Nr.184 ended with, “We are at nr.184 now and I am thinking of stopping at nr.200. So I will tell you yet about some of the high lights of the following years and how the Lord led us, saved Marina and provided for us, very interesting, just wait…….!” (See richardandmarina.net).
One of those high lights was how we experienced the Lord providing for His children through His children in such wonderful ways. God had called us to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ and plant churches. According to the Bible, a church is not a building, but a group of believers. However, when such a group becomes too large, a building is needed. When we began in Belgium all meetings were held in living rooms, but when people became Christians and were baptized, a church needed to be started. That was done in our home several times, until we outgrew our house and had to look for some kind of building. The first time was in Antwerp, where we fixed up an old store and started meeting there on Sundays. We discovered that besides preaching and teaching, we also were in the building business. In total I worked on 7 buildings, some for a few months, others much longer. The last one and the biggest job, in Ghent.
There were two assemblies in that city, one in the south end, in Gentbrugge, and one in the north, in Mariakerke. But as mentioned before, the one in Mariakerke had to change buildings a number of times. And now they had to again move out of the building which they were using. There was no other place to go and it was decided that for the time being the two churches would meet together on Sunday morning. But of course, this was not a satisfying solution and so after much prayer and discussion, it was decided to have the two churches buy a building together, as one alone could not afford that.
But we needed to know how everyone thought about this and how much money we could count on. So we made up a letter to give to all the believers and some in other assemblies, asking whether they could give a onetime gift and/or an interest free loan. The results were amazing, enough money was promised for us to start looking for a suitable building to buy. It was clear that the Lord was in this and we praised Him. I can’t go into all the details, suffice to say that we found a building, a house with a large hall behind it which used to be a print shop. The deal was made and now the renovations began, but there was one problem, we were pretty well out of money, so now what? We would soon find out that the Lord had a couple surprises for us………….! (Go to Musings).