September Ministry Update 2010

Greetings from America,

In late July and early August I was blessed to spend 3 weeks with my family, including vacation, celebrating my parents 50th wedding Anniversary, visiting with relatives in western NY state and camping with my nephew and 2 nieces. For the past 5 ½ weeks I’ve been busy on the support raising trail in Indiana, Ohio and Florida. Meeting with churches and individuals has been both encouraging and uplifting. It’s wonderful being a part of the Body of Christ! Over the next 3 weeks I’ll be traveling in America’s Southwest, both California and Arizona.

Regarding the support raising phase of my furlough, so far there has been both new support ($279) and special gifts ($3060) given to Great Commission Ministries for the work I’m doing in Amsterdam. Thank you to all who have been so generous! I still need to raise $225 in monthly on-going support and $3000 in special gifts over these next 4 weeks. Thank you for your prayers in this regard.

This month a Dutch friend, Renske, will share a bit of her life story, as well as, how the Lord and her involvement in our ministry in Amsterdam has affected her life. [Photo below: June ’10 Social Justice Community, from left to right--Linda, Renske, Jordan and Hannah]

God has done so much in the relatively short time since I’ve been a Christian that I don’t know where to begin.

I grew up in a family who don’t believe in God. I never went to church and didn’t know the bible. Seven years ago I came in contact with some people who were starting this church in Amsterdam. To make a long story short, I met them in April, got saved in May and was baptized in September. If I look back on the last seven years I can honestly say that I am a totally different person and that I can’t imagine a life without God anymore. The decision to become a Christian was and is the best decision of my life.

The first couple of years were wonderful. I learned a lot about God through teachings, the bible, a great community life etc. I felt loved and accepted for who I was. I helped out in the church in a lot of ways and went from having no friends to a bunch of them, including Linda.

Being a Christian and living a Christian life was so totally new for me. This was what I was looking for my whole life. When I was young I always felt that there was something missing and finally I found it. I found God!

After a couple of years hard times came. It was almost like God was saying now we are going to clean up your past. I am a very visual person so I look at it like I am a house which is built on the wrong foundation, that being a foundation of terrible things and terrible lies. In order to build a new house on the foundation of God’s truth my old house needed to be broken down. The key word in all of this is broken, because that’s how I’ve felt the last couple of years and that’s how I still feel.

In this process God has shown me that I need to cling to Him, that I can trust him and that he will catch me when I fall. In my brokenness I constantly look for Him and need Him. God has come and still is coming into the places in my heart were there were darkness and lies and He fills it up with His truth. He is teaching me more and more about who He is and about whom He made me to be.

Looking back on the last seven years of being a Christian, I can honestly say that although it has and still is hard I would not change anything. That doesn’t mean I am never angry or frustrated at God. There are so many things I don’t understand but I know God loves me and He has a great plan for my future. So I am holding on to that truth and hoping and praying that this hard season of life will be over soon.

Please pray for Renske’s life and her healing process.

Thanks for everything.