International Ministries

Kalkman - International Ministries The latest from Nora and Pieter Kalkman https://internationalministries.org/teams/70-kalkman.rss A refugee named ‘Prince of Peace’ <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i>Dear Family and Friends,</i></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2b00a0"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><br>The situation.</b></span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #000000">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">With the refugee crises emerging explosively in recent months, someone mentioned to me that ‘migration has always been a part of humanity’. When we arrived in July to the USA (to stay at Atherton/ Alhambra CA.) for our year-long deputation assignment, we were mostly asked if Greece would stay in the EU (European Union). This seemed at that time the only concern on peoples’ minds regarding Europe, not realizing that in August, European leaders started discussing on how to prevent thousands of people drowning in the Mediterranean (1/3 were kids), and how to distribute the ’overwhelming’ number of 40,000 refugees at that time among various EU-countries.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Before the Fall arrived, nobody seemed to see this avalanche coming. The ‘overwhelming’ 40,000 number dwarfed, as suddenly hundreds of thousands of refugees were flooding into Europe. Daily between 5,000 to 10,000 crossed European borders, by December 2015, estimated totals surpassed the million mark. It is the largest migrant crisis since WWII. Never in known history have there been so many refugees, migrants and misplaced people worldwide, (economical, climate-change, and conflict area refugees). Let’s not forget that Lebanon saw its population increase by 30% with over 1,000,000 Syrian refugees in the past 4 years. Lebanon is smaller than Connecticut, or almost 1000x smaller than the US. (US accepted 1,500 Syrian refugees in the same 4 years.) Also Jordan accepted </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">likely over a million refugees, and Turkey over 2 million. After d</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">epleting their savings in those countries, many Syrians are trying to move/ migrate on to Western Europe now.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This is shaping and changing world-history for generations to come. What is our personal response, or our response as a church? Are we prepared? WWJD? Just in the month of October, Pieter was on deputation in 5 different states visiting at 5 regional annual gatherings, some of them together with Nora, others while Nora was speaking predominantly at churches and events in the LA area. By God’s grace, prior to that, Pieter was able to travel to the annual European Baptist Federation council in Sofia, Bulgaria. I (Pieter) was able to take first hand notice of the refugee crisis, when I traveled late September through Central Europe and the Balkan (incl. Hungary and Serbia). I was meeting with pastors, who were reaching out to moving migrants, often finding themselves between on one side frightened or angered nationalist fellow citizens (as one finds in every country/ kingdom on earth), and on the other side the call of Christ, to spread the love of Christ especially to those in need, according to God’s Kingdom perspective.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2c00a2"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>Biblical reflection.</b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">We know from Genesis that God instructed humankind to spread and ‘fill the earth’ (Gen.1:28), and literally Cain was summoned to migrate (Gen.4:12-16). After the first created earth was destroyed (Gen.6:13), and God let newly shaped continents emerge following the flood, Noah’s descendants did not want to spread out (Gen.11:4), but the Lord ordained (caused) them to be scattered over the earth (Gen.11:9). Further, in many accounts in the Old Testament we see cross cultural migration and God’s deliberate hand, God’s ordination in it, from individuals like Joseph (Gen.50:20) and Ruth, to whole tribes and nations like Israel in exile (Jer.29:7). We might as well wonder how to respond to the current global refugee crises, which God allowed, directed, caused or ordained as confrontation on our doorstep. Are we fit or ready to rise to this challenge? Is there a lesson in the Jer.29:7 principle, in a reverse situation, as the doors for ministry in the Middle East were closed, God now sends its population among us? What if the answer is not to let media </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">instill fear in us but to learn open-hearted from Gen.50:19,20?</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Immediately following the Christmas story, (rather still part of the Christmas story Mat.2:13), is the account of Jesus leaving as a refugee to Egypt, where he spent his early years with his parents, ordered by God through an Angel to Joseph, due to danger and violence in his native country. God, the Prince of Peace, came to this world as a human being starting his life as a refugee. Not only does Scripture account many refugee situations, Church history also has many significant refugee situations, such as the Pilgrim Fathers, (remembered at Thanksgiving), who fled from religious persecution in Britain and the Netherlands to start as (a white) migrant population in North America.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2c00a2"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>Our response.</b></span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #000000">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">I remember a theological statement from Samuel Escobar (retired IM-missionary in Spain) saying that “Christianity is a religion on the move”. Which significantly means that each generation needs to adapt or respond to new cultural and sociological circumstances and encounters. When our primary allegiance is to God’s kingdom, then we really are ‘foreigners on earth’ like Abraham (Heb.11:9,13 &amp; 1Pet.1:17; 1Pet.2:9).&nbsp; At various times I was drawn to reflect on the authority of Scripture this year, and I noticed influential N.T.Wright’s perspective that, the way in which Scripture is written and passed on, requires each generation in each culture to wrestle anew with the text, translation and its interpretation. By God’s intent the Bible remains therefore by nature always current, and can speak renewing and refreshing for every generation in every culture as prime </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">source to know God, and be a manual for our live’s purpose.</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Let us read refreshingly, beyond the well-known common theological jargon, with keen eyes and open minds, for what that actually means regarding God’s continuous work of renewal and hope in our daily lives, renewal in our churches, and renewal in our society, our world, and the community around us, as actual leading thread and challenge throughout&nbsp; Scripture for us every day and throughout our lives.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">With these eyes or such glasses for reading Scripture, can we help the migrants/ refugees better to read the Bible in a relevant way for them, as foreigners on this earth from a perspective that looks at a Godly person? Often it is a help for us to be out of our daily environment in order to see with God’s eyes, God’s presence and purpose for our lives in a refreshed and new way. Often a short term mission trip helps to re-focus of being foreigners on earth in a Biblical sense, and refresh our relationship with God as central purpose and joy of our lives, with love, holiness and righteousness rather than earthly interests.