Posted by: Jack | August 31, 2012

Remembering an Inspiring Pastor

Furlough … it’s been over a month ago that we returned to the Netherlands, and we’re still catching our breath. Besides memories of drought and 100+ degree heat, we treasure many other memories of meetings so many friends. Here’s one particular memory that we carry with us.

It’s a cool Sunday morning as we get ready for church. It’s a church that we’ve known for decades, a church with a 100+ year history, a church in transition (just like all — yes, all of our supporting churches are in transition). As we drive to this church, we’re curious to see how the church is doing and we discuss one more time the short missions update that we’ll be sharing.

After shaking dozens of hands, and asking too many people for their name again, we join in worship and listen intently to the sermon. Spiritual food for our hungry hearts! I remember vividly the pastor speaking about the church and the challenges it faced. What struck us was this pastor’s appreciation for the church. He told the audience how he enjoyed being part of that church, how he was impressed by the mutual care of the people of that church. He liked the church, and eagerly anticipated each worship service.

To be sure, that church too must have had its challenges, but what the pastor shared made us feel proud to be part of that church. It awoke a desire in us to want to be part of it – if only we lived a little closer and not across an ocean. The way that this pastor told the story of this church made us feel included in its fellowship as the body of Christ. We so much appreciate his inspiring leadership and we’re glad we are part of the ministry of that church as their missionaries in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Thanks to this pastor, this church, and so many other pastors and other friends who filled our furlough with treasured memories and inspiring examples. Please continue to pray with us about the challenges that the Lord brings our way across the ocean.


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