Still Finding Open Doors
I t is over 37 years now since we came to the “low country,” or the Netherlands. Brother Bergsma was already working here for a few years and we joined him in the work of the Lord. We spent many happy years of service together. During this time we had the joy of seeing God at work in the Northern part of Holland. A good number were saved, baptized, and gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The assembly in Dedemsvaart was started in 1969 and, by the grace of God, continues to this day. Also, during this time we contacted the Amsterdam and Schoonoord assemblies and enjoyed fellowship with them.
Our brother van Wetering joined us for about 10 years; later on our brother Bouwman also was with us for about 10 years. We did have the joy of seeing a number of souls reached and saved, and some new assemblies were planted at that time. The Canadian brethren who were with us returned to Canada. This did weaken the work in the west of Holland, with the result that those assemblies ceased to continue. We are thankful for the visits of these brethren as they come every 2 or 3 years to visit and be of help to the assemblies. We have stayed in the north part of the country and have tried to strengthen that which remains.
Together with the Schoonoord and Dedemsvaart assemblies, we seek to continue on in ways pleasing to God. We also seek to be of help to the small assembly in Amsterdam. Because of the distance and other reasons, however, often we are not able to go. We are praying that the Lord will call some out of our midst, or perhaps from the U.S.A., Canada, or U.K. to “come over and help us!”
We are thankful for some open doors in the gospel. We are able to hold gospel meetings every year. The last few years we have used mainly a tent in the Schoonoord area and a rented building in Dedems-vaart. Although we have not seen many saved, it does create an exercise among the believers, and the unsaved world around us knows and sees that we are still active in the gospel.
We are able to purchase and distribute the new-year calendars. This enables us to visit the homes around the hall and offer the free calendars. This has helped to make many contacts and we plan to do this again this year.
A split amongst the exclusive assemblies creates the possibility of gospel work in this area now. Some have asked us to help them, but because of health reasons, I have been unable to do this.
We are thankful to the Lord for some exercise among young couples who have a desire to serve the Lord and His people, and also to spread the gospel.
For the last two or three years we have visited some towns in the north of Holland. Through the tent meetings around Schoonoord, we have contacted some Christians who have invited us to come and help them. We do find good interest among these people. Some have started coming together on a Sunday night to have gospel meetings. They also desire to know more about the New Testament assembly. We would value your prayers for this work, plus the tent efforts in the gospel. Do pray that I might keep well enough for all these opportunities. Remember also our family, some of whom are not saved as yet. They need God’s salvation as well as those to whom we preach in Holland. We are very happy about some of our grandsons who are saved and are a good help in the meetings.
Once or twice a year we have some visiting brethren who do come and help us. They are mostly from the U.K.