Time flies; it is December already! Soon we will be celebrating Christmas, to remember how our Lord, the living Word, became flesh and how He lived among us! How amazing it is that He gave up the glory He had with the Father. The Word says it this way:
Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not[c]think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped orretained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. Fil 2:6-7 AMP
Last month we traveled to Lithuania and Latvia. A big thank you to all who made this trip possible! There was no way we could have gone on this trip without the financial support you gave us.
We started in Vilnius, the Capitol city of Lithuania. We took the train with Tadas and Evaldas to Kaunas, where we had multiple meetings. From there we traveled by car. Vita was so gracious to use up her vacation to drive us everywhere. Thanks Vita!
From there we went to Panevezys, where we had a meeting with a lot of young families with little kids. It was a special time!
From there we traveled to Siauliai, to a house church with a few families. Then we traveled to Silale, where Vitas parents live and where there's a lot of people that were born again not too long ago. The Lord touched an elderly woman that night and she gave her life to the Lord! People do not speak English there, so Tadas was our translater,; he did a great job!
Late that night we drove to Kleipeda, where we stayed for a few days. That town is at the coast of the Baltic Sea. We made new contacts with some people who have been doing house church for a while.
After that we were able to spend some time with Carsten, our youngest son. He is an exchange student at the LCC university in Kleipeda. Not for too much longer though, because he will be back home on December 22nd. We are excited about that!
We met his friends, had a tour of the university and got to see how well he is doing!
From there we traveled to Saldus, Latvia where Leva lives. She was at the Dutch conference this year with 4 of the teenagers. She has young people over at her house every weekend and they do house church together. She is like a mother to them, which is something they really need, because they come from broken homes and went through a lot at their young age.
Leva drove us to Riga, to the airport, so we could fly back home. It was a great trip!
There is such a nig need in Lithuania for balanced Biblical teachings about the 'basics'. Subjects like: who you are in Christ, what happened to you when you got born again, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, spiritual authority. A lot of the older people do not speak English, which makes the need for teachings in Lithuanian a big one.
We are planning for a trip sometime in February 2015 to go back and focus on teaching. We will be teaching in English, what will be translated to Lithuanian. That will be recorded, so that people can get those teachings and use them in their house churches. This way they can receive teachings in their own homes and teach the new born Christians all they have been taught themselves.
Something we notice about the groups in Lithuania is that they really make an effort to visit each other and to be there for each other. There are bigger distances between them compared to here and most of them travel with public transportation, but still they are there for each other!
That reminds me of Acts 2:42: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship....
The word fellowship is the word 'koinonia' in Greek and it means to have a deal, spiritual bond with they Lord and each other. To share with each other, to be a unity, partners. So the first disciples were devoted to each other, not for a short time, but for a long time and were a priority to each other!
They knew who they belonged to and who belonged to them. After Peter and John were let go in chapter 4:23, they went to their companions. The result to that is what we can read in vers 24: ''...they raised their voice to God with one accord.... The result was that they all were filled with the Holy Spirit en spoke the Word with boldness!
People did not leave when times got rough, they did not separate themselves from others. They went to their companions. They stayed connected, in the good and the bad and they knew they needed each other.
Now and even more in the time to come it is so vital that we stay connected with each other and that we do not become loners.
Our prayer and desire is to dedicate ourselves even more to the Lord and to each other!
We hope you all will have a great Christmas and a happy 2015!
Thank you for all the prayers and the financial support!
Wil en Ank