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That is why we, Nora and I, facilitate life-changing mission experiences and help you and others in your church and in your region to see God at work while serving for some time on the mission field. Is He calling you in your local church, in your county, or overseas?&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2c00a2"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>Various response option abroad and at home.</b></span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #f80000"><b> </b></span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #000000">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">For example, If you feel a call to serve in Europe, please contact us through our web-site: <a href="http://kalkmaneurope.org"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #4c00ff">KalkmanEurope.org</span></a>. We have multiple short-term mission options open all over Europe. Consider serving in Belgium helping with light construction in renovations of African immigrant churches, (speaking some French would help). Consider serving in Austria with light construction, by renovating outreach facilities at a classic former hotel, for the student and migrant church. Consider English Camps (VBS-style), in Central Europe, specifically Hungary or Czech Republic. Consider helping with newly evolving refugee outreaches from different churches in several countries. Various other options are listed on our&nbsp;website for yourself or a group from your church.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">If you do not feel the call to serve overseas, then guided by prayer, consider arranging to having a face to face ‘sit-down’ meal with a foreigner in your neighborhood, discern how God is working in this person’s life, practice to communicate where God is in your own life, and taste and enjoy how God reveals Himself to you and this new friend.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #00a5a3"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>A new life, and a renewed life through Jesus, is the promise throughout Scripture for those who believe and call Jesus Lord (Rom.10:9), God’s promise, God’s promise of Christmas for us today.&nbsp;</b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #00a5a3"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>“As for you, do not be afraid, . . . God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive” (Gen. 50: 19a, 20b)</b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">See the WMO promotion videos on what God is doing in Hungary at: </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #4c00ff">InternationalMinistries.org</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"> . Click at the bottom of the home-page on </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #2c00a2">‘WMO 2015 resources’,</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"> scroll halfway down until 6 links appear starting with </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #009591">‘Video 1 - 5, . (etc). . ‘</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">See the video clip tailored to our ministry at the bottom of the home-page of our web-site: </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #4c00ff">KalkmanEurope.org</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Look also at our website under </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #2c00a2">‘resources’</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"> for:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">A report on </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px color: #009591">‘Refugee Response Mapping’</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">, mapping church- out-r</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">eaches to the crises in different European countries. and for: The 2015 </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #009591">‘EBF Resolution Migrant . .’</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"> for European Baptist churches on how to respond Biblically to this crisis.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2c00a2"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b>Please Pray for:</b></span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px color: #000000">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Christ’s Glory may be revealed to the refugees and the displaced, through God’s children as they show God’s care for them. Pray for wisdom for responding Churches.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Churches and its members may grow and mature spiritually in knowing God better through their outreach and make new dedication and commitments to Him.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">That this crisis may cause many to put their lives in order with God and experience Christ’s peace in their hearts.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">More laborers in the harvest (Lk.10:2), more volunteers for short term mission in Europe.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">For us to be a blessing to the churches where we speak.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">For us to meet our fundraising goals during this deputation year.</span><span style="font: 13pt Helvetica; letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; min-height: 12.0px"><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please consider participating in our ministry through financial support, as we are closing the gap of about 10% to our full support goal to return to the mission field in Europe which is with only 2.5% evangelical Christians a priority </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">mission field.</span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">You could give by: 1). Sending a check to Inter-national M</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">inistries with ‘</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.3px color: #3d00d6">Target Kalkman</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"> in the memo-line;&nbsp; 2). Give by phone 1-800 222-3872 x2323; &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">3). Give online by clicking “</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.4px color: #009591">give</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">” (and follow the prompts) on our web-page at the International Ministries web-site:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica; color: #2f00ac"><span style="text-decoration: underline ; letter-spacing: 0.0px"><a href="https://www.internationalministries.org/teams/70-kalkman">https://www.internationalministries.org/teams/70-kalkman</a></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">All recurrent or committed support counts toward our required fund-raising target<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 3px;">...</span></span></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13pt Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 3px;"><br></span></span></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 13pt/normal Helvetica; min-height: 12px; ">The Lord Bless you,</p><p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; font: normal normal normal 13pt/normal Helvetica; min-height: 12px; ">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman</p><p></p><p></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:20:38 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/60976-a-refugee-named-prince-of-peace- https://internationalministries.org/read/60976-a-refugee-named-prince-of-peace- A Revival at Hand <p></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Dear Family and Friends,<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Last month I was in the Middle East and was surprised by the many Muslims who decided that they wanted become followers of Jesus, inspired by the witness of His children in this part of the world. On Sunday I visited a partner church. The pastor had studied on location where we had our European office, when we just started our ministry many years ago. We saw each other daily at that time, and I liked to visit his church and refresh the old ties (we had a fish-BBQ lunch).