News from the Rotterdam Church Plant
Two tables, lots of jars of coffee, a ton of cookies, and lots of sunshine. These have been the recipe for an event that is called “Social Street”!
Around 2 years ago me, Sebastiaan, and my wife Lydia have started leading a missional community / church plant in Overschie, a small area of Rotterdam with a population of +/-17.000 people. From the very beginning we felt this group should reach out to the community on a social level, as well as on a spiritual level. We have since been very much involved in our community, doing voluntary work among the elderly, helping people with financial and social problems, cleaning up gardens and opening our house to our neighbours for coffee and talks.
We now regularly meet in our house with around 10 people for meetings we call “Kerk aan Huis” (Church at Home). This for us describes best of what we are aiming for, a local church that is close to the people, feeling like home. We want people to feel welcome, and we want them to become part of a loving and vibrant community. Because of all of this, we are in close contact with a lot of local authorities and local social work.
One of the things that is a tradition in Overschie is our local fair. During the summer period (March till September) there is a fair every 6-8 weeks. There are food stands, music, market stands and fun stuff for kids. Usually these are well visited by our local people, as well as people from other parts of Rotterdam. For this year they also added a “Social Street” to this fair. The idea behind this was that local authorities and organisations involved in social work in our community would be able to present themselves and their work to the people of Overschie.
We have been offered a free stand on this social street to present Church at Home by the organisation, as they are really happy with our involvement in the area. An opportunity we took with both hands of course.
So on the sunny Saturday of March the 25th we had our very own stand with coffee, tea and loads of cookies. We did this to reflect what we do in our regular meetings, spending time together, drinking coffee and engaging in good conversation. We also printed over 1000 flyers, inviting people to our Easter afternoon on April 15th, which we are organising in our home. We are praying on a huge return on this, as we hope many will find their way to our house to enjoy paining eggs and meeting with us. We also had a couple of personal stories and testimonies printed out on the table for people to read.
We had loads of people coming past our stand, and have been able to talk to loads of people about who we are and what we believe. At a certain point I could hear one of our group’s members explaining the gospel to a man that came to our table. We have been able to talk to several others about Jesus, about our church plant and about the values we believe in.
It truly has been a wonderful experience, but this is just the beginning.
Please pray with us that many will respond to the invitation for our Easter meeting and that people will find the way to our regular church meetings.
Please pray for God to work in the hearts and minds of those who we have explained the gospel.
God bless Sebastiaan Schreuder