Saturday, August 25, 2012

Journeying Home

The summer has rushed by and we have reached our final day in the Netherlands! Please pray for safe travel as our flight takes off this evening to return to the States. There are so many thoughts and emotions rushing through us as we reflect upon the past two months and look ahead to the future. 

Most pressingly, we are fired up and excited about returning to the Netherlands full-time as soon as possible. From our youth Jenny and I have both felt called by God to cross-cultural missions and the past ten years have been a long process of preparation as we have sought to discern how and where we could make the most effective impact for God’s global kingdom. We have found the place a Tyndale; our primary impact will be through the students that will be trained, equipped, and sent back into the entire world in fulfillment of 2 Tim 2:2! Over the next few weeks we will post some more reflections on our time here and the road ahead.   

Amsterdam Church Plants

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to preach at Christ Church South, a local Amsterdam church plant. It was a nice change of pace from the intensive summer classroom teaching! There are over 200 church plants in the greater Amsterdam area, many of them among the immigrant population. Many of Tyndale’s 100 or so part-time and non-degree seeking students serve in these immigrant church plants. We need to pray that as these immigrant churches grow they would have an increasing positive impact through evangelism on Europe. In addition to our ministry at Tyndale we will join in serving with one of these church plants when we are able to move here full-time.

Student Highlight: John

John hails from Myanmar (Burma), a primarily Buddhist country that has experienced serious social, political, and economic difficulties this past century. Because of the economic situation it is very hard for students from Myanmar to get advanced education outside the country but due to Tyndale's scholarship program (supported by Christian individuals and churches) he, along with many of the other residential students, are able to further their studies. John will return to Myanmar at the end of his studies to teach at an underground (figuratively speaking of course) Bible school and train Burmese evangelists and to continue work on a Bible translation of his native language based upon the Hebrew and Greek.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Student Highlight: Assel

Assel was not raised in a Christian home but after coming to faith in Christ as a teenager has worked with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Kazakhstan for the past 11 years. She is pursuing further education at Tyndale in order to be better able to train and equip Christians in Kazakhstan to reach out to and evangelize children.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Student Highlight: Jean-Pierre

Jean-Pierre is a pastor from Rwanda with an amazing story of God's grace. When he was four he was abandoned to the streets by his mother who could not take care of him. He was rescued by his grandmother at some point and came to faith in Christ. In the aftermath of  the Rwandan genocide he felt God's call to  pastor and help meet people's serious spiritual needs. He is deeply concerned with helping the church meet the needs of people in Rwanda, particularly in light of country's past and present political and social turmoil.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's a Bike...It's a, it's Noahs Ark!!!

When one considers what they might see in the Netherlands a bike is certainly expected!  Okay, let's be real hundreds of bikes is more like it !

Bikes in Amsterdam...and this is only a few!

A Windmill is yet another item on the list of things you will see.  Beautiful, big, powerful, in the city, in the country in the ocean in get the idea.

Some very dear friends, Clermont and Johanna, took our family to Kinderdijk to see windmills that have been there since the mid-1700's!  We even got to go inside of one and it was quite an amazing experience!

...and then of course there is the ark...until recently it would not be on the list of things to expect while in Holland but now you can add it for something you have to see to believe along with the countless bikes and windmills!  It wasn't just any ark but one built to the exact size that Noah would have built!  How cool is that!?  It was big...big, big!

Many people have asked what the boys and I "do" during the week while Alex is teaching...well I do a lot of what  I do while at home!  For example: Homeschooling!  It CAN happen anywhere and math can be learned with pretzels and army men ;0)

We have also watched our baby grow...during our time here Micah has gotten 2 teeth, rolled over, mastered holding his head up and outgrown almost every outfit I brought (he weighs 20 pounds!). 

We have also learned our way around Badhoevedorp with our many trips walking to the grocery store, meeting friends at the park and getting to know some of the other Professors families at Tyndale!

One of the canal roads we walk...forget worrying about being hit by a car it's the bikes you have to watch out for!
So, it's true we have seen some amazing things both expected and unexpected!  We are thankful and excited to have been able to be a small part of the Dutch culture while we are here this summer!  It is hard to believe that in just a week we will be heading back to the States to continue support raising so we can be a part of what God is doing here "full-time"! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Student Highlights: Fai and Manuel

Meet Fai and Manuel! They are two of our Dutch students who are currently serving God in the Netherlands and are both hoping to become missionaries after their studies at Tyndale. Manuel works as a youth pastor at a large church near Amsterdam and loves to engage in street evangelism and Fai works as an actor/singer/performer and witnesses for Christ among the many seekers he comes in contact with through his work. Although the Netherlands is a very spiritually needy country it is not devoid of Gospel witness! Please pray for the growth of God's kingdom in Amsterdam.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Student Highlight: David

Meet David from Ghana. He has a passion to return to Ghana after his studies at Tyndale to teach and train others for ministry and outreach. David notes that technically over half of the population of Ghana would identify themselves as Christians, but that many of these people are nominal Christians in name only and desperately need to encounter and be transformed by Jesus. I think that Ghana could become a great missionary sending nation in the future; please pray for David as he prepares for future ministry and service in his home country.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Student Highlight: Evan

Meet Evan from Serbia and hear his story; God rescued him from heroine addiction and has called him to missions. He cares deeply for God’s truth and keenly understands the spiritual/psychological issues involved with drug addiction and the power of God to bring salvation and transformation.