</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">I was staying at the local seminary that week, and traveled with the students in a 9-person van (packed with at least double the amount of people), to church. First upon arrival I was a little puzzled by the heavily armed soldiers guarding the church entrance. My second surprise was to observe an obvious number people in typical Muslim-dress entering the church. I was even more surprised when I later learned that the entire audience were Muslims who had decided to be, or were considering becoming followers of Jesus. I did not realize that there were 2 services in the church, and the second, (a much smaller congregation), was the ‘original’ church congregation.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">A couple of days later while still in the Middle East, I visited another friend. I meet with him annually in overseas extension study program from a Canadian University, which we both attend. He is the chaplain at a partner school in the in middle of a Muslim part of town, with more than a thousand students (more than 90%), that are Muslims. The school leadership is proud of the fact, that none of the alumni have ever been linked to any terrorist&nbsp; activity. The chaplain teaches them from the Bible on a weekly basis year after year, and the parents are fully aware and happy with it (and pay for the education). I can not put too much in print about this, but please feel free to ask about it when we come to the US for our deputation year, starting this summer.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">At the moment, I am writing you from Albania, where I am traveling with a (returning) volunteer who does business seminars, while I am strengthening/ refreshing our network of contacts (with denominational leaders in 6 different countries in just this one week), prior to our upcoming deputation year in the US. The class of about 17 people is busy, while I’m writing to you. This country, with mosques spread out over the countryside, was (and in some way still is) predominantly Muslim, with a post-war period of severe atheism prior to the 90s. There are some pockets of majority Roman Catholic areas, including the city of Lezha which is 85% Catholic.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">I met with a pastor this morning, who came to faith through George, one of our American Baptist missionaries. We first met 12 years ago, when he was mentored and ordained as a young pastor, now he is the president of the church denomination in Albania, and he asks for volunteer help with their summer camps. He serves the Lord faithfully in his church, with different community outreaches. He told me that many Muslims in his area are coming to Christian churches for answers, and want to know what it means to follow Jesus.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">I was wondering what would happen if they (Muslims) came to our home churches. Would the followers of Jesus (us) be so inspirational that these seeking Muslims would also become followers of Jesus? What would it take from our side to make them feel both welcome, and sense the essence of our faith? If it would be something else than the “national” or “Christian” flag behind the pulpit, what would it be, that makes the sacrificial love of Jesus tangible, and causes the Kingdom of God to expand and to be built? How do we reflect God’s character as Children of God?</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Tomorrow, I will be in Kosovo, where we cooperate with a person who became the first (still only) Christian in her Muslim family. Her father was deliberately killed and shot by (“Christian”) Orthodox nationalists in the 1990s wars, leaving mom with 6 little daughters alone. She is now directing an NGO outreach for Christian community development. Compelled by the love of Christ, she is giving hope to the marginalized and forgotten. Our IM- volunteer will be doing workshops about starting small enterprises with the organization she directs, mainly in Muslim and Gypsy areas.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">See next page for some more (background) information on Syria/ Jordan/ Lebanon/ Israel.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">(Middle East with more back-ground information).</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">How come that hundreds, actually thousands of Syrian Muslims turn to Jesus for a new future? “Nobody wants them, they are the despised people, those refugees from Syria”, is what I heard again and again while visiting the Middle East this winter. Violent interference in its neighbor’s politics in the past decade and before, makes Syrians very unwelcome cross-border-guests now. Still, in desperation they are coming in great numbers, and great numbers are coming to the Lord.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Lebanon is a tiny little country that saw an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees added to their own population of less than 4 million, in the past two years. The country’s history with the Palestinian refugees coming in waves starting in 1948 was supposed to be temporary. However the refugees are still living in prison-like camps enclosed and on the edge of survival for almost 70 years. This is a contributing source to continuing tensions in the Middle East. Tensions about which Christians in the West are often misinformed or lack proper information, likely due to biased media information about Israel, which is, after all, linked to geographical origins of our faith. Still the dynamics of the Kingdom, and rule of God, surpass these tensions and we witness hundred-fold fruit and harvest today.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The bad experience with refugees during most of our lifetime, causes the Lebanese government to refuse making provisions, or having any mercy on the fate of these newly arriving refugees, this time from the North and East from Syria, instead of from the South. This time there are no official refugee camps, like the UN-Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, but instead there are unrecognized ‘settlements’; makeshift shelters, the occupying of empty structures, settling in garages, or in makeshift tents for which flooring is not allowed, not even in the muddy rainy season, like this month, (it was pouring rain for 6 days straight during my visit). Anyone wanting to come to Lebanon and who openly wants to help them will not receive a visa and can not enter the country.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">For the first time in more than a century our partner churches in this Middle Eastern country are challenged in a special way to help. Their unique position is because, firstly almost nobody else feels inclined to help, or has pity on these new refugees. Additionally, through generations of presence, through the churches in villages and towns, our partners have gained respect and acceptance both in traditional Christian areas as well as in Muslim areas. This puts them in a unique position to help and live out Christian love for others, no pressure, no questions asked and no matter what.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This is what the (‘despised’) Syrian refugees notice: unconditional love, shelter, food, aid etc. from our partners (with help of Christians from our world-wide family). And many respond wanting to know more about their faith. When I visited a church on Sunday morning, the first service was packed with Syrians, some ladies in their black Muslim dresses, with head-scarfs and faces covered in the front pews. Many already decided to follow Jesus, others wanting to follow Jesus too.