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Spring News Recap 2007

Hello!

With the “official first day of summer” arriving in less than 2 weeks, it’s about time that I relay what’s been happening over the past several months. I apologize for the delay in my communication. Needless to say, life has been full!!

March

I traveled home to the U.S. for 2 and ½ weeks. This was a bit of an unexpected trip, but since my plans changed to not travel home this summer, it was important for me to see my family. So, I ventured between Indiana, Illinois and Arizona, which allowed me to experience Winter, Spring and Summer because of it being early to mid March. From snowballs to sunshine and shorts… it was a fabulous time. Reconnecting with my loved ones and especially my 5 nieces and 1 nephew was wonderful, however, they are growing up much too quickly!

Upon my return to Amsterdam I engaged with the language classes that were offered to me just 3 days prior to my vacation to America. I have classes 4 days a week and I’d have to say that usually I feel like I’m “drinking from a fire hydrant” with all there is to learn. But, I’m in my 12th week and overall it’s going well. Our school’s “Zomervakantie” (summer vacation) will begin July 7th and I’ll have 8 weeks without official classes, but will hope to continue the learning process.

Please pray that God helps me to grasp the Dutch grammar and have confidence in speaking.



April

The GCM missionaries from around Europe gathered in Bled, Slovenia for our annual week retreat. It was a fabulous time connecting with and praying for one another, as usual. In addition, I was blessed and refreshed by the amazing surroundings, including a mountain lake (which I walked around on nice roads/trails- 6 km), castle on a hill, the Italian and Austrian Alps in clear view and “spring” beginning to pop. Our sessions focused on the European vision and mission, as well as hearing from our regional directors and the US region director about the latest developments within the movement.

Just before our bus left for the airport several of us took advantage of “Alpine Sledding” down a nearby mountain… it was so cool!

We got back to Amsterdam in time to have a meaningful worship gathering with Zolder50 to celebrate our risen Lord! Although while still in Slovenia, as a pre-Easter celebration, I decided to give the children of our staff “Easter socks” for their beautiful feet, which can carry the good news of Jesus to others. This was a delightful time.

May

This was a very busy month! Zolder50 participated in a citywide project called Serve the City. We also hosted a mission team for 2 weeks from Colorado and a friend/GCM ministry partner from Illinois visited me for 10 days to see Amsterdam, meet Zolder50 folks and help with Serve the City.


Photo: Painting team from top to bottom: Sonja, Linda, John and Laura

There were 31 projects and 280 volunteers taking part in the first ever Serve the City in Amsterdam. Serve the City was a group effort that grew out of “Zolder50” and included many non-believers as well. The project started in Brussels in 2005 and has spread to other large cities all over the world. This initiative allowed us to show Amsterdam that the Church is called to serve the World through practical means, not only by preaching.

We teamed up with 16 different organizations and churches to hold these different service projects throughout the city. The 4-day event ended with a special church service (recording a historical moment for Zolder50 by hosting our first ever morning worship gathering) and then a closing festival in Museumplein (a major cultural center of Amsterdam).

I led a project to serve one of my old neighbors, Jenny de Zinger, by painting her kitchen. It was really great to be a part of shining Christ’s love in my old neighborhood!

Please pray with me that God’s love continues to penetrate Jenny’s heart and that she will come to know God in a personal way. Soon we will meet for tea in order to present her with our project team photo and a Gospel of John booklet.

Hopefully, the outcome of this initiative is that we realize that our faith should motivate us to try and make a difference in the community in which we live and to become more personally involved with the needs of those around us. We are trying to develop a focus for and grow in becoming “missional” or “on mission” at Zolder50.

Different Worldviews Presentation

The Colorado Missions team not only volunteered in Serve the City projects, but also promoted and presented a three-part seminar on different worldviews, called God Hypothesis: Finding a Reality in Which to Believe

The seminar aimed to show from a scientific rational perspective that it makes sense to believe in a monotheistic God who revealed himself in the person of Jesus. The seminar was a timely follow up to the Serve the City project which gave us a chance to invite many non-believing people. The seminar titles were:

  • May 21 The Claim of Materialism: Is Starstuff enough?
  • May 22 God: Someone or Something?
  • May 23 Jesus as God: Hope or Heresy?

A young man, Chris, came to the seminar but had never been to Zolder50 before and yet he had been searching for “god” and pursuing Buddhism at some point in his life. Since the seminars, Chris has been attending home group and is eagerly reading the Bible and looking for answers. Every week we have great discussion on truths in the Bible, how to apply them to life and the amazing gift of grace God gives us through Jesus. Please pray for Chris and others who are looking for answers… that they find the One true love and way to God through Jesus Christ.

Church Building update

Our church building situation is still in limbo. It’s been over 8 months since we moved out of our original location, so it’s been a bit strange and awkward to be “building-less”, but God has provided a temporary location through the Youth With A Mission ministry that is working well. Things with lawyers and contracts work very slowly here; maybe they do everywhere, but it seems the Dutch are especially astute for their attention to detail and stinginess when it comes to matters of business, law, and contracts. It wouldn’t be surprising if it will be well into the fall before any final resolution comes for our current situation.

Please pray for our church facility issues and that God will give us the necessary patience to wait on the “ministry center” location He has for us.

Thank you for your prayers and your commitment to helping the people of Europe come to know Christ and the reality of His eternal life.

God bless you,

 

Linda
linda.kitchen@gcmweb.org