Praise the Lord, for He is good, for his mercy endures forever (Psalm 118:1). This is what we want to share with you, not so much because of what God gives us, but primarily for Who He is! We are also astonished by the care of the Lord for our lives. There is so much for which to be thankful! We have recently been blessed, personally, as a family, but also in our ministry. There are so many opportunities to share the Word that I often have to say 'no'. Who would have ever thought that! The Lord does above all we can ask or think.
In the Netherlands, the months of July and August are usually quieter when it comes to ministry in the churches. During our vacation, we taught Bible studies to vacationers on a campsite. The main theme was: "Completely One With Jesus." (Romans 6:5). During that time we met people from different churches and groups. We are grateful that the Word of God was opened and took hold of hearts. Each time, the meetings were well attended. In addition to this, we did a lot of aftercare. Again, we were confronted with the brokenness of life and the harsh consequences of sin. It was a blessing, in the midst of these needs, to talk about the Gospel, the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)!
We have also used the summer to take care of many administrative matters in regard to our step of faith into full-time ministry. Many ministries suffer because administrative and fiscal matters are not properly organized. We want to watch out for this because it damages the work and the name of our Lord. We have therefore sought expert advice on how we should conduct our administrative matters and how we are to answer to the government and revenue service in regards to the financial side of our ministry. We have placed our administrative needs with a brother who has a private administration/accounting firm. We are very grateful for this because we can now give all of our energy and time to the work that the Lord has called us to: Preaching the Word, prayer, and pastoral ministry.
Since the beginning of September, many church activities in the Netherlands have started again. That means that our work also greatly increases. We are excited about it and are prayerfully looking forward to it. Every weekend we are on the road for several speaking engagements in different communities in the Netherlands. The invitations for these lectures are increasing dramatically and the planning for speaking engagements in 2015 is in full swing. I perceive that it is very important to be tuned to the Lord in this. What is His will concerning the lectures? What are the works that He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10)? Aside from the sermons during the weekends, I have also launched a number of (weekday) Bible studies. In our own community, as well as in a town near us, I am preaching from the book of Nehemiah. In addition to this - and this is a special blessing and privilege – I am teaching a Bible study on Romans. I am going verse by verse through this letter with about 150 brothers and sisters (mainly youth and college age). This group is immensely 'hungry and thirsty' for the Word of God. I perceive that these evenings are held up through prayer. The Lord is working powerfully in young lives. This is revealed by their personal commitment to the Lord. Through these and other weekday lectures the Lord provides ministry work and He gives me a tremendous amount of opportunities to preach His Word.
We are also busy with an evangelistic tour. In partnership with local churches and organizations, we will visit four major cities in the Netherlands next week. In the mornings we will come together with a group of evangelists for prayer and meditation on the Word. In the afternoons, we will take to the streets to evangelize. We will also invite people to the meetings that we will hold in the evenings. On Saturday, we will end the tour with a meeting in a neighboring village. The special feature is that several of the young people who follow my Romans studies are coming with us on this tour. That is very encouraging to see. The theme of the tour is: "The Purpose of Life!"
We are entering a very busy time. It requires a lot of preparation and prayer, and I do struggle with setting the right priorities. My mailbox is always full of questions, needs, etc. Setting the right priorities is real priority for us, especially with regard to our marriage and family. A second struggle is that I truly need to stay focused on my calling. I notice that concerns for finances - as husband and father - sometimes grab and hinder me in my work. I have to watch out for this. A brother encouraged me recently with the testimony of the famous Hudson Taylor: "God's work done in God's way never lacks God's resources". That is a profound truth!
In the work that we do, we are on the front lines of the spiritual battle that is going on in this world. We therefore consider the ministry of prayer and intercession a prerequisite and want to give it priority. Without the prayers of brothers and sisters who support us we can do nothing. It is therefore meaningful that recently several brothers and sisters have spontaneously volunteered to pray for our ministry. This is a huge blessing and encouragement. Every so often I send them thanks and prayer requests. It is amazing to see how the Lord leads.
The Lord gave me the following Scripture that I would also pass on to you for encouragement in the work that you have been called to do. God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” For this reason, Paul gloried in his infirmities, that the power of Christ might rest upon him (II Corinthians 12:9).
United in our Savior,
Jacques & Annette Brunt