOT and PIT reached a consensus on some points for change, 2 things emerged:

  1. They agreed to disagree on certain elements of how to be effective in ministry.
  2. The changes the AOT asked of Marc and Michael seemed to them too much and too late in their process as PIT's.

Overall this situation was not an easy process, especially for Marc and Michael. They each shared with Amsterdam50 about their decision to step down and then the church surrounded them and their wives in prayer- to affirm them, let them know we support them and to ask God's rich blessings on their lives ahead.

Please pray for the GCM-NL team and for the Servant Leadership Council for God to provide wisdom in raising up the next generation of National and European leaders. ALL for His Glory!

Christmas in Kenya

I’ll be spending 15 days (trip dates: Dec 14-30) with the precious orphan kids in Kenya again this year over the Christmas holiday.

The Director of the safe house indicated in a recent e-mail that he expects another Christmas Play. ☺ It was a big hit last year with the guardians as well as the local church. In addition to that activity I’ll be focusing on introducing the older teen girls to a book study using Linda Dillow’s Gift-wrapped by God. With all the kids there will be story times, Ultimate Frisbee playing, singing, devotionals, talking and sharing about our lives, making Christmas decorations and decorating the tree, visiting with the guardians, and also a Frisbee outreach with 20 of the girls from St. Francis High School, where Grace (20 years, the oldest orphan at the safe house) recently completed her high school education.

Please pray for good health, wisdom and much energy during my trip to Karai, Kenya, and for amazing opportunities to speak into the lives of the wonderful staff and for deepening relationships and increased English skills of these incredible kids.

Merry Christmas and God bless you,