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Years ago, I was at a denominational conference in Jordan, a well known local senior minister, who studied with me in Belgium (in the 80s), told the more than 70 attending pastors from various Middle Eastern nations, that he perceived a revival at hand in the Muslim world. Now retired, the Lord granted him to see thousands and thousands coming to the Lord, and becoming followers of Jesus. Now we had a supper together, and he explained more about his vision. Praise the Lord for the many new believers, and the witnesses of his Children in this part of the world.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for the Lords work through His people in the Middle East and other Muslim countries.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for our volunteers’ contributions to the advance of His Kingdom.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for safe travels for us.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for the preparations for closing our house etc. anticipating our US-deputation year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for the churches in the US, where we share about our ministry in the upcoming year.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please consider volunteer service in Europe.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please consider an electronic gift to participate in our ministry.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Greetings from Prague,</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The Lord Bless You,</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i></i></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i>“Facilitating Life-Changing Mission Experiences”</i></span></p><p></p> Wed, 08 Apr 2015 22:37:30 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/57828-a-revival-at-hand https://internationalministries.org/read/57828-a-revival-at-hand IBTS from Prague to Amsterdam <p></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i>Dear Family and Friends, </i><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;June, 2014</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><i>From Prague to Amsterdam</i></b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This week, with a delay of 25 year</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">s,&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">the Scottsman Stuart Blythe, was at the IBTS graduation c</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">elebration. As a student at Ruschlikon, Switzerland in 1989, he missed the graduation ceremony, and now 25 years later he made it to the 65th anniversary gra-duation, where 10 Students graduated. He addresse</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">d the audience as the incoming Rector of the Seminary, w</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">hich is moving this summer from Prague, Czech Republic to Amsterdam, Holland/ The Netherlands. We had many International Ministries</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">’ </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">volunteers helping at IBTS through the years. God is faithful.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for the future of this institution, as a significant contribution to European Baptist life.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><i>Armenia</i></b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">We were happy to be part of the celebrations, and glad to meet with several representatives, from other countries, including the General Secretary of the Baptist Churches in Armeni</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">a. He let us know that the I.M. volunteer couple, working with </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">him since a few months</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">, is integrating well in the cultur</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">e, and working well with the students at the Baptist seminary in Ashtarak, and at the church-growth plant where they will be working for some years. We had other volunteers h</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">elping in Armenia through the years, and are happy with the retired pastors couple devoting some of their retirement </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">years to building God</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: -0.1px">’</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">s church there.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for this volunteer couple, and for leadership in the revival-like rapid growth, that Baptist churches in Armenia are experiencing (it is the land of Noah, and the oldest </span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">“</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Christian nation</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">” </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">in the world).&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><i>Ukraine</i></b>&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Among the graduates and students were also Russians and Ukrainians. They reminded us of the ANSWERS TO PRAYER in this recent difficult situation. THANK YOU for all your prayers! &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">In comparable situations in former Soviet states and regions these tension have led to massive bloodshed, violent wars, (unobviously or clearly directed by Moscow, to keep their neighbors submissive with paralyzing pockets of tensions). But until now in the Ukraine it has not come to full-blown war, thanks </span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">to the unusual restraint of its interim government, in which A</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">lexander Turchinov was interim president, a Baptist Church leader from one of our partnering churches.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Still prayers are very much needed as it has become publicly known in the past week that the rebel guerrilla forces (leading and stirring up pro-Russian citizens), are battle hardened well equipped heavily armed special Chechen military units (Vostok Battalion), under Moscow</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">’</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">s command. With this artificially created civil war like tensions, and Russian waves of mesmerizing and misinforming propaganda, peac</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">e seems far off, and clearly impossible when Russia does n</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">ot (factually) want it. Both Russian and Ukrainian Baptist Union leaders committed together to promote peace, while we keep praying for that, and for their witness. We have an inquiry in process from an ABC pastor wanting to do a sabbatical in the Ukraine.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please continue to pray for peace, the leadership and new president in Kiev, and for the churches in Ukraine</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><i>Lebanon and Syria</i></b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This past week I (Pieter) participated in a Dr.of Ministry class with a pastor friend from Lebanon. Lebanese Baptists are very involved in helping Syrian refugees. In this immense tragedy Baptist churches are reaching out in powerful ways to the often Muslim refugees, making a clear statement of God</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">’</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">s love for them through Jesus, while helping in different humanitarian ways. This Syrian crisis is in various ways much worse than anything else we know of.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Please pray for the situation in Syria, and witness of the Baptists in Syria and in the surrounding countries.