Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dear Ken & Harriet,

On the beach between The Hague and Hook of Holland a young woman is being baptized in the waves. But it could also have been a bathtub in Denmark, a swimmingpool in Portugal, a lake in Switzerland or a hole in the ice somewhere in Russia. Over the past year in 'post-Christian' Europe thousands of people have come to faith in Christ and an estimated 2,000 new simple church groups have been started.

Simple churches are small groups that meet in houses, schools, workplaces or food corners. They have six ingredients: Jesus, friendship, prayer, eating together, serving other people and sharing the gospel. While the historic churches in Europe are declining with 3-4% annually, the simple churches are currently growing with 20% every year. This is the outcome of a recent study from which Joel News will publish a bit more in January.

Joel Ministries, the non-profit organization that publishes Joel News, supports this simple church movement in Europe and the Middle East with training, coaching and materials, so that groups can develop and reproduce in a healthy way. At this moment it's one of the most fruitful missions projects is this region of the world, with a keen focus on discipleship. In 2010, our partner network SCEU envisions to help start 200 new simple churches. Each of these groups represents on average 12 people who follow Jesus, of which 2 are new converts. I freely and wholeheartedly recommend this project to you if you are considering a special end-of-year donation. Every 300 euro helps sponsor one simple church. A house group, church or company could maybe sponsor 5-10 groups. Of course smaller donations are also welcome. Together we can make a difference!

Donations for this project can we wired through our online Joel News donation page. We can handle fast and secure creditcard and Paypal payments. Joel Ministries is a registered charity under the Dutch law, donations are tax-deductable. If you know another church, company or organization who might be interested to support this strategic project, then feel free forward this e-mail to them.

Finally, I want to thank you for your interest over the past year. I hope the testimonies and stories in Joel News and/or the occasional SMS have been a blessing and inspiration to you. In behalf of the team I wish you a blessed Christmas and a fruitful 2010!

Marc van der Woude


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