Time flies, it's December already! The last month of this year! Lots and lots has happened this past year. Let's look back:
-In the beginning of this year, in January, Wil, Hilda Jahnke and me went to Lithuania.
-In the beginning of April we had our conference in Helvoirt, the Netherlands and the next weekend we had the conference in Helsinki.
-The first weekend in June we went to Finland for a few days.
-In July we went on our trip to the USA, what we wrote you about in our last newsletter.
-In October and November we visited almost all of the house churches within our network in the -Netherlands, to see how everybody is doing.
-And in November we visited Monique and Lorna in Scotland.
In between all that we have been building on new friendships with people from all over, like those in Belgium. Also, let's not forget all the people we have had over for visits like our dear friends from Lithuania this past summer! It is an amazing thing to be connected with so many. We see you as family! If we don't see you or hear from you for a while, we miss you!
It is going great with our family! The youngest, Carsten, just turned 22. He is staying busy with going to college to study Human Resource Management. Next year he will work as an intern at the city hall here in Houten for a few months!
Our oldest son, Ruben, is going to move to a different house with his family this month. He and Miranda have 3 kids. They live in the city Groningen right now, but are moving to Baflo, a small town a little farther away.
Our daughter, Elsbeth, who lives in the USA, is pregnant with their 2nd child. This is going to be our 8th grandchild! We are curious to find out soon if Zoe is going to have a brother or sister! She is due in May.
Our oldest daughter, Maaike, and her family are doing great as well. They live in the same city as Ruben, Groningen, and moved to a different house within that city this past year which has been a real blessing for them! They have 3 children as well, all teenagers. Their oldest is 15 already. Where does the time go?
Most of you know Anneke, our second daughter and child number 3 (are you still following?). She helped with translating during the conference last year. She is also doing well. She was able to change jobs this year and now works for International Justice Mission in The Hague. It's a ministry that fights for ending slavery in all its different forms.(ijm.nl or ijm.org) They keep her busy!
Well, that's it about the kids, because those 5 is all we have. We are very blessed to have a family that serves the Lord, wherever they live! We have a Delfts Blue plate hanging in our house with the Bible verse from Joshua 24:15, “Me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” By Gods grace, we are living that truth! For those who have children who do not live for the Lord yet, know that your prayers are powerful. Trust in the love that the Father has for them, thank Him that He is working in them.
That reminds me of what I read in a book by Kenneth Hagin. The Lord spoke to him saying, “You do not realize how much I long to do something for my children, but I need them to ask Me and believe Me. It's my longing to help them if they would let Me. To take me up on My Word, to give me their problems and trust me that I will work in their benefit.”
That's it, right? Trust Him that He is at work, even if we do not see it in the natural just yet. That applies to every area in our lives and for house churches as well; rest in Him and in His plan for your life and for your house church.
About the conference in April:
Many already signed up, thank you, and many have let us know that they still want to sign up.
We are expecting people that we already have contacts with, but also people who have never been here before. For some people it's a financial challenge, especially for those coming from a foreign country. We were wondering if there might be people among you that would like to help financially to get those people here? That would be a great blessing! If yes, please let us know. In January we have another trip to Lithuania planned, but first we are going to enjoy this December with all it's holidays! That's it for now. Thank you so much for your support and friendship!
We wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a fantastic New Years,
Wil and Ank