Sharing the Joys of New Life
We’re blessed to have found our place here in the mission bookshop in Genk. We’ve been thinking a lot about the way we are able to serve the churches and Christians in Belgium. We’re available 5 days per week from 10 AM to 6 PM for anyone who has questions and might need our help, our prayers, our encouragement. On top of that we are in different churches all over Limburg 2-3 Sundays per month, seeing how the Lord is working and supporting that. And we’ve still been able to work with our own church’s 18+ Bible studies every other Monday night and the 15-18 year olds’ Saturday night youth meetings every other week. We’ve had a 5-week English-language Bible study covering 1 Peter in the shop on Thursday evenings. We’ve had the privilege of praying with so many people concerning their hopes, fears, struggles and joys.
Recently an older man and his wife came in to the store upset after visiting his neurologist. The doctor had warned him that the Bible and Christianity are wrong and that he needed to explore reincarnation and correct whatever he did wrong in his previous life. Then a young mother came in to get some DVDs for her young children and she shared with us some legal problems she is having. We were able to pray with both of these people. A senior saint who is a very well-known preacher and former director of our mission, came in for some help with using MS Word and then asked Lyssa to help him with putting his monthly newsletters into English. When a dear friend of ours who has been fighting pancreatic cancer for the past 2+ years got bad news about 2 of his family members–one had given up his fight with cancer and entered palliative care for his last days (he has now gone to be with the Lord) and another had a brain aneurysm and was in intensive care–we were able to remind him of what awaits us in heaven and encourage him to take advantage of these days of life the Lord is giving him to share the gospel with his family and friends. In short, every day brings a new challenge and opportunity for us to point people to Jesus.
- In April we’ll have several Sunday book tables: in Hasselt, Lommel and Peer. We also are hosting several other events/workshops in the shop.
- On April 21 we’ll have a large book table at the annual Christian Women’s conference, this year in Hasselt. Several hundred ladies are expected.
- In April our building will be re-roofed, which means contending with scaffolding in front of the shop, not to mention the disruption over our heads in our apartment.
- In May we hope to begin building a deck/terrace to extend usable shop space out the back in an area of beautiful morning sun. Volunteers are raising funds and assembling work materials and labor.
- We will be offering another English-language Bible study over the summer, this time over the book of Daniel, beginning in June. The study we just finished inspired several group members to translate the information into Dutch and share it with their churches–precisely what we had hoped for!
Thursdays are special days in the shop. Every Thursday we look out for our weekly order from our suppliers and have various helpers and volunteers who come into the shop. Every Thursday Aunt Joke Verrijzer comes and telephones our clients who ordered products the previous week to tell them their order is in the shop. She also makes calls to churches to arrange dates for our book tables. Joke came to Belgium from The Netherlands more than 50 years ago to work in the children’s home. Things were different in those days, and the aunties lived with the children. Since her days in the children’s home, Joke has volunteered her time in the old folks’ home across the street from the children’s home. Lyssa and I lived for several months with Joke, Suza and Lena, all former aunties who worked in the children’s home where William worked nights for two years.
With Joke in the shop it is like a reunion every week. People not expecting to see her come into the shop, and Joke knows everyone in the Christian world in Flanders it seems. It is especially on Thursdays that we become the meeting place where people have a coffee and enjoy the friendship and hospitality we offer.
Special prayer needs:
- We still need 1-2 regular volunteers who dare to run the shop, including the cash register, without us present. We would like to take a ‘mobile shop’ to the local weekly outdoor market and at other special events to share the gospel, but we need to keep the store open at the same time.
- Financially we personally are short several hundred euros/month so need more friends to commit to monthly donations.
- The Belgian Evangelical Mission, our Mission, is in the process of adopting a vision more focused on making disciples. We need prayer for wisdom about implementing this throughout the Mission.
Youngest daughter Bethany, her husband Ben and their baby Luna Rose are planning to come for a visit at the end of May. What a joy they all are to us!
Middle daughter Wendy is having an operation on her uterus mid-April which hopefully will result in a long-awaited baby for her and husband James.
Oldest daughter Emily and husband Ben are waiting for news if Ben has been accepted onto a PhD program in Bristol.
Son Daniel, serving in the US Navy, has been since January stationed away from his wife Samantha and their 3 lovely children (Kegan, Rowan and Emberlynn). They’re looking into moving the family down to join him when the school year is finished. They’ve had to move every couple of years and this, of course, is very disruptive to the family.
For more information or to contribute financially, please visit our website https://zendingsbode.org or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your interest and support.
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