Nr.141 ended with: “And we saw many believing, not only in our area, but also in other parts of Belgium, wonderful! Much was happening……………….!” (See richardandmarina.net).
Yes, for a period of about 20 years, from the early ‘70’s to the early ‘90’s, we had an “open door” in Belgium. People were confused and didn’t know what to believe anymore. When a seminary professor who later became a bishop didn’t know whether he was going to heaven when he died, and when religious teachers were telling the children in school that the Bible wasn’t trustworthy and was full of scientific nonsense and historical mistakes, what were they to believe? When our three daughters were taught in a very Catholic school that Jesus did not really rise from the grave, because “that just isn’t possible”, what can one expect? So this gave us a tremendous opportunity to preach the Bible as the true word of God and to present the real gospel as the unchanging good news message from God. And when some believed and their lives changed, others became interested and started attending our Bible studies. And so over a period of 20 years 24 churches were started, actually a few more, but after a while a couple small ones merged, and a couple small assemblies among the Belgian soldiers stationed in Germany discontinued due to the soldiers having been withdrawn from that country.
But that special period of blessing and growth stopped, a period in which new people became born again Christians every week, or at times on the average, every day. Why did it stop? No one knows. Throughout church history we see that at certain times and/or in certain places or areas, God did a special work. And so He did in Belgium, and we were privileged to be part of it. At the same time I believe our way of evangelism and church planting had something to do with it too. We did not do much traditional evangelism, like door to door visitation, open air meetings and campaigns and so on. We found that the best place during that time was in people’s living rooms. That’s where we had our Bible studies and that is also where a number of churches were started. Much like in N.T. times, notice the phrase “the church in their house” in Paul’s epistles. Maybe we ought to get back to that, or, as time goes on, we may be forced, due to persecution, to go back to that, as is already happening in many parts of the world. Are we preparing for that………? (Go to Musings).