CompassGlobal’s Executive Director Rick Pierson’s current series of posts reflects on his trip to Belgium just this last September. This past week we received a visit from Olivier Jonkers, one of our supported Global Partners in Belgium. Olivier and his wife Karin are Belgian nationals, and serve with Reach Global planting churches in Brussels. Evangelism and church planting is a challenging task in Belgium, where according to Operation World, the population is only 1.2 % Evangelical/Pentecostal.
Late in 2013 their small congregation received abrupt notice that they could no longer use the facilities that they had been renting for meetings. However, this forced move helped them to determine that the city of Nivelles, just outside of Brussels, was an even better location. It is not only central for their members, but it is a city with no Christ-centered church.
Over the next 8 months, many doors were opening for the congregation to rent a building in Nivelles. It was an exciting season of seeing God move. Yet at the very last minute, everything fell through. Though deeply discouraging, the roadblocks drove the congregation to prayer and cling to the faithfulness of God. They were being reminded that their focus was to be on people needing God, not bricks. In spite of the challenges, their congregation became even more unified with the resolve to reach people for Jesus Christ. Their home groups continued to grow, baptisms multiplied, and care for the poor became real.
In later weeks, they learned that the building they had hoped to rent, used to be called Le Phare (The Lighthouse) in the 1920’s. Le Phare is the name of their church! Recently they have felt called to pursue not just renting the building again, but purchasing it! And despite the challenges of the last year that may cause them to shrink back from such an endeavor, they are stepping out in faith once again. In the mean time, they have rented a small store front only a few buildings down the street. Named “Le Puits” (The Well) , the church has made it a place for outreach to the community.
I wish everyone could have participated in our meeting with Olivier. It was faith building to hear and see God’s hand at work both in the good times and in times of trials. It was inspiring to observe the sacrificial faith of the congregation of Le Phare and the Jonkers family. Please pray for the Jonkers, for Le Phare church, for the city of Nivelles, and for Belgium!