I have just returned from another fruitful trip to Europe. Here is a quick overview.
It began in Netherlands with a VCI all-in gathering in Ternuezen. The level of relational connectedness is steadily growing and it was delightful to see people interacting and praying with one another. A few of the leaders mentioned that the discussions and spontaneous interactions were highlights as we introduced various leadership topics.
We will meet again in June & we will who is on track in planting another church. I know of at least 3 churches who are “in the process” of working with people with the objective of planting. Very exciting!
Then I headed for Oss (Sth Holland) to be with Christiaan & Jedidja, who Pastor another church in the VCI network. The timing was excellent and being with Chris & JD is always fruitful and fun. They are expecting their second child in just 4 weeks!
Chris & I met with the team for the Church Planting Training Center www.cptc.nl. CptC begins in September this year and is coming together exceptionally well. This will be an excellent strategic push towards planting churches that multiply.
Amsterdam was next - I caught up with friends who are in the beginning stages of a brand new church plant in Amsterdam North. Their first meeting is an open information meeting in May. We will officially recognize ‘Public Church’ as part of the network in June.
Then Arras in North France, this was a first for me. Arras has an interesting history, many New Zealanders fought near here in the 1st W. War. Many miners from Waihi came to this area to dig tunnels under enemy lines, as they were fast and experienced. 1000's upon 1000's of soldiers died from both sides and the many grave yards are sobering places. Craters where grenades and explosives ignited can still be seen.
The Arras church led by Paul & Irene Mears is now part of the network. We will officially recognize this in our June meeting. They certainly have caught the mission of multiplication. Arras has 90.000 people and 4 churches. There are approx. 300 people who are Christians and I'm being generous!! There are towns around them that have no alive church. I find this disturbing and it's the reason we're doing what we're doing!
Back to Amsterdam for a few days – friends, pastors & even a catchup with my Father’s sister. And then to Paris – to a church in the middle of Paris for 7 meetings over Saturday and Sunday. A very busy but enjoyable weekend.
In Summary: 7 churches are now part of the network. It's exciting to see the fruitfulness, synergy and power of connectedness. Thank you for your thoughts & prayers.
On the home front, Karen continues her work in the funeral company, and is constantly challenged in all sorts of situations. We have now been in our home in Cambridge for a year, and love it! We are enjoying getting to know our neighbours.
My new book Multiplication is about to be released. I'm exceedingly pleased with the content and have a conviction it will be another encouraging tool towards seeing churches multiply. I believe this is a prophetic book, written for a time such as this.
Once again thank you for your prayer and support. Without you, this would be a very difficult and lonely journey.
Account Details for Vision Churches International
Branch Name: Victoria Street
Bank City: Hamilton, New Zealand
Branch number: 03-0318
Account number: 0882461-00 Swift code for Westpac NZ: WPACNZ2W