Partner Newletter
May 2018

Dear partner,
Blessings from the office in Driebergen.

In the Netherlands, we are in the middle of spring. The flourishing nature around us reminds us every day of the new life that the Lord has given us. So as we work for Him, let us remember to be grateful and thank Him for all the blessings that He has given us by His grace.

That we may start each day with His Word on our mind as a prayer on our lips: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14. For there is nothing more important and more rewarding than to serve His kingdom. Keeping this in mind, we pray that the Lord blesses you in your daily work with His guidance, strength and wisdom. 



GZB - Day
Gratefully, we are looking back on a very successful GZB-day. As you may know, the GZB annually hosts an inspiring day which is visited by hundreds of Christians. This year’s theme was “Be seen”, inspired by the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus. Reverent Cees van Duijn talked about how God sees us for who we truly are and how, at the same time, He uses us in this world to reflect who He is.

4 different speakers shared their stories of how God taught them to not simply look but really see others. Reverent Germán Suárez from Colombia spoke of how he learned to see the children in the slums of Bogotá. Now he can help them to grow and develop into strong young adults.

Heleen van den Berg, who is a missionary worker for the GZB, talked about her experiences in her work with refugee children in Lebanon, serving them in receiving the education and guidance that they need. She challenged us to look at our own surroundings and not just look but really see. Imagine what could happen if we all really saw.

After such an inspiring day, we could only pray: “Open the eyes of my heart Lord.”
For pictures of the GZB-day, you can click here.
In Indonesia, many children do not have access to good education or proper health services. Especially children with a handicap suffer from this. To let Dutch children think about what it would feel like to grow up in such circumstances, the GZB organised its first ‘Bare-Feet-Trail’. 

Last week, alongside a beautiful lake, many children took off their shoes and took on the challenge of facing the trail. Climbing over tree trunks, balancing on ropes and walking blindfolded, the children learned what it feels like to be limited in your abilities. Through the day, they learned about the lives of those children in Indonesia. We thank God for a day full of love and laughter.

You can find the pictures here.
Men expedition to Albania
As the famous poet John Keats said: “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.” Having this in mind, 21 men decided joined a GZB trip to see for themselves what mission is really about. At the beginning of May, they packed their bags and headed for Albania visiting churches, schools and other GZB projects, both missionary and diaconal.

In a prison, they encouraged the men through songs and were, in turn, encouraged by their testimonies. A moving experience altogether.

“We could see the rising emotions on the men’s faces. We encouraged each other with 1 John 4: for He loved us first. We saw first-hand that God works everywhere, in the Netherlands and in Albania.” (Participant of the trip)

Praise & Prayer 

• We are very thankful of all the events and trips that the Lord has blessed over the past couple of months. We thank God for this and pray that he blesses us with new opportunities to spread testimonies of His work.

• Please pray for guidance for the GZB staff as they are developing new ways of working through programs. 

• Please pray for the worldwide church. As we are all parts of one body, we smile and cry along with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us thank God for his endless love and pray for those in need.


Let's get introduced

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

1. What kind of position do you have within GZB?‚Äč

I work for the relations and fundraising department. I very much enjoy the work as I get to meet a lot of people who are very passionate about mission and spreading the word of God. I am also involved in several projects and programs such as Central-Asia. 

2. What does the phrase 'Mission connects' mean to you?
We all know the metaphor of the church being one body. One is the hand, the other the foot. However, all individual body parts do not necessarily make a body. For them to form a body you need a system of blood circulation, muscles and tissue. I believe that mission contributes to this system. Stories from either side encourage and allow us to share joy and grief. Without them, we wouldn’t even know of each other’s existence. This is how I believe mission connects. 
3. Why is the relationship between partners and the Dutch church so important?
Many Dutch congregations can very much relate to congregations abroad. Even though the context is different, the worries that they have are often of a similar nature. Some churches fell small and are looking for opportunities to grow. Others want to reach out to the local community more. Every church experiences its own challenges and it is good to connect those challenges to other churches abroad. The Dutch churches long to give and receive, support the churches abroad and learn from them as well. Through this we can encourage each other and become a stronger body as a whole.

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