News update: November 2020

South Carolina

On Sunday we arrived back from an intense, but fun and very fruitful trip to South Carolina. Not only did we as a family attend Calvary Presbytery, but we also finally met our future partners in ministry, Albert and Jenny Kona along with their children. You may recall that Albert is pastor at Durrës Reformed church in Albania where we intend to join them in serving the Lord Jesus and His Church.

Furthermore, we also had opportunity to share ‘our story’ and vision with many people, including pastors and missions committee members at several churches. We were greatly blessed by the support for our desire to have the Gospel bear fruit in Albania, not only among unbelievers, but especially in the hearts of God’s people so as to affect their lives through and through.

That said, during our ten day trip, we could meet with only so many people. Almost everyone we spoke with, including Rev. Kona, encouraged us to return for a longer stay in South Carolina to bolster prayer and financial support which at this stage is about $1600 short of our targeted monthly living expenses.

In our previous letter, we had mentioned shipping out to Albania in early December. That is still on track with respect to our household content, but we have agreed to linger in South Carolina for another month or two while our goods are shipped across the Atlantic.

COVID-19

The current spike in recorded infections across Europe is making our plans to fly to Albania very tricky. Sudden restrictions and cancellations of connecting flights could make life quite eventful for us.

Anticipating life in Albania

As we begin to imagine life in Albania, we realize that we can only draw so much from living abroad in Holland and Switzerland. For one, we will be learning a non-Germanic language and immersing ourselves in a culture where past experiences may help little. Euodia will continue to homeschool, but without all the resources we had in Florida. And of course, I will not be designing clinical trials, but instead learning to apply Scripture to people’s lives who now consider me not merely as a guy babbling theological jargon, but as someone who should be reliable in his assertions.

All this is a bit scary of course, but as I write this I feel deeply thankful that Christ considers also us faithful, placing us into ministry to demonstrate His grace through us to others who believe and will believe in Him (1 Tim 1:12-16).

In our family devotions we are following Paul’s theme in his letter to Timothy, i.e. love that issues from a pure heart, a good conscience and an unhypocritical faith (1 Tim 1:5). This corresponds so well with our vision to live in this world for the sake of deeply rooting Christ’s covenant community in Him.

It all has to do with how we truly want to see this world instinctively. We do not want a ‘biblical’ worldview that merely has good theology on the surface; what we do want is a Biblical worldview that also ‘instinctively’ clings to our Father in Heaven whenever confronted with temptation, confusion, childrearing, taxes, injustice – yes everything. None of that can be accomplished by sidestepping piety – that pure heart,  good conscience and sincerity in faith.

All this requires a patient view of God’s grace, both for us as well as for those we seek to minister to. It is a long view that seeks and prays for Truth to confront and convert those sinful views we and others never consider doubting. This is one of the reasons why we want to be in Albania for the long haul.

Thanksgiving

Finally, there are so many things for us to be thankful for:

  1. As people share their sense for God’s Kingdom in our conversations with them, we are comforted to know that they (you) pray with and for us with God’s bigger purposes in mind.
  2. Since our previous letter, the Lord has added pledges to our monthly support of more than $800. Added to that, several individuals and congregations have given us once-off amounts to help us move to Albania and settle in. For all these we are fearfully grateful and excited to see this plan being blessed by God.
  3. The sale of our apartment in Winter Springs is moving forward very well. We were quite concerned about this in February when COVID-19 came to the scene. Yet God’s meticulous care and timing has astounded us once again.
  4. We are thankful for all the people supporting us and especially the goodwill we experience. We are truly receiving back “houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands…” as we venture out in faith (Mark 10:30).
  5. Despite all the uncertainty regarding COVID, the time we are allowed to stay in the US, our finances, work-permits, housing in Albania and many more, it is so easy for us to look up and remember that we have a Father in Heaven that knows all these things and will not only give us all these things when we ask Him (Matt 7:5), but even His Kingdom because it is His good pleasure to do so (Luke 12:32).

Together in Christ,

Mauritz, Euodia, Nadya and Yehoshua.     

What is a presbytery?
A presbytery, like the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 consists of a plurality of elders extending beyond the local congregation, but within a limited geographical area. This body is responsible for the spiritual health and protection of its local congregations, but also for the training of those called to preach the Gospel. I was brought under the care of Calvary Presbytery with these purposes in mind.
(also follow this link for a good defense of the Biblical Origins of the Presbytery)
Trust and wisdom
Please pray for this plan – that we may have God’s kingdom foremost in our hearts, as we seek more individuals and congregations to partner with us. The difficulty for us is knowing the difference between faithlessness and wisdom and between trust and foolishness.
Providence and blessing (Ps 20)
Please pray with us that God would safely steer us clear of trouble as we pick flights and dates to fly out to Tirana.




















Fruitfulness
Please pray with us for fruitfulness in our future ministry – that we be in Albania for a long time, that we exemplify the love Paul refers to in 1 Tim 1:5 and that God would bring about a pure church in Albania.

Published by Mauritz Bezuidenhoudt

Pilgrim

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