‘Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.’
3 John 1:5-8
This is the mission statement of the OM Center in Zaventem Village, a little town outside of Brussels. Deborah and Lucas are the hosts of this community center. They are currently housing 18 missionaries, 22 missionary children, 8 interns for childcare, 6 MTW staff, and 6 presenters during the month of July. They are doing this in an old paper factory, that they have made into a European Conference Center to house Christians and Missionaries.
They have renovated rooms, added beds, prepared meals, and have asked about two dozen times if there is anything more they can do for us. There is laundry service and internet, a cook and an industrial dishwasher. (1) They had carseats to pick us up from the airport. They’ve added pack-n-plays to the rooms. The kindness and selflessness of this special ministry just overwhelms me. Deborah is looking to gain 300 likes, so if you feel inclined to follow this ministry, please do so.
I admit, I was worried about our family of four staying in a tiny room together. And there have been issues. (2) But, the hospitality of these two people was so humbling.
Also, MTW and their mission care team go to great lengths to prepare their missionaries for the fields as best they can. And even though they can’t prepare us for everything, the speakers and teachers have spent time listening to us and sharing very personal experiences, from team dynamics, struggles and growing in faith in the field.
In only one week, we have learned about team dynamics from a former missionary to North Africa, Spiritual growth and evangelism from a missionary in East Berlin, met with the minister of the Persian Church we will be serving with, and teamed up with an inner city outreach group to meet with people in a park on the north side of town.
I think the pace of this month will be fast. I hope that we are able to blog again. We love you guys. Happy fourth of July. Please pray that our family will continue to grow, that our children will get rest, and we will learn and grow, however the Lord sees fit.
(1) We still have to do the dishes in shifts. The dishwasher is just to make all our jobs easier. Also, the laundry costs about $8 a load, and by load they mean about as much laundry as you could fit in a plastic grocery bag.
(2) Oliver cried himself into our bed the first night. Because he sleeps like he’s having an exorcism, I went to Avonlea’s bed to get some sleep. The next night everyone slept where they were supposed to. Night three, however, we put the kids down and went to sit down on the patio to visit with the other missionaries. At some point, Oliver figured out how to climb out of his pack-n-play into Avonlea’s bed. In an effort to fix that, she left the room, with him trailing behind like a little duckling. Because we were outside, they were wandering the OM center unattended. Thankfully, an intern came and found us. Returned to their beds, and with threats of nuclear discipline, they finally went to sleep, while I then had visions of my children roaming the streets of Belgium for the rest of the night.