The Klumpenhower’s Ministry
What comes to mind when you think of the Netherlands? Windmills? Tulips? Quaint little villages with Dutchmen walking around in wooden shoes? Or maybe the countless church and cathedral spires towering over every village and city? These idyllic stereotypes are endearing, but in many cases, they mask what is really happening in the country. Beyond the shoes and tulips, the Netherlands is also known for debauchery, drug-use, and sprawling red-light districts—and those ancient churches? Sadly many lay completely empty or have been repurposed. On one of our trips into Alkmaar, we visited Sint-Laurenskirk; a former Protestant church right in the heart of the city. We entered the church expecting to see ancient relics and symbols of what the church once was. Instead, we were greeted by the sight of a bar with beer on tap in the very centre of the sanctuary. On the walls were paintings mostly consisting of demons and nude women. We were quite surprised by Sint-Laurenskirk and our hearts have only continued to break as we have learned that this once-thriving church adequately represents the state of the entire evangelical Church in the Netherlands.
The evangelical Church in the Netherlands is fading. Only 4% of the Netherlands profess to be evangelical Christians. Many villages do not have operating churches and even large cities have few churches.
Alkmaar itself has only 3 evangelical churches and these churches are struggling with attendance as well as growth. The surrounding villages where we serve have few if any churches. The Church in the Netherlands is small and does not have the resources to reach the people in these communities, that is where we come in. We are partnering with long-term missionaries here in the Netherlands and have joined them in serving with Kracht om te Veranderen (Power to Change). KOTV is an online platform used to present the Gospel in every day ordinary terms. It seeks to meet everyone where they are at in life and offers them the Power to Change! Our involvement includes street evangelism and promoting KOTV in Alkmaar and in our community.
We have learned that relationships are key to the spread of the Gospel and to engage in our community where there is little or no evangelical Christian presence. We currently live in Tuitjenhorn, North Holland. There is a small Catholic presence in this community and no evangelical community. Please pray with us that God will open doors for us here in Tuitjenhorn. Pray that God will use us as a light and beacon of hope in this very dark area.
As we have begun to build into our local community, we see the desperate need for Jesus in the lives of Dutch people. There is so much hopelessness, darkness and desperation for meaning in life, evident in so many interactions that we have had with people. With the decline of the Church comes the decline of biblical knowledge and of the existence of God. Many youth today have never even heard the name of Jesus. They have never been told that God loves them so much that He sent his one and only Son to die for them. The older generation struggles with disillusionment of the religious system.
We feel a deep sadness and love for the Dutch people and seek to tell the youth about Jesus and remind the older generation of God’s love for them and His desire for relationship not religious practice. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are building meaningful relationships in our community that will open doors for us to share the Gospel. We are coming alongside the local churches and believers in their work by being extra hands and feet to help encourage and serve in any way we can.
A church a week is closing in the Netherlands and the Church is losing ground in the battle for people’s souls. BUT, God is at work here! And the Holy Spirit is moving through people’s hearts and calling them back to Him. It is so exciting to be a part of what God is doing here in the Netherlands!
We cannot support the Church in the Netherlands and reach into these communities without you. We are so excited to be able to partner with the international Church and our brothers and sisters in Christ by having you come alongside us in prayer and support! Please prayerfully consider partnering with our family and God’s work here in the Netherlands through prayer and financial support!
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