ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, November 17   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Jeff Fountain
 

An urban adventure

We too feel picked up by the scruffs of our necks by the same God of Abraham.

WINDOW ON EUROPE AUTHOR Jeff Fountain 07 AUGUST 2017 11:50 h GMT+1

Poor Moses! For forty years, he has been leading a quiet pastoral existence in the wilderness looking after his father-in-law’s flock of sheep. His urban past, with its royal upbringing and education, has almost faded from memory.



Suddenly he encounters the bizarre sight of a bush burning without being consumed; then a voice claiming to be that of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob calls his name, telling him to go back to Egypt.



How unsettling! Moses stutters excuses: ‘Who am I that I should go…?’; ‘Suppose I go, who shall I say sent me…?’; ‘What if they don’t believe me..?’; ‘I have never been eloquent…’; ‘Please send someone else…’.



Don’t forget, the poor man was already eighty years old. If only he knew then what the next forty years would bring…



Foretaste



Although a good decade younger than Moses at that time, my wife and I can empathise with him. We too feel picked up by the scruffs of our necks by the same God of Abraham, telling us that our forty years of living in the Dutch countryside are ending.



Not that these forty-plus years have been the quiet pastoral existence we imagine Moses had. But we do normally wake up hearing the birds and looking out on trees and fields.



This week however we are in Amsterdam leading the Masterclass in European Studies as a sort of foretaste of our future lifestyle. Who knows what the next decades might bring us?



Our adventure started late last year when Romkje was asked by a young YWAM couple for advice on starting a foundation for unmarried teenaged mothers. At the end of the conversation she asked what else they would need for the ministry. A large house, they replied.



“What about our house?” responded Romkje spontaneously, without thinking to consult her husband about the home where we raised our children and lived in for 38 years.



However, it had seemed like a God-moment to her. When she told me about it, I too sensed this was the time to release Centrum ’s Heerenhof, the YWAM location we lead, to younger leadership. We could probably just move into a house in Heerde.



But what would keep us there, we wondered? Our work was focused on Europe. Our children and grandchildren lived an hour’s drive towards the west. We often needed to travel to Brussels, or fly from Schiphol. Driving the long trip home was becoming tiring.



So the new year started with a strong sense of relocation looming. But to where? We started looking around in cities to the south and west, closer to Brussels. Arnhem? Den Bosch? Utrecht? Nothing resonated.



Once more my life verse, Hebrews 11:8, returned to me as at other key transition moments: ‘By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.’



Abraham, like Moses, was also well past retirement age: seventy-five! Yes, we had to be prepared to obey not knowing our destination.



Proposal



Then someone asked us if we had considered one of the ministry buildings of YWAM in Amsterdam. Amsterdam? Actually, no, we had never considered living in the city where Romkje began YWAM back in 1973, buying a houseboat dubbed The Ark for a summer outreach there.



Maybe that would make sense: with Schiphol, children and grandchildren closer by. After further inquiries with YWAM Amsterdam leadership, we were asked to make a proposal concerning space in Samaritan’s Inn.



As chairman of the YWAM board, Romkje had also signed for the purchase of this prominent building opposite the central railway station, back in 1980. With Dwaze Zaken, the popular arts café on the ground floor, this building has a most strategic location in the city.



Our proposal for an interactive salon or lounge, similar to the Schuman Salon opened last year in Brussels, seemed to dovetail with existing plans for more effective use of the building. We began to see ways to engage with tourists, Amsterdammers and all interested in exploring the Bible’s role in promoting a flourishing urban lifestyle.



Early this month our submission was accepted. We plan now to move to the city centre by the year’s end, and continue our work of the Schuman Centre from there into Europe.



Sometimes we wake up thinking we are simply crazy trading the rural for the urban. Yet there seems to be divine method in this madness. Anticipation is stirring.



In this week’s Masterclass, Evert Van de Poll and myself team up to probe the paradoxes of the city, of Europe, of humanity and of a gospel in which the death of Jesus brought resurrection life for individuals, for families, for cities, for nations and for the world, still today.



Jeff Fountain is Director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies, and speaks on issues facing Christians today in Europe. He writes at Weekly Word.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - An urban adventure
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.