FAMILY PHOTO left to right: Johan with his wife Kristen (Virginia Beach, VA, USA); Josgua with his girlfriend Joyce (Hilversum, The Netherlands); Timothy with his wife Julianne (Nashville, TN, USA) and Lydia with her husband Lennart (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
From us, our children and from the core team of our church family in Sarajevo, we wish you a blessed and happy New Year 2017!
The journey of Israel out of the land of bondage and into the land of promise was not completed in one day. It required a consistent walk of obedience and faith to press through the challenges and to maximize the opportunities over a period of many years. Pioneer missionary work is very much like that.
As we look forward to the rest of 2017, the Lord is speaking to us to focus on strengthening all that He has delegated to us in the city of Sarajevo during these past three and a half years. Our focus in 2017 will be to strengthen the following three areas of ministry:
- Church Fellowship “RAFAEL”
- Children’s Ministry Center “NOAH’S ARK”
- Pro-life Center “THE LIGHTHOUSE”
It seems like yesterday when we arrived to Sarajevo in August of 2013 with a few suitcases and a measure of hope that we were truly hearing God’s voice. As Moses faced a battle in which his arms became tired from holding up the rod, we have likewise faced many a battle in fighting for our land of promise. Moses had Aaron and Hur to support his arms – we have had you standing with us in laying claim to the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Kingdom of God.
The Hebrew word in the above verse for ‘steady’ comes from a primary concept of ‘watering the seed’, meaning that the one resource (water) consistently connects with or strengthens another resource (seed) with the outcome being a harvest in due time. Based on this concept, to ‘steady’ is an action of grabbing hold of something else; passing strength or skill on to the next generation; revealing that a large group of the same kind is stronger than the one who is alone.
The word for 2017 for us is STEADINESS!
PRAY FOR SANDRINA as she begins the task of directing the pro-life center LIGHTHOUSE. On March 4th, Sandrina will be publicly installed as the new director. In April the plan is to renovate the apartment located on the third floor. From May through August we will be hosting at the LIGHTHOUSE various short-term ministry teams that will be coming to serve in Sarajevo. In September, we will be moving into the 3rd floor apartment, which will become our permanent residence. The 2nd floor serves the purposes of the pro-life ministry. The ground floor will continue to serve as a meeting point for various Christian activities and churches.
PRAY FOR OUR CHILDREN’S MINISTRY CENTER NOAH’S ARK as we begin once again February 1st with our daily children’s program from 3pm to 6pm. Many children have been blessed by this program, especially several special needs children. Pray also as we work on finishing renovation and improving the facility.
PRAY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPET MINISTRY IN NOAH’S ARK! During our USA trip, fellow missionary Ashley Pell (Philippines) donated a suitcase load of hand puppets for the children’s ministry in Sarajevo. So thankful for Ashley in all she is doing among the nations!
PRAY FOR OUR CHURCH FELLOWSHIP RAFAEL as it grows together and reaches out into our city of Sarajevo with the love of God.
PRAY FOR FOCUS BUSINESS SCHOOL as we will be launching the next course on the last weekend of March. Pray that the Lord will bring us people who are called to be entrepreneurs, and who are hungry to be trained according to the Biblical principles of financial management and business.
PRAY FOR GIDEON’S INTERNATIONAL Bible distribution ministry opportunities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – pray for individual one-on-one contacts, hotels, schools, hospitals, etc. to be receptive.