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Even though we can not send volunteers there now, for various reasons, we are happy that through our </span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">‘</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">specifics</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">’ </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">funds, we were able to support a Syrian pastor to participate at the mos</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">t recent EBF-Council. </span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">God provides through His children.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><b><i>Speaking of Support,</i>&nbsp;</b></span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Thanks to many individuals and churches throughout the US we can serve in Europe! However, we nee</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.2px">d to move closer to our 100% required support level, and w</span><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1px">e pray that God touches the hearts of much needed new d</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">onor- partners to move to 100% by next month. This is possible with God</span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">’</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">s help.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Thank you for your interest in missions in Europe.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">“</span><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"><i>May the Glory of God fill the whole earth</i></span><span style="font: 12.0px 'Arial Unicode MS'; letter-spacing: 0.0px">”</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">With only 2.5 % Evangelical Christians, Europe is a priority mission field. Through volunteers our ministry multiplies into the remote corners of Europe.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">The Lord Bless You</span><span style="font: 11.0px Helvetica; letter-spacing: 0.0px">,</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; min-height: 13.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 20.0px 'Brush Script MT'"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman.</span></p><p></p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:52:06 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/54757-ibts-from-prague-to-amsterdam https://internationalministries.org/read/54757-ibts-from-prague-to-amsterdam He is not here, for He has risen!  (Matthew 28:6) <p>“I never heard about that,” was what the Cuban guest in Nora's Spanish class said to the rest of the class this week.</p><p>For 10 weeks in the Fall and 10 weeks in the Spring, Nora directs a language program in which volunteers share their native languages with university students in Prague as a means of outreach. This gives the many non-Christians in the Czech Republic the opportunity to get to know a Christian, usually for the first time in their lives. There are various opportunities to share about faith in Christ, especially around Christmas and Easter.</p> <p>So this week, as part of the vocabulary training, Nora went through the Easter story, explaining what happened 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. One student had brought a guest, a young man from Cuba. He was not in the class to learn Spanish, but he did learn about the Bible and why Jesus came to earth, as well as about His death and resurrection. After the lesson, the guest came to Nora and shared how happy he was to learn about this, and that in Cuba he had never heard the story. It was the first time he had ever heard the Gospel. We pray that the Lord will continue to work in his heart and that Christ may also rise in his life.</p> <p>Blessed Easter <br>He is risen, <br>He is risen indeed</p> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:40:11 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/53633-he-is-not-here-for-he-has-risen-matthew-28-6- https://internationalministries.org/read/53633-he-is-not-here-for-he-has-risen-matthew-28-6- Christmas Traditions: No Christmas Trees? <p></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">When our daughter was a toddler, we went to spend Christmas with Nora’s family. We flew in the second week of December, and so avoided the Christmas travel price-hike. Her mother had waited for us to set up the tree. However, to our surprise, there were no Christmas trees available anymore. Sales had ceased ‘that close’ to Christmas, and we were fortunate to just find one, as some unsold/ unsellable ‘left-over’ trees were discarded behind a super-market. &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Not so in the Czech Republic.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">I often think of that unusual experience, when Christmas approaches in the Czech Republic. Our first Christmas in the Czech Republic was quite the opposite experience. Until two weeks before Christmas we were not able to find a Christmas tree anywhere. Only about a week before, sales points started to emerge on the street corners. The tradition is to put the tree up in your house on Christmas eve. Still most people buy it late and keep it outside the house (in a garden-shed or on the balcony of their apartment block), and bring it inside, and decorate it on Christmas eve.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Nora grew up in an ‘early Christmas tree’ tradition, I grew up with later (half-way-December), Christmas tree tradition, or even a ‘NO Christmas tree at all’ tradition, as about half my relatives felt the ‘tree-tradition’ is a heathen originated ‘Christianized’ habit, that ‘good/ real Christians’ abstain from as it distracts from the real meaning of Christmas. On the other hand, I once heard a pastor preach on affirming Christmas traditions with an elaborate tree and presents, a ‘good/ real Christians’ statement against the post-Christian cultural trends.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; Christmas is meant to be a celebration indeed!</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; Not just as a replacement of celebrating lengthening day-light in the Northern &nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; Hemisphere after December 21st, but especially of the LOVE OF GOD, for it is written:&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; “This is how God showed His love:</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; He sent His one and only Son into the world</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; that we might live through Him”. (1.John 4:9) .</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Currently global commercialized Christmas business, makes sure you can buy trees at hardware stores at early as late November, even in the Czech Republic now. The tradition of a late tree in this country is shrinking. But in our neighboring apartment block, I did still spot a Christmas tree on the balcony, with only two days left before Christmas.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">This year 2013, we ourselves put a tree up less than a week before Christmas, not thinking of any tradition, but just because we happened to have an unusual busy fall season, and Christmas seemed to arrive quite suddenly this year. Last year we anticipated it, with weeks of writing hard-copy Christmas cards, this year we are thankful for the technological advances of e-mail, enabling us to still send out this journal and greetings in time.