Nr.154 ended with: “Yes, it was a real battle, but God was with us and it was indeed really worth it, you’ll see………..!” (See richardandmarina.net).
It’s 1982 and we had been working in Belgium now for ten years and much had happened, which made the battle worthwhile. Hundreds upon hundreds of people had been saved, baptized and become part of a local church. There was an assembly in Antwerp, one in Beerse and eight in the province of Limburg, amazing! Three churches in East Flanders and three in West Flanders, 16 in total, all praise to the Lord! As far as workers was concerned, the Gelling’s had joined us in 1975, the den Boer’s in 1979, the Threadcraft’s in December 1979 and Martin and Lydie Symons in 1981. In January 1980 a young woman, Joanna Groen came to work with us in Ghent. She went back to Canada and got married to her boyfriend Pete Gifford in June ’81. They came to Belgium as missionaries in May 1985, more about them later.
Besides evangelism and Bible teaching, we started churches and began training leaders for these. We also held conferences, and camps for children and youth during the summer. There was lots of activity going on and the Holy Spirit was moving, really amazing for a difficult West European and Roman Catholic country. Word of the Lord’s blessing got around and I was invited to come and speak at conferences in other countries. During this period I was in Sweden, France, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. And everywhere the Lord blessed the ministry and missionaries and church workers were encouraged. And to most of these countries I returned later for more conferences. It was so uplifting to see discouraged missionaries and workers getting enthused again, yes, it was worth the battle. All the messages were taped and I heard of one instance where a worker somewhere in southern Germany got a hold of the tapes, listened to them some 20 times and started putting into practice what I had taught. The last I heard was, that he now has a church with 175 members, praise the Lord!
In the mean time while I was gone, Marina was holding the fort, looking after the well being of our children, and their schoolwork, answering the phone and counseling and praying with people over the phone. She taught Sunday school and trained others for that, she had her hands full, but it was worth it, there also, as it was such a blessing to see young believers becoming active and teaching and helping.
But the enemy didn’t sit still either and difficulties arose in our church in Beerse………..! (Go to Musings).