Established Date: January 15, 2013
"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that built it; except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Psalm 127: 1
In the three remote northeastern provinces of the Netherlands, the Chinese population is scattered throughout towns and villages of varying sizes. This region has been regarded as “rocky soil for the gospel, a land still to be possessed”. The CEC in Groningen was established on this very soil in 2009. In mid-January, 2012, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we crossed over from Groningen to the two cities of Leeuwarden and Bolsward in Friesland to begin the evangelistic work there. One evening every month, we came together at a restaurant for a worship service. Eleven months later, the Holy Spirit inspired us yet again, showing us that there are plenty of overseas students, women, elderly people and young people in the Leeuwarden area who need the gospel but may find it inconvenient to attend the evening service at the restaurant.
In light of the needs for the furtherance of the gospel ministry, we decided to switch the worship service from nighttime to daytime. After praying, we found a Dutch church that we could rent and use for daytime worship as well as evening Bible study. In the beginning we lacked confidence. Not knowing if the people who attended the evening restaurant worship would continue attending during the daytime, we had planned to continue only with the once-a-month worship service. We did not know too many people and did not have any new friends, so we could only pray and ask God for His provision. Thank the Lord! We found a place of worship. Everyone just needed to diligently seek out the “sheep”. In the weeks that led up to the first worship service, Ev. Yiu Cheung and some co-workers visited restaurants and homes, made phone calls, sent out invitation cards, and placed ads in Chinese newspapers to invite people to come.
Ev. Yiu Cheung and the co-workers heeded the guidance and encouragement of Rev. Hugo Chan, founder of the CEC in the Netherlands, who said, “Since we are moving the service to the daytime, there is no need to wait. Let us formally put up the church sign.” With consent from Rev. Moses Yang, we conducted the opening ceremony for the CEC in Leeuwarden at the first worship service held on January 15, 2013. Rev. Hugo Chan officiated in the ceremony and delivered the sermon. The weather that day was unusual. There was heavy snow and traffic gridlock all over the central and southern regions, but it was sunny up north where we were. God had prepared this for us. Beyond our expectations, forty six people, of whom two-thirds were newcomers, attended the service that day. Some came as a result of newspaper ads; some were Christians who had waited all of twenty years to attend a worship service.
Thank the Lord! We have seen the need for the gospel and are diligently working towards expanding the ministry at the CEC in Leeuwarden.