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Prayer Letter from the Vineyards, July 2022

 

Finally, brothers, rejoice.
Aim for restoration, comfort one another,
agree with one another, live in peace;
and the God of love and peace will be with you.


— 2 Corinthians 13:11 —
 

Dear Friends,

We were recently encouraged by 2 Corinthians 13:11. It starts with a personal command to rejoice, and continues with a social imperative for restoration, comfort, agreement, and peace. What is its promise? God will be with you. Since returning to Europe, we’ve sometimes lost sight of this essential wisdom. May this verse encourage you to trust and imitate Jesus. Please pray it does the same for us.

In this letter we love to update you with the developments on our side of the partnership with you. One of those is that we’ve connected with several ministry organisations, including the Navigators, Business as Mission, and the Gospel Coalition.

A local Navigators representative has chosen to collaborate with Andreas. He will be attending NavEquip, (their official development program) for the next year. We hope to incorporate what is being learned with our ministry as we continue to grow personally. Please pray the Lord blesses this training and new relationship.

We see Business as Mission as another great opportunity to build relationships and serve society with a gospel focus. Please pray for wisdom to discern how we might apply our gifts alongside such an approach.

Finally, Andreas came in touch with a founding council member of the Gospel Coalition. He is knowledgeable about specific needs in the Netherlands, and it led to an invitation to meet with a network of Christians involved in ministry there. Please pray for wisdom about accepting this invitation. Also, pray we will clearly see God’s direction about supporting work in our home country. While God has placed us in Cambridge for now, we have always desired to see the Kingdom built in the Netherlands as well. Pray that in God’s time and way, and wherever we live, we may be a blessing to the Netherlands.

Please pray for us to meet more people (through realms outside the church) who rarely or never attend church, and to know how we might serve and love them best.

This first year, we are thankful to have hosted a small group meeting every other week, which focused on daily following Jesus, and minding the communities He brings to us. Please thank the Lord that we were able to host, and for His providence.

Our Faith & Work meetings have been another blessing. While it took time to build deep enough relationships for these evenings, Andreas has been leading several evenings both in June and July. Joining with Christians and encouraging each other towards love and goodness in the workplace is joyous. Topics we’ve discussed are Biblical principles, gifting & calling, and healthy life rhythms. Please thank the Lord for leading these people to us. Pray that we might have an ongoing impact in their lives.

Praise God that family-wise, we are in a better season. Luca has been more interested in Christianity, and is more actively seeking God. Unfortunately, he could use prayer for his health. He is growing quickly, and has not gained enough weight lately. While he does not have an eating disorder, he did have a disorder with eating, and received professional help for that. Thankfully, he is much healthier already. Alongside prayers for his spiritual health, please pray for his efforts to gain weight. Pray he will form a healthy relationship with food.  

Many things are well with Sem. After speaking with the senior pastor, he decided he would like to be baptized. Please pray that Sem will grow in his faith and continue to bless others by God’s grace. 

We feel very international here in Cambridge. We’ve had visitors from across the world. Spring brought visitors from Scotland, the Netherlands, and even the US. We were encouraged by visits from two American couples, particularly because one couple are the parents of a student we hosted for a dinner in St. Louis. Isn’t it a small world? Praise God for encouragement, which is often found in life’s little things. 

Our journey has been adventurous, and that probably always will be. Now that we have entered the mission field, we realize that a next season is coming, during which we hope to evaluate and explore how we may join our gifts and opportunities. Since we believe God is leading us, we are sure He will make things clear. Please pray that we will find and keep the proper balance—or should I say, “healthy tension”—between moving forward, opening our hands to the Lord, and preserving family stability. With your prayers, partnership, and God’s blessing, we believe we may do the work of the gospel ministry for the sake of His glory.


Yours in Christ,

Andreas & Katharine van Wijngaarden

Copyright © 2022 Presbyterian Mission International. All rights reserved.


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