Dear Family and Friends,
Welcome to another edition of the Blevins News. We have put together what we hope is an interesting and informative newsletter for you. Enjoy!
The end of October, we had a one-day DTS reunion for the April DTS. It was good to see the students again (not everyone could come), and to hear their stories about how it is going now that they are back home again.
For some of them, it was quite clear that after the DTS, they would go home again better equipped for life back in their respective churches or at their work. Others, though, are already making plans to head to the mission field, or are already there. Maarten & Monika Brak, for instance have just arrived in Northern Italy where they will be working with YWAM as missionaries. Another family, the Bolks, is still in Holland awaiting the birth of their third child, but is busy making plans, and arranging visas for Brazil . They will be working with street kids at a YWAM base in Belo Horizonte .
It is such an encouragement to see how God is blessing these families and that He has given them a calling for missions, and a heart for Jesus. Whether they are in Holland at their workplace or in their churches, or on the mission field, they are following Him in everything they do.
National YWAM Staff Day
Saturday, October 30 th was a national staff day for YWAM Holland. It was held at the YWAM base The Port in Amsterdam , so that we could get an idea of what kinds of ministries they are involved with, and share of little of their vision for Amsterdam and the world. Besides a great time of worship, teaching and intercession, their base leader shared with us a vision they have for something called “The Tabernacle of the Nations”. They are setting this up in a building in the heart of the city at the edge of the red-light district, with a vision to have praise and worship 24/7, led each day by a different people group (Brazilians, Koreans, Africans, etc). Since practically the whole world is represented in Amsterdam , they hope to show to Amsterdam that the God we worship is not just Lord of the white people, but Lord of all races, tongues and nations. (See Rev. 7:9)
Heidebeek is becoming more and more international! It is such a blessing to work and live alongside people from different cultures, with different customs and languages. It is a privilege to stand together with staff from different countries and work together for the Lord in Holland . The latest arrivals are from India , Egypt and Africa .
Just a little while longer…
It won’t be long before we leave “Epe House” and move into a little bungalow of our own on the base itself. We’ve already gotten the keys, and are making plans to quickly move to our new home. Even though we will miss the “gezelligheid” (Dutch word for “coziness”) of living together in community with the people here in “Epe House”, we are looking forward to finally having something of our own; our own kitchen and bathroom, for instance. Things have already been happening here at Epe House. Our neighbor, Dorien has gotten married and moved out, and Arnold has gotten married to a lovely Rwandan lady and lives in a room next to ours. As soon as we leave they will take over our two-room apartment. At the moment, we are living together here with a total of seven staff (plus Lisa), and only one bathroom.
It’s finally time again for furlough! Hooray! It has already been almost two years ago since we were last in the States, and especially since Lisa was born in the mean time, it has seemed like a long wait. We can’t wait to finally take Lisa to the States and show her off to family and friends. She is 15 months old and will be almost 16 months (going on 16 years) by the time we arrive.
When do We Fly?
We fly out of Amsterdam on Dec. the 13 th , and arrive the same day at 8PM in Phoenix . We will be there for 10 weeks, and will be traveling around in Arizona , California and probably Oklahoma .
Furlough or Vacation; what’s the difference?
Whenever we go on furlough, the question arises about the difference between furlough and vacation. It’s quite simple actually; vacation is time off from work that you spend at home or in another country. Furlough is a time specifically for people who live and work in a different country to come back to their own country to see family and friends again. In the case of a missionary, it is also an important time to build relationships with the home church and prayer and financial supporters.
As web designer, I have taken on a project for an organization called Agrinas, to develop a webpage for them. Agrinas is a Christian organization that supports several different agricultural projects in countries like Bosnia , Albania and China . In this way, I can be a part of the good work they are doing in these countries without even leaving my office in Holland.
Since a month’s time, I have a new co-worker from India . His name is Joseph Vallikavunkal and he has come to Heidebeek to work in the computer department. It is good to have another co-worker join me in the IT dept. Even though he speaks English well, I sometimes have a hard time understanding him because of his strong Indian accent.
Since the beginning of October, I am working in the Member Care dept. of Heidebeek. It’s Member Care’s ministry to care for missionaries that have been sent out by YWAM Holland, to help them do their work more effectively. They provide missionaries in the field encouragement, advice, prayer, pastoral care, de-briefing talks and pastoral visits. Heidebeek is still the “home base” for many missionaries that have been sent out from Holland and Member Care helps to take care of them. It is a great place to work and draw on my field experience in Bosnia . I can really identify with the feelings and experiences of missionaries on the field worldwide.
Well, that wraps up another Blevins News. Thank you once again for your prayer and support, financially and otherwise.
Blessings, The Blevins