Challenging the traditional concept of missions

01 May, 2013 | Netherlands
Alida de Vries
Ewout and Ali at Delft Youth Centre (Netherlands)
Historically, the Netherlands has sent many missionaries around the world to share the good news about Jesus in distant places. OM Netherlands still sends out long-term and short-term workers, who learn the local language and culture to share the Gospel, but the situation is a bit different nowadays. The Netherlands has also become a mission field.

Many Dutch people know little of the Christian faith; the people from far away and exotic countries now live next door. OM Netherlands workers Ewout and Ali coordinate the seven local OM teams working in the Netherlands. They challenge missionaries returning from distant countries to keep using their knowledge of the language and culture of their previous mission field country.

“This a way of thinking that will challenge the way of working for OM, that will challenge the idea of missions, and it will challenge the sending churches to understand that they keep supporting their missionaries when they are back from 'the field’,” said Ewout. "The key is that we start to see our own countries as 'the field' too.”

One couple lived for years in Turkey before moving to the Netherlands. In cooperation with the local church, they now they host Bible studies in the Turkish language, as well as meetings for Turkish women, and build relationships with the men in the tea houses.

Rachid* attended one of this couple’s Bible studies. He is a Turkish Christian, but had never met another Turkish believer. The Bible studies and church services he attended were always in Dutch or English. He was very excited when he heard about this team doing Turkish Bible studies. For Rachid, this was the first time he could use his mother tongue, the language of his heart, to worship Jesus and talk with others about God.

Pray that returning missionaries will be able to use their knowledge of their mission field’s language and culture for the glory of God in their home country. Find out what else God is doing in the Netherlands here.

* name changed

Credit: Alida de Vries · © 2013 OM International This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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