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October Ministry Update 2015

Greetings from Amsterdam,

As I experience the days growing shorter, trees losing their leaves and the layers of clothing increasing, it’s a stark reminder of the changing of seasons. Considering the “seasons of one’s life”, winter could be thought of as the end of life, whereas “spring” would have been the beginning of life… the time of the new birth, new growth.

My friend, Janja, is experiencing the winter phase of life due to terminal brain cancer. At her “celebration of life” she’s planning to have Vivaldi’s Four Seasons playing to symbolize the seasons of life. Janja is a poet, linguist and very appreciative of many types of fine art. She has asked me to read one of her own poems during the funeral. My prayer is that her winter comes to an end in a peaceful manner and with her heart understanding and receiving God’s deep, powerful, forgiving love for her.

I met Janja while taking Dutch lessons back in February of 2007. She moved to the Netherlands to marry a Dutch man in the summer of 2006 a number of years after her Serbian husband passed away and after living through the terrible war in her former Yugoslavia in the 90’s.

Over the past 8 ½ years I’ve shared numbers of spiritual truths with Janja, including the gospel of Jesus’ love and his offer of forgiveness for a repentant heart. My attempts to live out the gospel in word and deed have been prioritized and accomplished in Janja’s life, however, so far there has yet to be an acknowledgement of her need for God’s love. In the past two months the Lord has impressed upon my heart to read different sections of scripture, which are very poetic and symbolic, which she has greatly enjoyed.

In God’s Word (1 Corinthians 3:6-9) we are called to “plant seeds” and water them in people’s lives, but only God causes growth. May the Holy Spirit continue to soften the hearts of those in whom we’ve planted seeds and watered.

Photos left to right: Oct 2007 – friends from Dutch class in my home for lunch; early 2014 Janja posing in front of her own image which was “drawn” by a mutual friend as one of the Faces of Amsterdam exhibit where the art was created by using the words of her own life story; July 2014 at the hospital prior to her brain surgery, June 2015 doing “well” after late fall radiation treatment and recovery, and September 2015 brain tumor growing & inoperable.

Photos left to right: Oct 2007 – friends from Dutch class in my home for lunch; early 2014 Janja posing in front of her own image which was “drawn” by a mutual friend as one of the Faces of Amsterdam exhibit where the art was created by using the words of her own life story; July 2014 at the hospital prior to her brain surgery, June 2015 doing “well” after late fall radiation treatment and recovery, and September 2015 brain tumor growing & inoperable.

Please pray for Janja, that she’ll find peace and receive the love of Jesus in this final stage of her life.

Thank you for praying last month for the Renewing the Mind seminar.

Group photo: myself front right and my colleague/co-teacher, Patricia, on the far left.

The Lord greatly blessed the time, as 3 women from Amsterdam50 were able to join with 27 people from the Foundations of Counseling Ministry YWAM school, who are serving in ministries in 18 different countries around the world.

Here are some of the reactions:

"You are so real. I just love your hearts." ~ Chinomso

"Thanks for being open and vulnerable! It showed that even when we teach we don’t have to be perfect or show off. " ~ Yasmina

"I loved it. It’s kinda psychology mixed with real truth. It is very applicable in my life and in many others, I am sure. Thank you for helping me! " ~ Ina

"Linda and Patricia really know the material well. I could really see their passion to teach it to others." ~ Anon.

"Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it. At first, I felt overwhelmed, but in the end I really got so much out of it! Thank you! " ~ Anon.

Pray that the seminar materials continue to effectively bring renewal and truth into their lives, as well as to those they minister to.

Thank you for your partnership in ministry, which allows me plant seeds and water, in many different capacities.

God bless you,
Linda
linda.kitchen@reliant.org

Reliant is the new name for Great Commission Ministries. Our mission agency is now called Reliant: same gospel mission, new name. I’m still fully committed to the same work in Amsterdam and thank you for your support! Learn more at Reliant.org.