Vorchten is a small village in Gelderland. It is so small that cycling tourists hardly notice the group of houses behind the IJsseldijk. The village has 192 inhabitants. A ferry takes them to the other side of the river. There is no shop, no doctor’s office and no school. But – there is a church. Standing proudly in the middle of the group of houses is a beech village church, built on a high mound. The oldest part of the church dates from before the year 900 and is made of tuff stone. Tufa, beautiful word. A more than eleven hundred years old, still existing and functioning church. As old as the church is, the faith is as alive and well. There is an Alpha course. On Sunday afternoons coffee is served in De Verbinding. The church is open between 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM for a game – shuffleboard, Rummikuppen – or just a quick chat. There is a weekday men’s group, a women’s meeting (Zus en Zo, in the clothing workshop), catechism for 12-16 and 16+, a prayer group, missionary work and a cleaning schedule. When I heard a Vorchten resident talk about his church last week, I noticed that his enthusiasm touched me. Because the Netherlands is full of old, still existing churches. And where God builds his church, there is life. Tourists may pass by, but God enjoys the coffee, the games, the weekly cleaning.God’s presence As long as the church exists, every Sunday is Wonderful Sunday. Because God’s presence takes many forms. Here a woman rises from her wheelchair, there a church rises from the apathy that paralyzed her for centuries. In one village a visually impaired girl receives custom-made glasses from the optician, in another the eyes of an elder are opened for the first time to the miracle of the cross. A drummer is touched by the love of the Father, a pastor experiences the power of the Spirit. They don’t know each other, but they are both upset for a week.Spirit of God, come and make every day a Wonderful Day! The doctor who prays softly before walking to the operating table, the baker who talks about Jesus, the teacher who answers the director’s cynical joke with a smile, the mother who reads a magazine in the sun. Where Christ is, there is His church. There He is working. And where He works, lives are changed. God’s church has the future, the past has shown that. He builds his church. If necessary with tuff stone.
At Royal Mission we dream of a powerful revival of the church in the Netherlands. Everything we do is aimed at seeing expectation, desire, life and power of God arise – in villages and cities, in society and in the church. We are passionate about proclaiming the kingdom of God and training others to do the same.