It had been roughly 12 years since we’d been in Holland. Sophie & Dominic were half-pints and Timo was not yet of this world. MAN! It was good to be back!
My one regret… that Liz & the kids were not there as well.
Holland became a major part of our story in 1995 when Liz & I sang with the Continental Singers (an interdenominational Christian choir) and toured through Belgium, France and Switzerland. The tour assembled & rehearsed in the Netherlands.
The assistant tour directors that year were Bart & Wanda Zintel, a couple to whom we remained close and, in 1997, Bart stood up with me at our wedding. We didn’t get back to see them often but were able to visit around Christmas 2004.
That was the last time I’d seen “Meine Getuige” (my best man)… until Tuesday evening, after the day’s RBD sessions ended. Following tradition, we went out for a pancake supper at one of Holland’s famous “pannenkoeken huisen”.
Revival by Design
The purpose of the trip was to attend Revival by Design (RBD), a pattern for evangelism and discipleship based on the example of Moses.
UPCI Missionaries Mark & Robin Shutes and Ray & Judy Nicholls developed the curriculum and came to the Netherlands to introduce it to the 60+ participants who hailed from local Dutch churches, France, Romania, Uganda & Kenya… not to mention 3 from the US states of Texas and Louisiana!
One of the things I appreciated most about RBD is that it doesn’t pre-suppose a large church structure to man the various roles. In stead, it presumes the most basic biblical team… two people (the disciples were sent out two-by-two). That we can handle in Châtellerault!
Before we will be able to truly adopt RBD on a local level, we’re going to need to translate it into French – (time to sharpen our translating pencils!).
Besides being some very rich training, RBD also afforded some great fellowship as well. Besides getting to hang with fellow AIMers Baron & Jen Carson (who helped organize the event), Rev. & Mrs Michael Tuttle (Europe’s Regional Directors) and the various missionaries, I also got to see downtown Amsterdam (first time ever) with AIMer Daniel Patterson (Romania) and two of the brethren… Pastor Nixon and Assistant Pastor Peter, from Bucharest.
Romania has had a special place in my heart since 2012 when I attended a friend’s wedding there: Beautiful country, beautiful people! Bro. Peter’s father baptized one of the most notorious mafia leaders in Romania… incredible!
I was taken back at how the center of Amsterdam had such a small-town, personal feel: Lots of small streets, small canals and small bridges crossing those canals. There are no tall sky-scrapers to remind you that you’re in one of the world’s great cities.
In contrast to the quaintness of the setting, however, signs of a very different world-view are also easy to find… from the cannabis cookies, cannabis tea and cannabis chocolate to a great number of rainbow flags adorning restaurants, bars & night clubs.
Tulips & Tourism
We had traveled up as a group of eight: Bro & Sis. Brochu, myself and 5 members of the church in Paris Centre.
On our way home, we stopped in Noordevijk to see some of the last tulip fields still in bloom. How incredible to see an entire field of red, purple or orange tulips!
Some blossoms are harvested for sale, after which the bulbs are left to multiply, eventually to be shipped around the world.
From Noordevijk, we made a quick stop in the small city of Delft (home of the famous Delft blue pottery). Again… thousands of bikes, dozens of canals, and great rounds of Gouda cheese to be had at every turn!
What a beautiful country!
God pour out your Spirit there!