Like many countries in continental Europe, only 1% of the population of Belgium are Christians.
The country is linguistically divided, with the Flemish-speaking Flanders in the north and the French-speaking Wallonia in the south. Brussels, although officially bilingual, is majority French-speaking.
Robbie and Lizzie are working in Brussels amongst French-speakers seeking to share the gospel with unbelievers and build up believers in their faith.
Robbie is the assistant pastor at the Eglise Protestante Evangélique de Bruxelles-Woluwe (Woluwe Evangelical Church) in east Brussels, where he runs the student work. He also teaches one day a week at the Institut Biblique Belge (Belgian Bible Institute) training men and women for gospel ministry.
Lizzie is a full-time mum to Lola, Caleb and Mia and she helps out with the women's and children's work at the church.
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“But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” Philippians 2:17
The apostle Paul says that even if he must die in his service for the believers, he is glad and will rejoice. Gospel ministry inevitably involves hardship, discouragements, unglamorous yet costly sacrifice, and at the same time great joy in serving Jesus and his people. In thinking ahead to planting a church in Louvain-la-Neuve here in Belgium (see below), we are seeking to keep both these realities present in our minds. Church planting can often be seen as “cool” and “exciting” and it is exciting, but the reality seems also to be quite unglamorous! Small launch teams, slow growth, lots of setbacks and years of slow relationship-building for sometimes little fruit. And yet this is what Paul considered great joy in his Gospel ministry! Please pray that we and the other members of the launch team would keep these realities in our minds, that we’d rejoice to do the hard, sacrificial, unglamorous things to serve Jesus, his people and the lost here in Belgium.
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