Partner Newsletter
September 2015
GZB Partner Newsletter

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

It's a busy time at the office... The summer has come to an end and church life has started up again. All the staff is back at the office after a long and relaxing holiday. Local mission committees become active again and organize outdoor events (like a big fair last weekend for disabled people in Malawi) just before the winters starts.

But we are also moved by the images we see of the thousands of refugees that try to enter Europe from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Iraq. That's why, the GZB joined forces with other Dutch church organizations to start an emergency relief fund.

We hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter. Please let us know if you have any comments!


Emergency relief for refugees

Tens of thousands of people are fleeing civil war and unrest to find new homes in Europe—sometimes with tragic consequences. Most refugees come from Syria, who try to enter Europe on fragile boats via Turkey and Greece. Together with four church organisations, the GZB launched a campaign to help these refugees, wherever they are:

1.    In the own region: GZB works with partner churches in Syria and Lebanon, who provide the refugees with food, clothes and education.
2.    On the way in Europe: Partner churches in Greece and Eastern Europe are helping refugees, who are passing through their country, with temporary shelter, sanitation and food.
3.    In the Netherlands: Refugees who arrive in our country are accommodated in refugee centres. Through GZB partner “Stichting Gave”, Dutch congregations help these refugees to feel at home. 

The relief campaign was launched last week and has by now already raised € 50,000.
Upcoming GZB events
On 2 October, we organize our annual Youth Event with the theme “Don’t let the church disappear”, about the church in Egypt. We invite all the youth of our congregations to join us for worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. One of the speakers is Anne Zhaki, who works as Assistant Professor at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (ETSC). We want to challenge and inspire our youth with the stories from the church in Egypt, so they will become active in their own congregations and neighbourhoods as well!

For everyone who loves worship music (in particular the old psalms), the GZB organizes in October two concerts with the Psalm Project. This worship band adapts the well-known psalm melodies into more modern compositions. We will have two female speakers from Egypt and Lebanon. Afterwards, there is time to meet each other with Middle Eastern homemade snacks. 
Changes in the international department
As mentioned in the follow-up of the partner conference, the GZB will gradually go to a system in which the regional coordinators (RC) are not based in the Netherlands, but will work from within the region. The first RC who will work this way, will be appointed this year for the Central African region. Moreover, there will be some changes in the division of the countries among the other RCs. The partners concerned will soon receive more detailed information from their RC.

In order to serve our partners with more specific expertise, the GZB has chosen for a more programmatic approach of working (instead of a focus on regions). That’s why, the GZB appointed two Programme Coordinators (PC): Tim Verduijn will be in charge of the Diaconate programme and Iwan Dekker will focus on the Theology programme. As we are in a transition phase, the PCs will combine this position with their role as regional coordinator (50%-50%). 

Some changes have taken place in the way the projects are divided among the Project Officers. The Project Officers will inform the partners concerned. All these changes will be effective from January 1, 2016.
Expert team on Youth work
Earlier, we informed you about our plan to start up an expert team on youth work to serve a selected group of partners in assessing and developing their youth work. We also discussed this idea with the participants of the partner conference in Turkey. 27 candidates showed their interest in the position and 3 youth workers were recruited (2 women, 1 man). They will start their work from November 1, 2015. 

Praise & Prayer

-    Pray for the millions of refugees who left their countries to find a new safe home. Pray for protection and strength on the way and good facilities to accommodate them. 

-    Pray for our partner churches in Syria and Lebanon which have been helping these people for more than 4 years. Pray for enough funds and volunteers to give the necessary support.

-    Pray for our events in October: the Youth Event and the 2 concerts with the Psalm Project. That many people will be encouraged by the beautiful music and the stories from the church in Egypt.

-    Praise God for the new youth work team that has been formed. Pray that this team will be a blessing for the churches and in particular for their youth and youth workers.


How to explain what you do when you are a pastor?

The answer of this pastor is very surprising, but with a lot of truth in it...  A must-see for every pastor (and everyone else)!

Let's get introduced

Every newsletter we introduce you to one of our staff members. This time you meet Wim Nap. 

1. What is your function?

I’m the financial administrator of the GZB, which means I’m responsible for processing all financial data in a timely and accurate way. 

2.    What kind of work did you do before?
For more than 23 years, I worked as assistant-accountant for an auditing firm, that was mainly serving small and medium enterprises. These are businesses with 1-50 employees.

3.    Why did you want to work for GZB?
I think it was part of my upbringing, at home and at school, that you’re not in this world just for yourself. That’s why, I have always been interested to work for a non-profit organisation and to use my time and administrative skills there. This has become the GZB.

4.    What do you enjoy the most in your work?
Processing the financial data and taking care that everything is dealt with in a correct way. That’s the advantage of this kind of work: the debit side should always equal the credit side. Is this not the case, you have a problem and you can’t go home… 

5.    What could the church in the Netherlands learn from the worldwide church?
I think the enthusiasm of Christians to share the Gospel, but also the eagerness of people to receive the Word of God.


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Postbus 28
3970 AA Driebergen
The Netherlands
+31 343 51 24 44

IBAN: NL91 INGB 0690 7624 45

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