Dear Praying Friends,
“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
The first week of June began as a normal week but quickly became quite the “un-normal” week. Kerry’s family shared with us that Mom B was diagnosed with Stage 4 Mesothelial cancer. At 91 years old, there are not many options at this advanced stage. The next day, I had a bad bicycle accident – the bike went left and I was catapulted right. We thank God that nothing was broken but there was much soreness and bruising. Then, the next day, we heard someone in our bedroom upstairs. (We were in my office, which is just below our bedroom on the next level of the building.) We went into our apartment to find an intruder who had come through a usually-locked chapel door and found his way to our home. We confronted him but somehow he ran past and escaped. He had – in less than 3 minutes – stolen my bank card, family heirloom rings, iPad/keyboard and a few other small items. It became very apparent that our enemy was not happy with how the Father is healing and growing this chaplaincy of three congregations. “For we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11) However…the young man who left the inside door unlocked, which gave the thief access, came to apologise for his carelessness. I told him that I forgave him and all was fine and that he was more important than the items stolen. Shocked, he replied that he wouldn’t have forgiven me. Wow! An open door to speak of God! I then shared of God’s love for us and that we must allow God’s love to flow through us. It was a time of rejoicing for me as those paltry, earthly things became a down-payment on this man’s eternal destiny.
Serving, and serving with, these congregations, we have had many sadnesses and many joys. We had the privilege to come to the bedside of a dying friend, pray with her, say our farewells and walk with her daughter in the days since her mother’s Homegoing. There have been ongoing Morning and Evening Prayer, another 24 Hours of Prayer Vigil, The Alpha Course followed by The Prayer Course, and Intercessory Prayer Workshops via Zoom by a dear friend in the USA. We are thrilled to hear so many say their desire is that we are a chaplaincy saturated by prayer.
As Covid restrictions are loosening, we are now meeting physically in three locations with limited numbers and precautions. Once a month there is a joint service. Our tech team has made it possible to have those who cannot come participate on Zoom so they feel a part of the congregations gathered. Open Wednesdays are bringing neighbours and visitors as well as congregants who wish to fellowship. This autumn will be the 250th year since worship began in our Groenburgwal building so we are working toward an event that will celebrate God’s faithfulness. During the past 12 months financial support has decreased. This is not surprising with the uncertainty of these Covid times and job losses. Prayers are much appreciated and, if so led, please invest in this multi-cultural, multi-ethnic ministry.
Highlighted below are a few of the wonderful blessings of God we have recently experienced in the chaplaincy of Christ Church. Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement and faithful giving.
With love, Cynthia (for both)
Praises! and Prayer Needs
• Several new members for Council and Leadership Teams! (We are still in need of a Safeguarding officer for Centre and Zuidoost (Southeast) and the building up of Kids’ Church)
• Healing of hearts and relationships in the Chaplaincy
• Wisdom for the Council, Mission Leadership Teams, and the Search Committee for a new chaplain
• Provision to continue ministry here in the Netherlands
• A desire of many in the chaplaincy who long for a broader and deeper prayer ministry