Stolen Heirlooms and Abundant Life

Stolen Heirlooms and Abundant Life

 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

Advent Devotionals for all ages from SAMS Missionaries

Advent Devotionals for all ages from SAMS Missionaries

Missionaries Kerry and Cynthia Buttram recently shared the following Advent resources with their church community, and we would like to share them with you! We pray you will be blessed as we pray together “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” Click links below to access PDFs. – Kate Ulrich, Communications Coordinator

Advent Booklet 2020

For those with children: Family Advent Booklet 2020


The Gifts of the Homeless

The Gifts of the Homeless

When God moves in our hearts, it can be with unexpected whispers of the Spirit through the actions of the least likely. 

Three times over the Advent/Christmas season we received gifts from homeless people.  We do not know all the reasons that they are homeless but they come to church to receive and to give. 

We do not really want the half-smoked cigars or the used CD’s but their love and generosity moves us to tears.  It may be all they have to share but share they must or their hearts will burst from the sorrow of their situation. 

They attend the services, come to the coffee time where they are treated with dignity, acceptance and love and then return to “wherever.”  One of the homeless men sang in our Carols by Candlelight service attending every rehearsal and singing heartily and joyfully.  Is one of them an angel we are welcoming?

“Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

We all are surrounded with opportunities to show the love of Christ.  May this New Year of 2020 be filled with reaching out “to the least of these.”

He gives more grace.

All praise to Him, Kerry & Cynthia

The Unknown Soldier

The Unknown Soldier


On Anzac Day* in April 2018, the headstone of a previous “unknown” soldier was unveiled at the Commonwealth Cemetery.  His identity had been discovered and on this day his service was finally acknowledged and honoured.  

How many saints serve tirelessly and anonymously without being seen of men but only of God?  We owe much to these “unknowns”.  One day they will be truly acknowledged and rewarded by our Father Who sees all.  

At the Cathedral, there are several dear sisters and brothers who come to us and share how they want to contribute…

– flowers on worship days to show a little of God’s creative beauty for all to enjoy…

– paintings for worship areas that tell stories of His faithfulness…

– slipping some money to us to pass on to those in need…  

They ask us not to let anyone know as they desire to show gratitude to God for what He has done in their hearts.

These are outward signs of the inward working of the Spirit.  Praise God with us!

* Australian/New Zealand national day of remembrance of all who served for their country in conflicts as well as the first landing at Gallipoli in World War I

Lighten My Load

Lighten My Load

Upon arriving in London to begin our round of meetings, I realised I had carelessly left my small cotton bag with my travel Bible, journal and study pamphlets, along with a new paperback I had saved for the trip and a few other special items.

After the initial shock and sadness, the Spirit brought to mind how something similar happened about 20 years ago.  I had left my Palm Pilot (I suppose one must be over 40 to remember those…) in a US airport.  We contacted a friend who was a pilot from that airport.  Amazingly, a waitress had picked it up and, as there was no contact information, she didn’t know what to do.  I had tucked a special Bible verse on a slip of paper but that was all.  Our friend was able to locate her through the airport channels and she explained how she was seeking God and this verse spoke to her.  He was able to share the Good News with her.  Oh! Praise His Name!

As I reflected on this mercy of God, I began to wonder how He would use this particular Bible and journal.  HE had lightened my load. 

Part of the contents of my bag were handed to a British Airways Flight Engineer by a colleague and she began to search diligently for me.  She found my Facebook account and sent a message.  I was pleasantly surprised but not shocked as I had come to a place of peace that God was at work.  She is to post the Bible, journal and pamphlets to me…the other items are in the hands of another.  She was the one the Father chose to handle that copy of His Word…please pray that she would be drawn into the Kingdom…

My prayer is that the Father would continue to “Lighten my Load” as He sees best and that I would respond with peace of heart and trust in His boundless kindnesses.