April 2019

 ‘After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.’ (Revelation 7:9)

As part of my year abroad, I’m currently serving at a church in Brussels (L’Eglise Protestante Evangelique de Bruxelles-Woluwe) until the end of June. My tasks are fairly varied, but generally I’m helping out with kids work, spending time with the elderly and leading bible studies with teenagers. I’m also studying part-time at the Belgian Bible Institute (IBB) which has given me a renewed appreciation for God’s word and its importance as the foundation of our lives. I’m super excited to see my growth over these next few months and am very thankful for your prayers.

Church

It’s been such a joy to form new friendships with people from all sorts of different backgrounds. The church here is extremely multicultural and such a great reflection of the nations and tribes we see gathered around God’s throne in Revelation 7:9. A typical week is pretty busy, with team meetings, bible studies, kids work and evangelistic events, but I’m really enjoying frequently digging into Scripture and becoming more confident in my French. My favourite weekly event by far is ‘Petits Lapins’, the Thursday morning mums and toddlers group where we sing French nursery rhymes, eat lots of cake and share the gospel with Belgian mothers who don’t attend church.

IBB

Every Wednesday I attend lectures at the IBB, my courses being Roman Catholicism and Isaiah. While grappling with theological terminology and concepts in French has been a challenge, I am absolutely loving these modules, one equipping me more to interact with Belgian Catholics and the other giving me a deeper appreciation for God’s grace and how Old Testament scripture points to Christ.

Fun

Despite my busy schedule, I am also having so much fun! From a spontaneous day trip to Amsterdam to consuming more Belgian waffles than I knew I was physically capable of, I am having an absolute 
blast and rapidly falling in love with this city. After spending the first half of my year in Siberia, the climate here seems almost tropical to me, and aside from the odd times when I’ve accidentally ordered food in Russian, my French has come back to me fairly quickly.

Praise God for:

  • Settling in well.
  • How he is bringing so many of the lost into the church through evangelistic events and groups like Petits Lapins.
  • The freedom we have in this country to do all of these things, which we so often take for granted.

Please pray:

  • I would find the time to do the essays Durham University has set for me on top of my IBB deadlines.
  • God will give me the opportunity to make non-Christian friends, as well as the boldness to proclaim the gospel in a language that isn’t my own.
  • We distributed flyers around the neighbourhood for a children’s Easter camp. Please pray that children from non-religious backgrounds would sign up.

Thanks again for your prayers and financial support for this placement.

Much love,

Rachel