Partner Newsletter
November 2017

Dear partner,
Very kind greetings from our staff members at the office in Driebergen!

Life at the office is busy as we are implementing our new policy plan for the coming 5 years. This means a new beginning and marks the start of a new vision for our organisation and collaboration with partners. 

These days we are reminded of 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us."

Now that we have reached an exciting and new point in our vision, we want to hold on to this message. As we are developing and adopting new programmes within the GZB, we strive to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ in this world and spread the message of reconciliation. 


Earthquakes in Mexico
On September 7, 2017, Mexico suffered from an earthquake in the region of Chiapas. The earthquake measured 8,2 on the Richter Magnitude Scale. The earthquake and its aftershocks let to the death of 400 people and a lot of material damage in the region. As a result, many families are homeless during the current rain season.

Together with the Presbyterian church in Chiapas, partner of the GZB, and other local churches, we have started a relief campaign and are trying to help the victims of this natural disaster.

We pray that God blesses the victims of the earthquake, offers comfort to those who have experienced loss and gives strength during the process of restoring the damage done.  
Open and inclusive church
In January, GZB adopted a new policy plan for 2017-2021: "The Colourful Church: the Gospel voor everyone". It has already been shared and discussed with several partners. The GZB aims to involve all partners in developing new country programmes, in which projects of partners, the work of missionaries and activities in and for the Dutch congregations are integrated. This way, we hope to build a common base of goals, dreams and desires for the future in serving the church and spreading the gospel.  

The new policy plan describes a new way of thinking, in which we strongly focus on open and inclusive local congregations, both in the Netherlands and worldwide, so that we may learn from each other and live out our faith by encouraging each other to reach out to the marginalized in our communities.

For further information, you can read the English summary of the new policy plan here
GZB-Experience trips
Since 2016, the GZB organises so-called experience trips for young people between 18 and 30 years old. They travel to different countries, visit partners of the GZB and meet with fellow young Christians. The main aim is to broaden the participants' perspective and to open their eyes for fellow Christians in other countries. At the same time, they learn how it is to be a Christian in a different culture and how we can all learn from each other as members of one body.

During the past summer, we have been blessed with several experience trips with destinations such as Prague, France, Namibia, Albania, and Central Asia. 

“We have seen God at work here, we have met many people and seen different projects. We can’t stay in Namibia, but now we can be ensured that God works powerfully all over the world.” (participant of the Namibia experience trip)



Praise & Prayer 

• We are very thankful for all the youth that have been touched through GZB experience trips during this summer. Please pray that what they learned will help them to put their faith in practice in their own church communities.

• Pray for all those people affected by the earthquake in Mexico and the work that is done by the churches to restore what has been damaged, both material and spiritual.

• Please pray for the GZB staff as we are seeking God’s guidance in adopting the new policy plan. Pray for wisdom as we are developing new programmes with our partners for the coming years. This is an intensive process.




Let's get introduced

Every newsletter we introduce you to one of our staff members. This time you meet Bas Stolk!

1. What kind of position do you have within GZB?‚Äč
I am part of the team ‘relations management and fundraising’. The main tasks that we do involve managing the contacts with important partners within and outside the Netherlands, including Dutch churches and other NGOs. Within this team, I coordinate the diaconal programme of the GZB: ‘Project 10 27’.

2. Could you tell us a bit more about 'Project 10 27'?
The name of the programme is based on Luke 10: 27 where the Bible talks about loving God and loving your neighbour like you love yourself. The programme is mainly focussed on Dutch diaconates. Ever since Project 10 27 was established in January 2016, many have decided to support the programme. The core of the programme is about the desire not just to spread the gospel, but also to help the vulnerable and marginalised in this world. The Bible teaches us that those two aspects are intertwined, so that we may serve and testify Gods love. 

3. The new policy plan talks about ‘open and inclusive communities’, what does this mean to you?
I think that I then first have to look at myself and how I look at those around me, especially the marginalised in our society. Do I really see their needs, both material and spiritual? Am I really open to them and do I invite them to be a part of my life and within my (Christian) community? It is not always easy but I really strive to be more and more welcoming. That’s what it’s all about. 





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