Editor’s note: This is the sixth post in a 10-part series that highlights information found in IMB’s Annual Statistical Report. The report is based on 2020 research data. A full copy of the report is available at imb.org/asr.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD — EUROPEAN PEOPLES
For years, IMB workers have been praying for and ministering to women who work in the infamous red-light district in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, much of the district was closed, leaving thousands of prostitutes out of work and without an income. IMB missionaries, alongside local believers, began assisting these women with grocery assistance, job training and encouraging notes with Bible verses. Through this ministry, many women have discovered the healing power of Christ.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a course shift in evangelism and discipleship that has been surprisingly effective. Since meeting face-to-face was not an option, the Balkan team began a website called Bold Balkan Believers where local believers could share their testimonies. They also offered Bibles and conversation to anyone who was interested. Since August 2020, more than 4.8 million people have seen ads for the website and nearly 18,000 people have commented, liked or shared social media posts about the site. More importantly, 14 people have come to Christ and another 56 are being discipled by local believers. Praise God for the new receptiveness.
Healthy Church Formation
In Canada, four years ago, local partners made the decision to move their church plant from Calgary to just outside the city, partly because that is where nearly all the members lived. Because the vision had always been to reproduce churches in Calgary, this felt like a bit of a retreat. But God was working. A church-planting network launched with the goal of planting three churches in five years. Within two years, there were already four churches planted, and the first second-generation church is currently planning on launching soon. Through God’s provision and guidance, the relocation to outside the city allowed the church pant to become a healthy, multiplying church.
All data, except for active field personnel and unreached people group counts, reflects information from the 2020 Data-Year Annual Statistical Report (IMB).
Your giving to the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® enables IMB workers in Europe to minister to women in the red-light district in Amsterdam, an IMB team in the Balkans to engage with thousands through a website and the multiplication of healthy churches in Canada.
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