June 2019

‘You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and will not be afraid for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”’ Isaiah 12:1-2

This passage is from the book of Isaiah that I have had the pleasure and challenge of studying this term at the Belgian Bible Institute. What a beautiful reminder it is of God’s forgiveness freely given to us through Jesus, and also the reminder it is of our need to trust and put our confidence in him alone!

As I write this, I have completed my final week at the bible college, with less than two weeks left in Brussels which has come around so quickly! Thank you all once again for your continued prayer and support over the last 10 months (apologies for not very regular prayer letters)!

Church

As usual, Emmanuel Etterbeek has continued to be a big part of my time here and my closest community. Our Sundays have been filled with visitors which recently included squeezing in 55 adults and children for baby Clara’s dedication, followed by a magnificent celebratory feast! Mid-week bible study has been wonderful too, studying Ephesians together as a church, with a couple of new people also becoming regular attendees. I have been able to help out more with Sunday school which has been a challenge but a joy, recently teaching Saul’s conversion to a group of boisterous 2-6 year olds. During our church weekend away (staying in a gorgeous forest on the Dutch border), I got to teach two sessions alongside Naomi about being children of God. It was a challenge to do this in French but I was praying lots that the truth of their identity would be clear even when I wasn’t. It was really fun to hang out and relax with the church.

Please pray for:

  • The church to remain strong in this secular society and grow
  • People who are still questioning faith – that they would find their answers in Jesus and that church would support them in that
  • Johnny, Tom and others who preach on Sundays - that they would persevere in digging deep in the Scriptures for teaching
  • God to use the Sunday School teachers to teach his word clearly to the children

Belgian Bible Institute

Understanding complex biblical teaching in French has continued to be my biggest challenge. This term I’ve been studying Isaiah, Mark and Biblical Theology of the Covenants; it is a great combination. I’ve been amazed once again at God’s incredible plan to draw us, his rebellious people, back to him once again through giving his Son, so we would rejoice in his beautiful glory.

Please pray:

  • The teachers at IBB who work hard would continue to serve and train Belgian Christians
  • I would find joy in the revision period studying God’s word and that the things I learn would stay with me, for God’s glory.

Home

I am very sad to be leaving the Pilgrems in a couple of weeks and all the busyness of life with them. We’ve truly gotten into a routine and it’s been a joy to live alongside them. Please pray for continued joy in working together, that I would teach the children well and look after them in these final weeks.

Training opportunities

I have received lots of great training and teaching recently, with lots of Saturdays filled with seminars and training days: Chrétiennes Consacrées (a conference day for over 200 women, where I got to serve as a ‘hostess’), training weekend for InterAction summer camps, Journée de formation for Sunday School (a very helpful training day delivered by TnT ministries) and ‘Etre une femme selon Dieu’ (Being a woman after God). Praise God for all these opportunities to learn about different things and for the people who studied his word faithfully to teach others. Pray for preparations for InterAction summer camps, and for the girls in my group, that God would be preparing their hearts for the things they will learn on camp.

Evangelistic opportunities

Praise God for the very open and focused conversations he led me to have with some Muslim men at the migrant night-shelter recently. We discussed Jesus as the Messiah and being under grace and not the law. Please pray these truths stick with these men and grow to bear gospel fruit. Pray for these men facing a difficult life in the shelter, that they would come to know God as their Father.

That’s it - my last prayer letter! What a journey this year has been. I am praying that in all the ups and downs of a year, you too have emerged from it rejoicing in God’s goodness. Thanks again for your support!

Blessings,

Josie x

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