It is October already. The summer is behind us and here in Houten the leaves are falling off the trees. Time flies! We hope you all have had a great summer.
Our last newsletter was in May and since then, a lot has happened.
We mentioned in that newsletter that someone offered to pay our way to see our newborn grandson, Eli, in the USA. Just the two of us went, because our other children were not able to make it, but we sure enjoyed ourselves! It is so much fun to see a new born baby again; he even started smiling at us! We had a great time seeing Elsbeth, Mat and Zoe also. Of our 5 children, they live the farthest away, but they are very involved with CWOWI and with our work here. We talk on Skype on a regular basis and they are planning to visit us next year and to attend the Dutch conference in May!
In the beginning of September we went to London to visit some house churches. We met with old friends and also made new ones. The weather was beautiful, which was a blessing for everyone.
Our next trip will be a 10 day trip to Lithuania and Latvia. We are leaving in the middle of the month, to visit friends and to meet with people we have never met before. We will start in Vilnius, the capitol of Lithuania and will travel from city to city. We will stay in Kleipada, a city at the coast, for a bit, to see our youngest son Carsten. He is staying there as an exchange student for 4 months for his study Human Resource Management. From there we will travel to Latvia and visit Ieva and will go back home from there. During this trip we will travel over a 1000 kilometers by car, so please pray for us for a safe trip and for all the finances to come to cover gas and expenses.
In 1980 the Lord spoke to us, through a prophecy given by our pastor at that time, and He said, “The witness of My first witnesses, will also be the witness of My last witnesses.” I was thinking it over this past week and was reading in Acts what those first witnesses went through and witnessed. I ended up at Acts 2:46&47.
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Is that not something that we all want and long for? What jumped out at me was the mention of “one accord”. The Strongs’ concordance defines this as ‘with the same passion, having the same desire and mind, and one purpose. People who share like precious faith, creating a God-produced unity between them’. That started a thinking process in my mind which the Father interrupted and said, “Verse 42 comes before verse 46!” That made me curious to read verse 42 again. It says, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’s doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The Strongs explains “continued steadfastly” as ‘continually devoting themselves; to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty. To persist, staying in a fixed direction, to give constant attention to’. Wow! To continue to be stead fast, even if it becomes difficult! To keep going towards the goal! In what did they stay steadfast? In the teaching of the apostles. So education is very important! In the fellowship - the interaction with each other is holy and important! The breaking of the bread - to share meals together, including sharing communion. The prayers - for each other and others (including worship). That is what house church is! These elements will be seen in a healthy house church. That is how it starts; it is the foundation. After that comes verse 46 with unity, and as a result of that unity, the Lord will start to add.
In the past when I was thinking about that prophecy from 1980, I thought it was about the miracles and signs and the people being born again. Now I can see that those thing are a result of a healthy house church and of unity among each other. Is that not what we experienced during the last Dutch conference with the love and unity among each other that we are one in heart and soul. We can already be a witness of that right now! It is such a honor to be alive right now and to serve the Lord! I am looking forward to things to come!
This is it for now. Thank you to everyone for all the support, prayers and the friendship! Without you, we could not do the things we are doing, so thank you!
Check out the following websites for all the teachings that are available; in English and in Dutch.
Wil en Ank