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Our Fall-season in short: After Nora returned from a brief visit to the U.S. in September, we both were for the annual EBF council in Slovakia. Thanks to donations on our ‘specifics’ account at International Ministries, we were able to support a pastor from Syria to attend the council. In October we met with different pastors in Belgium, who expressed their wish for assistance with youth programs. In November Pieter met with the Baptists in Hungary, and visited 8 of the nearly 50 schools throughout the country, that the government put under their supervision (including to provide religious education); and they expressed their wish for help with (English) teachers. Pieter’s computer broke down twice (September and December), so we hope it lasts, until we can replace it next summer. Besides that, Nora directed the fall-Logos-Language center outreach in Prague, assigning students to a few dozen volunteer teachers, and the renovation and opening of our new location. With Individuals, teams, long and short term volunteers in 5 European countries, we thank God for His Blessings on our ministry and our lives this year. Sending His Son, in His Love, making us live through him (1John 4:9).&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #5b5b5b; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">May you experience the love of God in special way this year.</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Merry Christmas,</span></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px"></span><br></p> <p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 22.0px; font: 24.0px 'Snell Roundhand'"><span style="letter-spacing: 0.0px">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman</span></p><p></p> Sat, 21 Dec 2013 09:01:24 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/51958-christmas-traditions-no-christmas-trees- https://internationalministries.org/read/51958-christmas-traditions-no-christmas-trees- Child-less & Catching Fire in Belarus <p>Dear friends and family,</p> <p>Many greetings from Prague, the center of Europe. We just returned from Belarus, it is a beautiful country. We made a record regarding our waiting time at the border. We waited for 11 hours (arriving 5 pm at one side, and leaving 5 am at the other side with one hour time-change)! we had very hot days traveling in our camper.</p> <p><b>CHERNOBYL &amp; CHILD-LESS</b></p> <p>Almost as early as the first year that we were commissioned as missionaries (12 years ago), we have heard about Kobrin camp. This camp has been on our hearts ever since. Many children are (still) effected by one of the worlds largest nuclear disasters known by its relatively nearby location ‘Chernobyl’ have attended this camp. Still this ministry is hosting some children born with disabilities, due to that disaster. During the summer this center hosts about 1,200 children in camps of 200 at a time every two weeks. Some of the children coming from villages received dental attention at the camp, that they otherwise they would not have. Some of the children are parentless.</p> <p>The camp has a new facility for elderly ladies (babushkas) that are children-less. Some of these babushkas have dedicated their life to serve others in different ministries. Now there is nobody to take care of them, and this camp center has opened the ‘house of mercy’ for hosting them, and caring for them. One of the babushkas that we visited is 98 years old. If you would like to participate in helping with the camps for children or helping with the babushkas , please contact us. They are specially in need for help during the summer.</p> <p><b>CATCHING FIRE</b></p> <p>When we were in the south of Belarus, we visited a church that has been totally renovated some years ago. They were praying for the renovation, since the structure of the building was very fragile... the answer to their prayer came through a very unexpected situation. They were having a cleaning day, church members were cleaning the building and they asked a young new believer that had just came off of drugs, to destroys some papers. This young guy initially forgot, but burned the papers later, when the season had become hot and dry, so with sparks flying high, the roof caught fire. The only part that remained was the basement. They gathered there for some time and the rain was leaking into the basement. When they reviewed the records of the prayer request booklet for the renovation, they saw that the last entry before the fire was this prayer request. They saw this as an answer from their petitions and started the renovation that lasted long difficult years. Now the church building is completed and the young man has become a pastor.</p> <p>As we were walking in the evening near this church, our daughter Norita started to have a strong pain in her stomach. We were in a group walking together with the pastor as one in the group pointed to the moats and wall that were built to prevent Napoleon on his march to Moscow. The pastor, and one lady from the church took us to emergency room at the city’s hospital. This lady stood with me (Nora) all the time, even after midnight. And despite of not understand each other languages (since she was only speaking Russian), she was with me during the examinations and tests. As her eyes were fixed on me, I could see her eyes full our mercy and love. For me she was like an angel that God sent. She was a reminder that God loves me and He takes care of us. I am thankful that our God provides and comforts us in all circumstances.</p> <p>In His Hands,<br> Nora &amp; Pieter Kalkman</p> <p>Belarus volunteer opportunities (Ask us for details): Renovation of small Gypsy church in small town in the South Finishing church construction in small town in the West Team of 4 persons to put tiles in a multifunctional building of a church in the South-East Sport teams for a church in the capital</p> <p>Please ask us for more volunteer opportunities all over Europe. </p> Mon, 24 Sep 2012 04:42:48 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/44796-child-less-catching-fire-in-belarus https://internationalministries.org/read/44796-child-less-catching-fire-in-belarus Love in Action: Winter in the Balkans <p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> 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SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} </style> <![endif]--> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">The Lord provide flour and oil. (I.Kings 17:16)</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Broken chains</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">‘Record-ever’ snowfall cut many homes off, in Bosnia last week. Elderly struggle for survival, with over 50% unemployment winters are especially hard to make ends meet. I just returned yesterday after a 1500 miles trip driving almost continuously through fairly severe snowy conditions and extreme colds (-8 F/ -22 C) action compelled by love for Christ. Snow-suitable tires were at times not sufficient, and snow-chains had to be put on and off regularly. Even with snow-chains we got stuck several times, and at one point, one of these chains broke. We had just crossed a town, that heavy snow-plows had given road access again for the first time in more than half a week and we were stuck now, out at a more rural hill-side.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Moslem hospitality</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Thanks to God, He provided helpful passing-by pedestrians, and a hospitable local (Muslim) family in the mountain side village, who helped get both the car rolling again and the snow-chain repaired too. Also, they invited our Christian charity team, consisting of volunteers from the US, a Baptist pastor from Sarajevo, local Baptists, and myself, in their house to warm up, and have coffee and tea. (Moslems helping Christians succeed in providing humanitarian aid, an unexpected form of genuine ‘love in action’ to us in which we thankfully saw the hand of the Lord). The house was well-kept and a wood-burning Kitchen-oven kept the one room cozy warm. We exchanged presents (a home-made delicacy from their side and a nice box of chocolates, that I had brought from Prague&nbsp; from our side), and continued our way just before dark.