Partner Newsletter
‚ÄčSeptember 2016

Dear partner,

The month of September always means the start of a new church year. Congregations have their Starting Sunday (sometimes a whole weekend) with many activities for young and old. I don't know how it is in your church, but in our congregations church life slows down a bit in summer... People are away on their holidays and less activities are going on. It is nice to have some rest from you church responsibilities, but at the same time it feels kind of strange... 

In my own church (a pioneering church in a poor neighbourhood) something remarkable happened. As the doors were open because of the nice weather, more people from the neighbourhood knew how to found us. With many church members gone on holiday, the makeup of the group completely changed... It was a great blessing from God, as we try to be congregation for and with the neighbourhood. The summer taught us how to do that!

We wish you a blessed start of the new church year!


New mission workers start their ‚Äčtraining
On 1 September, six new mission workers started their training at the GZB. They plan to work in Rwanda, Malawi, Lebanon and Nepal, either in the church or as medical workers. We are blessed to have them in our midst before they will start with their work abroad!

The new GZB Policy Plan (2017-2021) also requires a new approach for mission workers. We will focus more on the role that mission workers will be able to play in the Netherlands, both during their stay and after their return, so that they can guide Dutch churches to be more open and inclusive, based on the lessons they have learned abroad. 
New GZB Policy Plan (2017-2021) almost finished 
The policy process is nearing completion! In our new policy plan we strongly focus on the local congregation. We would like to help them to be open, inclusive and witnessing communities in their own context. This is not only a desire we have for our partner churches, but also for our Dutch congregations.

We have communicated the draft document with the board of the GZB, and have received stimulating commentary. In the beginning of 2017, we will share and explain the new policy plan with our partners. The policy plan will also change the way GZB is organized and the way projects are developed and implemented. More news will follow later during the year.
Two new Bible study publications
For the Dutch congregations it is important to learn from and get inspired by the worldwide church. GZB sees a responsibility here as we can connect churches worldwide. 

The GZB developed a small Bible study book for small groups with the title 'Broader, longer, deeper, higher' (referring to Ephesians 3:18) . This book pairs a personal story to a Biblical story. For example, the story of a girl in Egypt is connected to the story of Daniel and his friends in Babylon. We trust this will help the church to read the Bible with fresh eyes. 

The second study book with the title ‘Why Israel?’ was published by the Center for Israel Studies (CIS), of which GZB is a co-partner. This book makes it practical how the church can learn from the rich tradition of the Jewish people. 
Spanish Study Bible online (BibliaDeEstudio)
After more than 7 years of dedicated work, the Spanish version of the online Study Bible (New Testament) has finally been completed!

BibliaDeEstudio wants to serve the churches in Latin America and can be accessed by website or app (Ipad and Android). 

The Study Bible has a large set of Bible study tools. You can compare 6 different Spanish Bible translations, there is a thorough explanation of every verse, as well as many extra articles on different topics (like heaven or life after death).

Click here to go to the website!



GZB website in Spanish

The GZB website is now also available in Spanish! Here you can find interesting information about the work we are involved in, as well as practical information about project applications (including formats).

Any ideas to improve the website, please let us know!

GZB supports the ministry of GlobalRize, a Christian organisation focussing on evangelism through the internet. The Facebook page Biblword (in English) is almost reaching the 2.5 milion likes! Slides with Bible verses and a short message are shared daily. Biblword also exists in 13 other languages. Biblword has its own website to which people are forwarded for more in-depth articles abouth the Christian faith. Really worth a visit!



Let's get introduced

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

1.    What kind of position do you have within GZB?
I have actually two different positions. On the one hand, I work for the GZB-team Youth ministry. Together with the partner churches we think about the position of the youth in the church. Youth are not only the future of the church, they are also part of the present church. On the other hand, I am responsible for the diaconal Experience trips, that we developed last year. It is very important that the youth discover at an early age how God is at work worldwide.

2.    How did you get involved in youth work and why do you enjoy it so much?
From an early age, I have been involved in youth work within my own congregation. I studied pedagogy. After getting my degree, I was offered a job within the national youth organisation of the church. I still enjoy working with the youth a lot! They hold up a mirror to me: why do you believe? What defines who you really are? Often, youth are more open and receptive than adults… 

3.    What do you enjoy the most in working for GZB?
The contacts with the worldwide church! This is incredibly enriching for your own faith. I’m very much convinced that we need each other to better grasp who God really is. Stories of mission workers and partners stimulate me to look at my own life with an open mind.

4.    Could you share a bit about your summer?
It was a very special and dynamic summer! I led two of the new Experience trips in France and Kenya. It was great to see how inspiring the mutual encounters turned out to be. I feel very privileged to have experienced from nearby the impact it has to step out of your own world and open up yourself for people from other cultures. In Kenya we sang on the first and last day the song "Count your blessings”. That’s how it is!





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