Last weekend I was speaking at a church weekend in the fantastic Newfrontiers Church in Berkel, Netherlands.
Berkel is a small town just north of Rotterdam
I’d been asked to come and stirred the church evangelistically through envisioning and practical training. So it was a lot of preparation, prayer and excitement that I arrived into Amsterdam Schipol airport Friday. I was met by Gert Hijkoop (pronounced Hert Hicope!) for the train journey back to Berkel, where I met his wife Doreen and daughter Marijke. The Dutch have a great reputation for hospitality and they were great hosts all weekend!
On Friday evening, around 50 adults gathered in the church for some great worship – recognisable tunes of popular choruses and translated into Dutch – most worship times I sang in tongues, or in English (where there was dual translation!). I spoke on the last words of Jesus in Matt 28, with the encouragement that making disiciples is a process best down in team as we help people become low hanging fruit! We then prayed for healing and saw a stiff back loosened and a locked shoulder released in measure.
The church family was great – full of joy and relational ease. Over strong, strong black coffee and great biscuits, I got to know some lovely people!
Dutch breakfasts are pretty unique – sprinkles (think Hundreds and Thousands) on dutch biscuits/bread, followed by great tasting Gouda cheese on bread and more good coffee. Holland runs on coffee!
The morning was taken up with teaching the 7 styles of evangelism to encourage the folk that we are in this task of witnessing to friends together and that we all have strengths to play. After a good coffee break and more lively banter, we looked at the praticalities of getting conversations from the general to the spiritual to the gospel right through to crossing the line of faith.
In the evening the church family gathered for a Dutch Chinese buffet and more banter – after worshipping, I spoke on the baptism in the Spirit and saw a young man gloriously bathed in the presence of God before we prayed for those who wanted to be able to prophecy and prophecied over the young people.
It was such a joy to be with such a joyful receptive people, who were so encouraging and receptive. I spoke again on Sunday morning about “Blind Bart getting his sight”, which was again well received. In the afternoon, Doreen and Gert took me to Amsterdam for a canal trip, wander round and steak dinner. Amsterdam is well worth a longer visit!
What have I learnt?
- Work hard to build deeper community and friendships in The Gateway – Wijnstok Gemeente had many long standing friendships in it, so it’ll take time!
- Keep pressing on and praying for signs and wonders
- Restart the pre-Sunday gathering prayer meeting 9.30-9.45am with time after to greet visitors!
- Keep feeding my children sprinkles on toast for breakfast, although it does make them hyper for school!