February 2020

Our mission in Brussels has not changed – to make disciples of all men, women and children from every nation gathered in our corner of the harvest field, principally through the ministry of Woluwe Protestant Evangelical Church.

As we’ve already chalked off nearly two months of 2020, do join us in giving thanks for some encouraging things that have been going on lately. 

Prayer for 2 octogenarians post baptism!
  • In January we baptised two men – both in their 80’s! Better late than never! One man has been with the church since the very beginning and the other has slowly come to the Lord in the past few years. 
  • Our latest church AGM was on 16 February and the increase in numbers was noticeable as we’d grown from 62 to 81 members. Praise the Lord for this growing core (which represents roughly half the adults regularly present on a Sunday). We agreed at this meeting to fund a co-worker for a further year (Ben Eggen). It was a great joy to see the church pledge financially to fully back Ben remaining with us until at least summer 2021 - a significant step! Ben is a young Frenchman but wonderfully mature, humble and good humoured. He's already a published author and runs a significant online ministry for young adults. 
  • Christmas saw the building packed out and we even managed to put a choir together for the first time. 
  • A new format to our Thursday night studies has bedded down well, complementing other work in home groups. 

In 2020, here’s where we’d particularly appreciate your ongoing prayers: 

Louvain la Neuve plant gathering

1) We are asking our heavenly Father to establish the work of the church plant in Louvain-la-Neuve under the leadership of Robbie Bellis (together with his wife Lizzie), assisted by other Crosslinks mission partners, James and Lou. It's been wonderful to see some encouraging test Sundays with a good 15-20 locals present, but the search for a few folk to commit to going with them as members of the plant is still ongoing. Now until June is a key time if there is to be a functioning church plant running by September. Have in mind that a church plant here feels much more like pioneer missionary work (as there is no established team with them at the outset). So it's small but strategic and Robbie and James are great guys to be leading this work, so pray for the Lord to bless it and for their team to be cracking on in faith, love and hope in the meantime.

2) We're now in roughly year three of trying to think what to do about our building - we've explored various options but so far all have seemingly not come to much (e.g. there is a current new build that is asking roughly 2€ million for us to occupy the ground floor – it would be a terrific location, but surely out of our league!). We'd love to see that change before too long and are establishing a group within the church to help the elders think through this. Pray for progress. 

3) Adrian and Fiona Price (Adrian is a recent IBB graduate) are hoping to join Woluwe church from Switzerland come September, with Adrian having a part time ministerial role with us, whilst both of them will have a further part time role in developing word centred congregational music. They are part of a song writing and performing collective called Colossiens 3:16 (appropriately enough!) and have just recorded their first album, with some already much appreciated modern hymns that we sing regularly at church. They are now seeking to raise funds for that dual role. 

4) Evangelism: the danger of a small but full building is that we are easily satisfied with small things. So we’re praying that there would be ongoing thirst and desire for the lost to be reached for Christ. To that end, pray for an evangelistic evening on 6 March on Jesus and identity, and then for our second kids holiday ‘stage’ (9am-5pm, 14-17 April.) We’re still looking for about five more people to join our team, reaching 5 to 11 year olds and their families with the good news of Christ. Could you join us? If you have some French and a love for the Lord then please come - you can be the answer to your own prayers!

Here are a few other pointers for prayer:

  1. Dawn is giving a seminar on hospitality at the annual Women’s Convention ‘Chrétiennes Consacrées’ on Sat 21 March. 
  2. We’re currently preaching through 2 Corinthians – pray that we’d be all the stronger in our commitment to the suffering apostolic ministry model that transforms the heart rather than impressing the eye. 
  3. Pray for our small training group for men as we meet on sporadic Saturday mornings. 
  4. If anyone wants to come and run in the Brussels 20k on 31 May do please let us know. We are aiming to raise money for an excellent work we support in the North-Kivu region of Congo. Otherwise, do pray for the evangelistic event planned in the afternoon on that day – hopefully with full Congolese choir in attendance. 
  5. For two sessions on complementarianism planned in March – that they would be useful and would help encourage the church to properly understand and resource both men and women’s ministry in their appropriate biblical expressions.
  6. For Jemima as she thinks of options post school as of September (a Crosslinks gap year team being one of those options).
  7. Give thanks for some good things going on in the GBU (Groupes Bibliques Universitaires), and pray on for the movement to reach, build up and send out workers into the harvest field. 

Finally, we’ve had to say a slow goodbye to our faithful Opel Vivaro van – after a good number of kilometres, we were beginning to throw good money after bad. So we’re investing in a newer version of pretty much the same thing. Any one-off contributions to help make up the cost of the new one would be much appreciated. Please be in touch with Crosslinks if so. 

With much love and thanks for your prayers: ‘many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many’ (2 Corinthians 1:11).

Stephen & Dawn
Jemima (17), Max (15), Zeb (13) and Nelly (12)

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