And they exceeded our expectations: they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. (2 Corinthians 8:5)
Here is a shorter-than-normal report, but an important one because the summer months are here and there are various activities planned that I would like to inform you about.
It is important – as 2 Corinthians 8:5 so aptly teaches – that in all the work that God gives us to do, we first give/surrender ourselves to the Lord. I’ve noticed that a person can do a lot of work from natural strength, but that is of no value to God if our heart is not first focused on Him. This is a deep lesson for me/us over and over again. He is the Source of our life. All things come from Him. ‘Abide in Me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit (John 15:4-5)”. This is the will of God for our lives.
The coronavirus has not yet left the Netherlands, on the contrary. However, the situation in our country is going in the right direction and some of the measures taken by the government have been eased. This means that speaking in churches (preaching & Bible study) is also on the increase again. As you can understand, we are very happy with and grateful for that. A number of important endeavors/activities have been planned for the coming months. Due to the government’s more lenient measures, these may possibly continue permanently.
❶ Television Recordings | Family7
This Christian television channel has asked me to discuss the book of Acts in 52 half-hour studies with another Bible teacher. These television recordings will be broadcast starting October, with one broadcast every week. The first recordings were done on July 6 & 7.
❷ Camping De Betteld | Cadzand-Bad
Our family will be staying at this campsite in the south of the Netherlands on the coast from 18 to 25 July. In addition to enjoying a period of vacation, I will teach Bible studies to young and older vacationers every day. The theme will probably be “Spiritual Lessons From the Life of Joseph”.
❸ Conference Centre ’t Vierhouterbos | Vierhouten
From August 1 to August 8, our family has been invited to this conference center for teaching Bible study. I intend to speak on the theme of “Foundations of Faith” from the epistle to the Romans. During this week there are Dutch vacationers who come specifically to combine their vacation with taking Bible study.
❹ Credo Wilderswil | Zwitserland
This year, as in previous years, we are going to Switzerland to teach a Bible study and enjoy a holiday. We are planning to be there from 9 to 20 August. Here, too, I’m hoping to speak on the theme of “Foundations of Faith” from the book of Romans Annette and I and the children are really looking forward to this because we always really appreciate the spiritual atmosphere combined with the impressive and beautiful surroundings.
All the above-mentioned activities require a lot of preparation, wisdom, and insight. We greatly appreciate your intercessory prayers on behalf of this. We see it as God’s grace that we are allowed to do this work. Working as an elder in our local church also requires a lot of time and energy, which is not always easy, I must say. But at the same time, I’m realizing that the Lord is shaping and molding me as husband, father, and elder. It is a way of self-denial in which the Holy Spirit aims to form us/me in the image of the Lord Jesus.
I am grateful for my faithful wife Annette, who assists and supports me in all this work. I am grateful, too, that our children are doing well and also that the Lord provides what we need during this season of the corona virus. Thank you again for your faithful support and compassion. We do not have a lot of contact, but know that we appreciate you tremendously and are connected to you across the great ocean through prayer and by the Holy Spirit.