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Grenades for living</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Mostly, we visited single Elderly women, who had no one to provide for them. It is particularly hard for them, to make ends meet this winter. They face shortages of wood for the furnace/ stove, and food on the table. Thanks to the love of most of you, (who are reading this), International Ministries was able to help this year with an initiative of the Baptist Union in Sarajevo, enabling them, to reach out to those in need. We pray for them for ways out of poverty, and are thankful for one of the ladies, who started selling products she had sewed herself, and now she was putting ‘love in action’ as she was training other ladies sewing, to help supporting themselves. With joy I learned a local factory had been started up again after more than a decade, providing a full time job to a person who traveled with us, it would give her the common salary of 300 Km/ monthly ($200), great to helping to survive the winter, but insufficient to move out of poverty. However, my initial joy turned into mixed feelings when I learned that it was a grenade- factory (reminding of the double layers of trouble we face in this world).&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Flour and oil</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">The next day, one of the persons, we visited was Saliha, who is retired, her husband died, and her son became unemployed through the war nearly 20 years ago, unable to find work in a society where less than half of the men are able to find work. The food we brought was critically welcome, and we fell embarrassed that she still wanted to honor her guests with the best she had left. With the food we brought came a 12 pound flour bag and quart of oil. We saw how she used her flour and oil to bake bread, in the Kitchen stove, which double-functioned to keep the room/ house warm. We were happy that because of this ‘love in action’ (made possible by many of you), this help-package her flour and oil did not run out. It reminded me of the situation with Elijah I.Kings 17:16, and the widow at Zarephath, trusting God to provide when necessary.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Seeds for future providence</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">I was deeply impressed and encouraged by Bob, one of our volunteers in <br> Sarajevo, whom God has given a heart for the Balkan. Since the recent Balkan-wars, He has made several trips to this priority mission-field, and needy part of the world. This time he showed ‘love in action’ by giving seminars. Seminars on how to get out of the unemployment cycle, how to start a small business. I was encouraged by his dedication and pray that the seeds he planted in the hearts of the participants will bear fruit in their lives and for the region. Haris, one of the participants, considers a bi-vocational future, in which self-employment may help him realize his dream to become a missionary out of Bosnia. I also pray that Bob may return to the Balkan area soon, for a longer time and offer the workshops in more towns, at an easier accessible season of the year. ‘Love in action’ to help people to build their future.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Thank you for your ‘love in action’ and making also this ministry possible through your prayers and financial support.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Greetings from Prague,&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">The Lord Bless You,&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:&quot;Helvetica&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Nora &amp; Pieter Kalkman&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 15:08:32 -0500 https://internationalministries.org/read/41692-love-in-action-winter-in-the-balkans https://internationalministries.org/read/41692-love-in-action-winter-in-the-balkans Busy Time for the Kalkmans <p><b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">It’s been a busy time!</span></b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">So busy that it is almost hard to believe that we are on the eighth month of our deputation in the U.S. We have been in many churches, meetings and small groups in California, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Utah sharing how God is transforming lives in Europe through networking, mission awareness and volunteers. We have been traveling, sometimes just one of us, but most times as a family. It is encouraging to see the interest for mission in the churches that we visited and reassuring to be the recipients of the love and care of the people that have hosted us.</span></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">Mourning with friends </span></b></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">In many of the places that we have presented our ministry, we showed a picture of the city of Most, Czech Republic. In that city, while we were with the Xtreme Team, we asked the members of the team, to find a Christian in the city. They spend hours looking without success. It was until then, when they realized the severity of atheism in the city. We have a joint project to reach out in the schools, together with Atlantic Bridge.<span>&nbsp; </span>They have many projects in different countries to reach out to schools. We mourn with them, as two young students that were part of a cultural exchange in the school outreach program with Hungary, lost their lives in a duck boat accident in Philadelphia, last month. We pray for their families and friends.</span></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">Gather with friends</span></b></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">We had the opportunity to gather with friends from Austria at our Alhambra apartment. (see the picture above of us having breakfast together)&nbsp; A group of Austrian Baptists were in California on their way to the Baptist World Alliance congress. In the past we visited them in Austria were there are opportunities to serve as volunteer. There is still a need for a youth pastor and worship teams to reach out to the community.</span></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;"></span>&nbsp;</p> <p><b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">MAF friends</span></b></p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">The first two weeks of August we were in a training in Nampa, Idaho at the headquarters of MAF. The training was about Ministry Partnership, we enjoyed and learned many new things. It was intensive with a lot of homework, and at the same time very enjoyable as we absorbed the lectures and made new friends. It was a real treat for our daughter Norita to see a missions plane from inside.<br><br><br></span>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 7.5pt;"><b><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">The future</span></b></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 7.5pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">We are trusting God that we are returning to the Czech Republic in 4 months. Before we can leave we need churches and individuals, who feel God is preparing or calling them to pray and support our ministry financially on a regular basis. In recent months we saw our support level double to 58%; We are very thankful for those who made this possible, and trust that God will touch more hearts to bring us to the full support level. We would like to invite you to consider if you may be one of those people God is calling to join our ministry too. Thank you!</span></p> <p style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 6pt;"><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">Abundant blessings to you,</span></p> <p><span style="FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt;">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman</span></p> <p><u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: 'American Typewriter'; COLOR: rgb(12,0,173);"><a title="http:">www.kalkmaneurope.org</a></span></u><span style="FONT-FAMILY: 'American Typewriter'; COLOR: rgb(12,0,173);"></span></p><br> Sun, 03 Oct 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/27008-busy-time-for-the-kalkmans https://internationalministries.org/read/27008-busy-time-for-the-kalkmans Disneyland and Religious Rights <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">How did Disney remind us of the importance of mission? We are thankful for an unexpected, yet wonderful day in Disneyland last week. We thought that steep price hikes, and our economic situation would prevent us from going to Norita's favorite place this year. It turned out different, thanks to long time friends, who invited us there for a splendid day.