An account of the work in the land of Holland is presented.
It is nearly, thirty years ago that the Lord brought us back to the land of our fathers, having been in Canada for twenty years before that. It was there the Lord saved us and taught us the precious truths of the Scriptures, which we apply to our personal and assembly life.
Looking back over those years, we are able to say with one of old, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us”
(1 Sam 7:12). We can look back to times of real blessing, especially in the beginning of the work, when together with brother Bergsma, new assemblies were planted. Later we enjoyed the help of both brethren van Wetering and Bouwman. Whatever the reasons and the circumstances, we do miss the departure of these brethren. It has left a vacancy in the work in the west of Holland. At the present time we move amongst six assemblies in Holland and seek to help two assemblies in Belgium. We would like to visit these small assemblies more often, but we are limited because of health reasons.
The assemblies in the west of Holland are small numerically, yet we do admire their desire to go on for the Lord. There is great need for brethren who have an exercise to serve the Lord and to be a help in these small assemblies.
While most of the smaller assemblies have their weekly gospel meetings as well as short series of meetings, we lack the help of a full time evangelist who could visit door to door. This is a great opportunity for some younger brother with a call from the Lord (Isa 6:8; Acts 13:2). Though most of the Lord’s days are spent amongst the smaller assemblies within reach, we spend most of our time in the north of Holland. Door to door work has been our exercise although I am not able to do it any more.
The two assemblies in the north of Holland are doing well, but not without growing pains. The assembly in Schoonoord with thirty five in fellowship has been here since the late twenties and is one of the few assemblies left from the labors of a brother Wilson from Scotland.
Every year we have our gospel tent in Schoonoord. We try to have an outreach work in either the fall or spring in one of the surrounding villages. This has created a good exercise amongst the local believers. As a result they are able to have their own gospel meetings without much help being needed from outside sources. The local brethren from both Dedemsvaart and Schoonoord have given us excellent help in both the yearly gospel meetings in the tent and in community halls.
We are very thankful to the Lord for these two assemblies. Dedemsvaart was planted by the Lordthrough the labors of our brother Bergsma and myself. We started with pel meetings in an old farm house in 1969. Later, good numbers came to a mobile hall. Most of those reached and saved were church people. The assembly was planted in the spring of 1970 and the Lord has been blessing the testimony in spite of ups and downs. Brother van Wetering and his wife joined the work in 1974 and left in 1984. Brother Bergsma left Holland in 1979 for Canada. Brother Bouwman and his wife joined the work here in 1986 and left in 1996. We are left alone as far as full time workers. It is our desire and prayer to the Lord that some with a love for souls and saints may be raised up by the Lord to “come over and help us.” Our home assembly is Dedemsvaart with about 55 in fellowship. We seek to keep busy in the gospel, encouraging door to door work and open air gospel work, which we have every Saturday night, weather permitting. I am thankful for the strength to continue speaking and arranging these meetings. We have a good number of exercised brethren and sisters who support this important work.
In the last year, the Lord has blessed His Word and a good number of young people have been
saved and added to the assemblies in both Dedemsvaart and Schoonoord. In Dedemsvaart the Lord has blessed in a most remarkable way. We saw a number of young people, mostly children of the believers, reached and saved. Many had stayed away from the meetings for years. As others were reached, they came again and heard the gospel and were saved.
We greatly value the prayers and fellowship of the Lord’s people in Canada, the USA and other places, which has made it possible for us to be here and labor for His glory.