Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
Let me take the time to bring you up to date on what happened in 2009 and look forward quickly to 2010.
Recently during a Wednesday evening Bible study we were talking about the past year. Our newest brother in Christ, Adrian, mentioned how glad he was to be a part of the family, but that he
was just a baby. As we looked around the circle, we realized that we have 5 babies in the family here! And it is exciting to see how active they are in allowing the Spirit to guide their lives.
In Maastricht we are a family. We try to care for one another and encourage one another. This is evident when the Dela family is looking for a new house. Anita helped to find one in her village, Ruud worked with them in communicating with the bank and notary, others helped them to move house and all are helping the children adapt to a new situation.
On Wednesday evenings we travel either to Shadira’s or Geesie’s house for the study. This way they too can share in the fellowship and growth. On the first Wednesday of the month the church in Liege comes to Maastricht and we sing in English, Dutch and French, learning new songs and encouraging one another.
We are here for each other. It is not always perfect. In november we tried to help Willemien out with her house; together with the help of some students from Canada we cleaned out some of the extra in her house. On returning, this turned out to be quite a shock to her, although we had discussed it. We are now working through loving each other as a family - and God is such a wonderful help and healer!
Every season is full of activities for us. In 2009 we helped with or conducted five weddings, taught at or helped with seven youth weekends and activities, including a youth weekend in Maastricht, directed or helped with four camps, conducted an international song seminar, and met weekly for various studies. But we don’t want to just be busy. It is important that we are reaching hearts, helping people to grow and learn so that they can also know who Jesus is and let others know this as well.
Our youth weekend in Maastricht focused on perseverance. At Fall Camp in the Ardennes we took the weekend to look at the dools we need to dig in to the word. It has been exciting to see how our young people have taken both of these topics to heart, diggin into their Bibles with perseverance!
The end of the year was filled, as was yours, with many visits with family, although ours was of course our church family. At Thanksgiving we saw the birth of Adrian. Near Christmas we sang with Listen Up! of the true and living Savior, the reality of Christ in our every day. At New Year a group of young people was down at camp examining the old year, looking toward the new and considering how best to survive.
As we head in to this new year of 2010, we are looking forward to the life and activities that God has prepared for us. We are encouraged by how our work with the Catholic kids is touching hearts and pray for more open doors and hearts in this group. We are greatly encouraged by the growth of our “babies” in Christ, how they hunger for His word, and look forward to how God is going to use them this year. We know that we have some challenging studies coming our way as well.
In all of this, God is doing marvelous things, and we want to tell the nations of Him (you should see our services on Sunday: Dutch, Belgian, German, Philippine, American). We look forward to what He has planned for us in each new day.
Please keep the following in your prayers.
Pray for the continued growth of our newest brother and sisters from this past year: Wim, Susan, Valéri, Isha and Adrian! There have also been births in several other cities. God is moving and bringing life!
Pray for our contact with K., LJ., A., R., J & J., C&T., RW., N., and M.
Pray for our studies in the coming months with several of these contacts.
Praise God for the church family here and how they are helping one another.
Pray for guidance for the coming year and the work that God has prepared for us to do.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tidbits of information about the Netherlands and Belgium
Europe has all sorts of heads of state. The Netherlands has a queen, although that may soon become a king. Belgium has a king. Germany has a president. But all of these people are mostly window dressing. The Prime Minister, or Premier (the “first”), is the one who runs the government.
Recently both the Belgian and Dutch prime ministers were being considered for the job of head of the council of Europe - a new position. Herman van Rompuy, the Belgian Prime Minister, was chosen over the Dutch Jan-Pieter Balkenende. If Europe were something like the United States, then a president would be the leader of Europe. But this is still Europe. This “president” may be more show than action. Something to watch in the future.
On the family side . . .
How can you summarize a whole section of the year in such a short space. I know we receive some of your year-end letters and they are wonderful! Although I will probably miss some things, I will try to hit the high spots of the last bit of 2009.
As mentioned, we were so glad to have had Stephan home for the summer! Stephan is doing well at Harding, enjoying his studies and various opportunities. He was chosen as beau and has been enjoying that added attention as well.
We are always glad that we have the possibility of skype - it is nice to be able to see him, talk with him, laugh. During the Christmas break he was able to stay with Scott’s brother and family in Colorado Springs, see a good bit of Scott’s family and enjoy what little snow he coul find there (he had expected so much more coming from Arkansas).
Sean has continued with his music. He played his first gig with his band “Karma Police” and has since played another gig as well. It is exciting to see him growing, trying new things, writing songs. He is growing into such a fine young man. This Fall he took the PSAT, reminding us that things are moving pretty quickly. He was serious with his studies, which showed at the Christmas exams: he did very well with his grades.
Scott took a course in reanimation with a hand-held machine so that he can help in the neighborhood. An awesome responsibility which also reminds us of our responsibility with the knowledge we have of Jesus. We need ot know and know how to help.
In the meantime Scott has been trying to get some things done on the renovations of the house that still need finishing. The downstairs toilet is finally available, parts of the kitchen have been added, and the old kitchen, which has become a gathering room of assorted objects, is periodically sorted out and emptied.
Shirley had some fun in the Fall putting some of her clothes online - Style by Shirley. The closet gets cleaned out, others get a good deal, and Shirley ahs learned how to use the computer and internet. Still plenty to work with, a fun hobby.
In December Scott and Shirley celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They forced a few days free during a busy schedule for this month and went off to Brussels together. Bill and DeeDee Bundy lent them their house for the days, making a wonderful anniversary. Here’s to the next 25!
In 2010 we look forward to the challenges coming up. We are also looking forward to seeing some of you again - it is time for our furlough already! More on that in the next letter. Enjoy the new year with all that God has prepared for you.
WHAT"S COMING UP?
For your contact - email, fb, calls, cards and letters!
For your prayers for our work! New life is exciting!
For your faithfulness in living for God in your life