Special things are happening in the rural villages and cities in North Friesland.
In these places where I and my Royal Mission youth work colleagues are allowed to serve in 9 beautiful churches, we experience many Royal adventures.
I would like to tell you about two of those adventures that took place with me and a colleague in recent months.
In November I had my monthly discussion group with (young) adults in Kootstertille. In this beautiful PKN municipality, where more and more vision is emerging for the future, a lot appears to be possible every time.
During the evening we heard a group of teenagers talking outside the church building. Real ‘hangout youth’ from the village who found a nice dry place to talk under the awning of the church. Because there was also free WiFi, this turned out to be the best place in the village to talk and meet each other in rainy weather.
Because it was bothering us a bit, I went outside to ask if it could be a little quieter. When I walked back inside I had the feeling that I wanted to ask them inside. Didn’t, and the evening continued.
We watched a powerful testimonial video from Open Doors. After watching the video, I walked back to my chair and God spoke in my mind that this video would also be very suitable for the youth standing outside.
I suggested to the discussion group that we invite them in. An enthusiastic brother immediately responded that we should definitely do that. Another attendee knew this youth group well. She said it was a nice idea but that it probably wouldn’t work. This statement added fuel to the fire for me. It made me extra motivated to get them across the threshold of the church. It worked, and they got in.
After the video we had a short conversation and I suggested that we meet separately with these youth. That appealed to them and we immediately created a group app. A few weeks later we sat in the same place with coke and cookies, watching more interesting videos and talking about Jesus.
We have now been together 3 times and I have found a co-leader who had a similar childhood and came to a radical faith. Next time we will start with the Youth Alpha material. It is special how hope can arise in places where people are busy with faith in God.
A fellow youth worker, Andre, works for a few hours a week at the VEG in Oudebildtzijl. Oudebildtzijl is located in northwest Friesland, just a stone’s throw from the sea dike. A small village where the church consists of 90% older (60/70+) brothers and sisters. A church with a heart for Jesus and a passion to reach youth again with the special gospel.
By appointing a youth worker, they put their words into action 3 years ago, and under God’s blessing, very beautiful things have come about.
At Christmas, half the village and many young people, in collaboration with the primary school, organized a joint Christmas celebration in a farm barn. It was a special success where young and old were able to hear and celebrate the most special birth story in the world!
In addition to many other beautiful stories that Andre regularly tells me, monthly connection services will start from September to further pioneer and look for ways to once again become an inspiring faith community with young and old in this beautiful village.
I could tell many other stories here. From all those other villages and places (Engwierum, Harkema, Surhuizum, Leeuwarden, Drachten and Jistrum). Inspiring stories from colleagues who are also experiencing special and hopeful things with God and the local church. Maybe next time.
God bless where you are!
Keep hope, God wants to make his bride (the church) beautiful before Jesus returns.