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;"></span><br></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">We enjoyed many shows, and attractions including the classic ‘Its a small world after all’; While the little boat cruised the continents, I noticed happy dancing figures with happy smiley-face voodoo-kind-masks in the Polynesian section. This brought back memories of my mid-80s mission trips and research in Africa, and the study focus at Bible college and Seminary. I became aware that, what modern anthropology often portrays as happy peaceful primitive habits in cultures, are in reality rather enslaved, manipulative and severe fear driven interactions with the occult. There is no happiness but control and fear reflection behind the real-world-masks; I would not have given it further thoughts, if the final station we cruised was not filled with images of heaven.</span></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;"></span><br></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">Unlike the ‘Small World’ darkened halls before, the last hall was shiny white and brightly lightened, with sparkling silver and gold glittering everywhere. There were the figures of all cultures just seen before, but now in white shiny robes. It included the Polynesians, and many Europeans, as if they all end up in heaven?!! As if manipulative power clashes with the occult or atheistic indulgence and self-rule lead to ‘fulfillment in God's presence’, making evangelism and mission obsolete! Of course not! However, with true repentance, new life in Jesus IS FOR ALL peoples indeed, no matter what ethnicity. We will meet all those in heaven, who converted to welcoming God's presence through Jesus in their lives, what a wonderful day that will be indeed, and what great task we have to reach out for Christ now.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;"></span><br></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">How shall they come to Christ if they do not hear, how if no one tells them, if no one is sent? With that scripture from Romans 10 a two day mission encounter started where we were speaking the following days. We invited volunteers to come to Europe, to help people to COME to Christ, to GROW in Christ and to CHANGE the world for Christ. After one of the sessions a young man came up to us, sharing that he felt compelled to study law, but shouldn’t he become a pastor? We advised him to ask Gods guidance, because God wants his people to serve Him in many occupations, including law.&nbsp;</span></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;"></span><br></div> <div style="margin: 0px; font: 12px Helvetica;"><span style="letter-spacing: 0px;">We had lawyers as volunteers in Europe, but we have not had volunteer lawyers practicing law yet. That night, I checked the Forum18 web-site about religious rights, that I gave the young man earlier. It had just listed a church, where we preached, and that we show in our presentation, it reported this church was visited 4 times by police last month. The secular Muslim and former Soviet state declared the Baptist church illegal (as in communist days). In recent years it imprisoned different Baptist pastors and gave high fines to believers. Through involvement of foreign lawyers, religious rights groups, the European Baptist Federation (EBF), and a letter from Jimmy Carter, one of the pastors had been released from prison recently. There is a place and ministry for lawyers, in God's kingdom. Paul defended himself in court, where the Gospel was at stake. And we ask for your prayers for the churches in those former Soviet states beyond Europe, that still belong to our EBF region.</span></div> Sun, 18 Apr 2010 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/20017-disneyland-and-religious-rights https://internationalministries.org/read/20017-disneyland-and-religious-rights Uncertainty and our forefathers faith <p style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Dear Friends,</span> <span style="font-size: 11pt;"></span></p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"> </span><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Starting this fall with uncertainty about our agenda for the US, or for Europe, helped us to direct our trust to the Lord, and to take a breath from what had been an unusual intensive year so far. It helped us think and affiliate with many families who’s lives have been turned upside down through the economic crisis with an uncertain future, and it helped us to rejoice in the Lords blessings and guidance in a special way. Yesterday, the pastor at our church in Prague shared to see our prolonged stay as God’s providence, as we have been able to bring more people to church and Bible study groups than usual, also we are helping out with temporary group leader needs. We pray for lasting fruit.<br> &nbsp;<br> We are thankful to God that our agenda is firming up again with both new assignments for Europe this month and next month, and the prospect of a full deputation year in the US starting in December. This makes the transitions easier than sometime halfway a (school)quarter and it means that we have the standard 12 months to visit churches, groups and conferences in the US to raise awareness and involvement for the needs and Mission in Europe. <br> &nbsp;<br> We can now activate projects that had been delayed, post-poned or cancelled earlier in the year, such as a visit to Most last week. Most was featured with the Xtreme Team two years ago. The beautiful old city center has been leveled during communist times (due to coal findings below it) and a new (communist architecture) city, without churches, built a mile or two further. We asked the Xtreme team to find a Christian in this place, and even after asking questions half the day through town, they could not find one. Together with two other missions we prayed and participated in launching a new project this weekend to reach out for Christ in this city, challenging young people to the (Christian) faith of their forefathers. For our part in this project we will need two volunteers to work with school kids and questionnaires for the full fall quarter of 2010. (see our mpt-website: kalkmaneurope.org for more details coming up).<br> &nbsp;<br> The last week of this month has a holiday, and is the school fall break, we will go a couple of days to Holland to attend a memorial service. Upon our return we will leave for a week to Moldova which is not only economically the poorest country in Europe but after election disputes this spring, it just installed a (fragile) new non-communist government. There are over 450 Baptist Churches, and we will let you know how we can partner with them to call people to COME to Christ to GROW in Christ and to CHANGE their world for Christ, through upcoming newsletters or our mpt-website: kalkmaneurope.org <br>&nbsp;<br></span><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Please pray for save travels and the Lords guidance as we go to these remote edges of Europe on behalf of you, while preparing ways for more mission.</span><br> </span><span style="font-size: 14pt;"> <br> </span><span style="font-size: 12pt;">Pieter &amp; Nora Kalkman </span> Sun, 25 Oct 2009 20:00:00 -0400 https://internationalministries.org/read/14932-uncertainty-and-our-forefathers-faith https://internationalministries.org/read/14932-uncertainty-and-our-forefathers-faith