Dutch Outreach 2015 Celebrates Ten Years of Joint Ministry
By Dan Roth
MADONA, Latvia – Have you ever thought about celebration being a God thing? In the Old Testament, we see God giving His people special days to celebrate. Times to stop, remember, reflect and rejoice!
In the New Testament, Jesus tells three parables in Luke 15 about things that get lost – a sheep, a coin and a son. Each story ends with great rejoicing and celebration when the lost is found. Jesus uses these stories to show us the heart of God when a lost sinner repents and turns to Him. People respond to the love of God as Christians go out and demonstrate His love in practical ways.
For the past ten years, people in Madona and the surrounding area have benefited from the charity and concern of a group of Christians 2000 km (1200 miles) to the southwest. Wilhelmina Reformed Church in The Netherlands has partnered with Madona Baptist Church for an annual week of outreach that includes food baskets for needy families.
One team member reflected, “It is hard to see the poverty. Sometimes I wonder, ‘Is this the only food these people will have this month?’”
The Dutch also sent a truck load of used clothing, shoes, blankets; various supplies for the nursing home; practical gifts for the orphanage; and soup ingredients for the soup kitchen.
A church member said, “It’s great to see the relationships that have been built over the years, people are glad to see us and often invite us in for tea.”
Hearts were deeply touched, “Christians have come and they are genuinely interested in how we are. Strangers don’t do that. It is a really big thing for us.”
The needy were not the only ones to benefit from the week. “The outreach taught me about God’s heart for people and I could see first hand how lost people are, they can’t even provide properly for themselves,” recalled another church participant.
This tenth anniversary was a special time to celebrate serving God and serving people together. And we did this with songs, cake, fireworks and gifts.
Over the years, many of the same homes have been visited and true friendships have been established. Multitudes have been prayed for and some have come to Christ and joined the church.