Partner Newsletter
June 2015
GZB Partner Newsletter
 


Dear partner,
     
Warm Christian greetings from the GZB office in Driebergen!

Here at the office, we are making ourselves ready for the GZB day on Saturday, 13 June 2015. We are looking forward to have guests from Egypt in our midst. It is the first time we organize the biggest GZB event under roof, instead of in the open air (as was the practice for more 100 years...).

We call upon all our partners to keep us and the Dutch congregations in your prayer during this day. Read more about the worldwide GZB Prayer Day in this newsletter.

Many blessings!

 
 

Annual GZB day coming up

Theme of the GZB day 2015 is “Don’t let the church disappear”. We will focus on the Threatened Church in Egypt. The situation of the Egyptian Church is not easy. Placed within a Muslim majority, she encounters diminishing space to have an active presence in society. Our Egyptian guests are dr. Atef Gendy, President of the Evangelical Theological Seminay in Cairo (ETSC), and Samer Karam, graduate student of ETSC and now church pastor in Samalot (225 km south of Cairo). During the day, there are special programmes for children and teenagers. This year, the book fair is renewed and extended. It has never been this big! Moreover, many handmade products and gifts will be sold for the mission work.

Would you like to join but unable to come in real life? Follow then the GZB day live on your computer via the livestream on the GZB website.
Disaster relief for Nepal
On 25 April, Nepal was severely struck by a heavy earthquake, which was followed by another earthquake on 12 May. Thousands of people died and many people lost their houses. GZB immediately launched an emergency aid campaign. At the moment, over € 350,000 has been raised through Dutch congregations and individuals.The funds will be divided among our partners in Nepal. One of them is the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) that is providing medical aid in the Gorkha region. In the city of Pokhara, 45 local churches have joined hands in the Pokhara Christian Community (PCC) Disaster Team. By half May, the PCC had already helped 4,286 families with over 39,000 kilos of rice and 1,231 tents. Please continue to pray for this country and their inhabitants. 
 
Run for Syria
At the GZB day last August, the campaign “How far do you go?” was launched. With this campaign, GZB challenges Dutch church members to start their own creative fundraising activity for mission work worldwide. Youth groups, Bible study groups, church councils, families, couples… everyone can participate. Also the GZB office staff took up the challenge. By organizing 3 pop-up restaurants last fall they raised over € 5000. 

Of course, the GZB board members didn’t want to stay behind. On Saturday, 27 June 2015, they organise a fundraising run for the whole family. Goal is to raise € 10,000 for the Church in Syria. Participants can register for the following challenges: 12K or 5K run, 1,5K run for children or 9K walk. Mission sets people in motion!
 
Follow-up Partner conference
From 21-28 January 2015, the GZB organized a partner conference in Turkey to conduct a mid-term review of the GZB Policy Plan (2012-2016) with a selected group of partners. The final conference report was enclosed in our March partner newsletter. This report was mainly a summary of the different sessions. We promised the participating partners that we would come up with a plan for the follow-up within 3 months. Last month, the GZB staff discussed all the recommendations that arose from the conference and decided on a follow-up plan. Soon all partners will receive a letter in their email box explaining this action plan.  

If you haven't read the final conference report yet, click here.
 

GZB Prayer Day

Next week, on the annual GZB day (13 June), the first-ever worldwide GZB Prayer Day will take place! 



The idea for a GZB Prayer Day arose at the partner conference in Turkey. Next week, you will find a special GZB Prayer Day bulletin in your email box. It will be a big encouragement for all our congregations to know that brothers and sisters worldwide are praying for us in their churches, houses and offices.

 

Listen to a Dutch worship song

Curious how a Dutch worship song sounds? Listen then to Psalm 119 performed by the Psalm Project. Click on the image!



This worship band adapts the well-known psalm melodies into more modern compositions. In October, the GZB organizes two fundraising concerts in cooperation with the Psalm Project.  

Let's get introduced

Every newsletter we introduce you to one of our staff members. This time you meet Arie van der Poel. 



1. What is your function?

I am Regional Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East, which means I am responsible for the partnerships of the GZB in this region.

2. How and when did you start working for GZB? 
Before I joined the GZB in 1994, I first worked for an international bank and later on as a radio journalist for the Evangelical Broadcasting Corporation. While traveling for radio programmes, my eyes were opened up for the worldwide church and it became my desire to serve the Lord there.

3. What do you enjoy the most in your work?
To work closely together with our partners and jointly discover how we can best serve our common goal to strengthen God’s church. It means – besides a lot of correspondence - regular field visits to see the needs and challenges and to meet the people where they are. Traveling together and exploring new opportunities is exiting!

4. Which Bible verse has a special meaning for you?
John 3:16: Jesus Christ, the most precious gift of God’s love for the World! I will always remember a meeting with a young Dinka couple in South Sudan under the tree after a church service. We didn't speak each other's language, but he pointed with his finger at this verse and we fully understood each other. The love of and for Jesus Christ binds us strongly together!
    

 
 
 

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The Netherlands
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