AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (BP)–People used to think of the Netherlands as a quaint place associated with windmills and wooden shoes.
Today, shocking new laws that promote same-sex marriage, euthanasia, legalized prostitution and open distribution of marijuana and hashish offer a glimpse into a country locked in spiritual darkness, said a Christian worker in the Netherlands.
“I would like to say to praying people that it is worse than it would appear,” said Robert Beckman. “The issues, as addressed by the legislatures, do tell some of the story of what goes on in the minds and hearts of a nation.”
And the Dutch embrace their role as front-runners for Europe. “As goes Amsterdam, so goes Europe and the world,” he said.
But rather than condemning the Dutch for their actions, Beckman asks Christians to pray for them and reach out in love.
“As a whole, the average person in the Netherlands would be surprised to hear that God is redeeming and is interested in loving them personally,” he said. “It is a complete surprise to them that He loves them more than they could ever love themselves.”
The Dutch are a practical people, Beckman added. They search for useful solutions to everyday dilemmas. Unfortunately, the Dutch think Christian faith is anything but practical.
“The attitude toward Christianity would be that it has shown itself to be irrelevant for everyday life,” Beckman said. “But don’t blame the person who has noticed this. Blame the ‘believer’ who represents a lack of love.
“The church, as the people have seen it, does not know how to redeem the workplace, or the streets, or the living rooms and kitchens.”
A new outreach by International Mission Board workers in Western Europe focuses on flooding European cities like Amsterdam with prayer.
“Tsilent Tsunami” plans to recruit 1 million volunteers to spread the gospel in seven major cities of Europe. In turn, Christians anticipate Europe will be revolutionized as the people experience salvation and find hope through Jesus Christ.
“After 1,700 years of telling people to go to church … we have inadvertently asked that God’s power be left in a little box, away from the people who need Him, who are poor in spirit and desire to worship the most,” Beckman said.
“Now we will take the church to the people. They don’t need to come to our building, we will bring His Spirit wherever two or more gather in His name.”
To “ride the wave” of Tsilent Tsunami and help reach Europe’s strategic gateway cities for Christ, e-mail [email protected] or call toll-free 888-836-5464. For more information, visit the web site at www.tsilenttsunami.com.
— Search for prayer requests from the Netherlands: http://www.imb.org/CompassionNet/countries.asp
— Tsilent Tsunami photos: http://www.imb.org/Media/PhotoDownloads/tsunami.htm
— Find out how you can join God on mission: http://www.imb.org/you/default.htm