Jacques T. Brunt is an itinerant preacher, teacher, and evangelist in the Netherlands. He was born in 1979 and converted to Christianity in 2000. He is the youngest of five children and was raised in a Dutch Reformed family. He was married to Annette in 2004, and they have three children: Levi, Boaz, and Jesse. Jacques’ ministry can be divided into three specific areas. He is a leader and teacher for Heart Cry Netherlands (Stichting Heart Cry), he is a teacher in his local Baptist church in Alblasserdam, and he is an itinerant preacher throughout the Netherlands.
We have a popular saying in Holland: “Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn’t come yet, and the Lord takes care of today.” In that holy state of rest, God allows us to live as children of our heavenly Father. Caring is our duty, but worrying is sin. The Lord constantly trains us to submit to Him and trust in Him. We experience this not only in our marriage and family life, but also in the ministry that the Lord has entrusted to us. God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus. Time and time again, He provides every need we have as a family. This humbles us and makes us grateful.
We are thankful and pleased concerning the different Bible studies that I am now able to teach in different towns in addition to the weekly preaching engagements. Right now, we are doing Bible study series on “The Power of Prayer,” on “Spiritual Growth,” and on the letter to the Hebrews. This September, in one of the towns where we are ministering, we hope to start a Bible study series on the book of Romans.
As I mentioned in an earlier report, we have been involved with the planting of the Reformed Baptist Church in Urk (www.refbapurk.nl). This church has now been in existence for seven months, and it is a blessing to see how this congregation is evolving. Each week more than two hundred brothers and sisters meet together. There is a great hunger for the Word of God, and the mid-week prayer meetings are well attended. Lord willing, I will be privileged to lead the first baptismal service there very soon.
Along with the blessings of the church's early days has come intense grief. In January, we were startled by the news that a small fishing boat from Urk sank in the English Channel between Hastings, England, and Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. One of the sailors was a friend of ours. This brother and his family regularly visited the Reformed Baptist Church in Urk. One of the last times that I spoke in this church, I visited him in his home before the service, and he told me about how he had gotten to know the Lord Jesus. It was an awe-inspiring testimony. It was only about two weeks later that we were notified of his drowning in the sea. He leaves behind a wife and seven children. It is heartbreaking. Yet still we may testify with Paul, “We grieve..., but not as those who have no hope” (I Thessalonians 4:13-14).
Recently, I was invited to speak at a very special meeting of the Welcome Home Foundation. This foundation is dedicated to homeless people in the city of Ede. Their goal is to bring the Good News to all those who have lost courage in a broken world – widows, orphans, the poor, and the weak – in order to encourage them and to give them new hope. Our whole family went to this meeting. First, there was a moment of conversing with the many visitors being served a free meal. After the meal, I had the privilege of speaking to the group about the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and about the power of His atoning sacrifice and death. This was a whole new audience for us, and it brought home to us the love and compassion of the Lord Jesus towards people who, for many, have no value. But we know that Christ brought a message of forgiveness and hope especially towards such kinds of people. It was a very special experience and one of the highlights of these last months.
Like last year, we have plans for the coming months for several evangelistic campaigns in the Netherlands. We call them “tent campaigns.” A large tent is set up in the middle of a village in which meetings are planned for the whole week, and the gospel is preached to young and old. These tent campaigns are interdenominational and are very accessible to people who have little or nothing to do with church but still want to know something more about the Bible. During the day, people can walk in, ask any questions they might have, and have a cup of coffee. Biblical literature is available, and people who do not own a Bible can receive one in the tent. After a week, the tent is moved to the next village. We take our children along with us to these tent campaigns, and as a result they become involved early in life with this beautiful and necessary work. In the upcoming months I will be speaking at three of these evangelistic campaigns – in the towns of Tollebeek, Oldebroek, and Waarder.
In the upcoming months, we also have plans for a tour with a friend of mine, a brother whom the Lord has graced with musical gifts and talents. Together we’ll be traveling through the country four consecutive Thursday evenings (through the Dutch “Bible belt”). I’ll be speaking, and he will be singing, both of us focusing on the theme, “The King is Coming!” Our hearts are burdened to awaken people spiritually so that they will come to faith and repentance on the one hand, but also so that they will be preparing themselves for the second coming of the Lord Jesus. We still need to do a lot of organizing in regards to these four evenings, and this takes up quite a bit of time and energy, but we do love the work. We are full of hope and expectation, and we prayerfully await what God might do during this tour.
This summer I have been invited to oversee Bible studies for two weeks on two campgrounds. One is in the northern part of the Netherlands (Groningen) and the other is further south (Zeeland). Our family will spend both weeks at the campsites. I will lead the Bible studies and answer to any needed pastoral care. These weeks are always fantastic. People are relaxed and purposely pick these campsites for the Bible studies, so we have an enthusiastic crowd. We’ve been doing this for several years now, and it is always a blessing to be able to give substance to the summer vacation time in this manner.
Through this letter we want to let you know that we are extremely grateful and happy about your support, in whatever way each of you may be involved with this. You are all in our thoughts and in our hearts! We’ll honestly admit that our (family) life brings many costs along with it, but to this day there has been enough each month, and we trust that the Lord will be taking care of the future as well. But we do know that you all are His channels through which He provides for us. Thank you for being led by Him in this!