Tag Archives: EuroUTC

EuroUTC (part 2)

You can have the desire to open a UTC, but besides students (which is not the hardest part) you also need a building. You probably understand our excitement when we heard about the building that Victory Outreach Rotterdam was planning to rent in Rhoon. The fact that the pastors of VO Rotterdam have a vision for a UTC in Europe, made it only easier.

We made our way to Rhoon, which is only a few minutes away from Rotterdam, to look at the property. The place was enormous; a building with 3 departments, room for about 80 residence, an industrial kitchen, chapel, and much more. As we walked through this place we talked about the Potential of it; a Christian Recovery Home for men and women, and off course a UTC. The facility would be rented for at least two years, maybe not a very long time, but for the UTC a good starting point. At least you have one foot in the door, and it gives you time to look for another building, especially when we see that the EuroUTC will draw many students from all around the world.

Pictures of the building in Rhoon

Whenever you do something that builds the kingdom of God, you will face Problems, or in other words Opposition. Jesus experienced this first handed as he was preaching the good news of the kingdom, and His disciples did too. We had the opportunity also, to get a little taste of it. After we made the plans in Rhoon official, the drama started. For the next few months we were featured in newspapers, the Internet, asked for a TV interview, mentioned in a TV Segment, and we had many meetings with city officials and neighborhood residence. Most of the time it wasn’t positive, and the sad thing was that the plans were not opposed, but we as people. The past lifestyle of many of our members was brought up, and that “this type of people will never change” or “they will cause for problems in our nice town”, and the list can go on and on. At one of the meetings a attendee said it nicely; Victory Outreach could’ve been the best group, but at the wrong time and in the wrong place.”

For now the plans for a UTC in Rhoon are on a hold, but the vision for a UTC in Europe is still there. The negotiations are not over yet about the property, so keep VO Rotterdam in you prayers. We need to  pray that God may open this door, or uses this situation to open another one, one that can not be shut. There is a big need, and for sure VO Rotterdam can use another place for their Christian Recovery Homes. And continue to pray with us for that window of opportunity, to see a EuroUTC becoming a reality in this part of the world.

NOTE! the links are mainly in Dutch, my apologies for this.

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EuroUTC (part 1)

The Urban Training Centers is a powerful ministry where young people are being discipled and trained for the ministry. We’ve been privileged to be involved in this ministry since 2000, and during that time we had the opportunity to be directors of both the East Coast UTC and the West Coast UTC. The UTC’s are close to our heart, because it is there were we fell deeper in love with Jesus, and here we also realized the plan and purpose God had for our lives. So, when we had to return to Europe for a season, and we were asked to look for the possibility for a UTC in Europe, we could only say; “Yes!”

The Purpose of the UTC’s is, like I mentioned earlier, to disciple and train young people for the ministry, but also to serve the many churches in their region(s). Off course there is more to it than just that, and I promise you will get a bigger picture by visiting their website and taking the time to read the UTC blogs.

We have traveled to various cities within Europe the last few months, and one thing comes to mind when you visit the churches and meet the people; Potential!

The people in the churches are hungry for more, and all though the opportunity is there to go to a UTC elsewhere, not everybody has the means or possibility to go to US, Mexico or South Africa. When you stand among these young people -in Victory Outreach we call them The GANG – listening to their testimonies, the desires they have, and their love for God, you just want them all to be able to go to the UTC. During this time of separation they can experiencing the Process, as God prepares the individual for the calling that is upon their life. It is in the UTC where they allow God to get a hold of their life, and they get a hold of God. With the program and all the training that the UTC offers, these young people will be able to make an impact in their cities, country and also this continent. Can you imagine a group of on fire young people visiting your church for a few weeks; evangelizing in the streets, ministering at the church services with music, drama, even preaching His Word? I am sure that they, you and your city will never be the same again.

We are in Europe now for 8 months, and this blog series is for all those that have a desire to enroll the UTC, those that want to send students to the UTC, and everybody else that -just like us- wants to see this vision come to pass; a EuroUTC.

If by reading this blog, you like more information concerning the UTC please visit their website, and don’t forget to leave a ‘Shout Out’.

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3 things that made me think

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It has been said that first impressions are lasting impressions, but at the same time they do not always tell you the truth. Impressions can change, because what gives the impression is not what it seems or the person’s mindset who receives the impression is changing.

Here are the first impressions I received that made me think, entering into Holland;

The first thing that struck me as I was surrounded by hundreds of Dutch people, as I walked through the airport, was that everything they said was in a complaining manner. Everything they saw, experienced or were doing was viewed with a negative mindset. Dutch people are able to find a curse in a blessing, was the first thing that came to my mind.

Funny isn’t it? I am Dutch, and it reminded me how I was when I first came to the UTC. Exactly! With that same negative mindset, always looking for a cloud in the cloudless sky on a beautiful summer morning. I thank God for P. Al, who was able to see potential through all the negativity and was willing to work with a young man like me. By him modeling a positive attitude (faith) and confronting a negative mindset (doubt), he helped me changing for the good. I confess I have not arrived yet, but there is hope for the Dutch…(LOL)

Secondly when I ‘accidently’ walked into an acquaintance the first day in Amsterdam. I was reminded of something I read a while ago; ‘They like Jesus, but not the Church.’ This young single mother had been part of a Church and was also actively involved in ministry. Along the way something happened and she got hurt. We were talking about the Lord and I asked her if she was attending a Church. She said no, and the reason was bottom line that she was hurt and not willing to do ministry any more. I was encouraging her to go back to Church, not for ministry, but to be ministered to. I believe Jesus can heal her and direct her back to her road of destiny; the two things I picked up talking to her, she loves Jesus but not the Church, and she was wondering if she missed her purpose in life.

This made me think about my Church, VO San Diego and how grateful I am for my Church, the pastors, leaders, workers, members and visitors. Okay, we are not perfect, but with a Church like ours here, we can reach out to all the hurting people, because there are many out here just like my acquaintance.

And last but not least, thirdly me and my friend Joes (who happens to be a Amsterdam police officer) went to a ‘snackbar’, to pick up some food. I was confronted with a young guy, ordering some food himself, while he was smoking a big joint. He was not only smoking it in public, but next to a cop (which he did not know) and it was as common as eating sunflower seeds at a baseball game.

How to witness to a generation, where there seems to be no absolutes, everything is allowed and anything is accepted. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a Urban Training Center here in Holland, with on fire young men and women. Witnessing to this generation and to see the power of God being manifested as we already have experienced in the East Coast, West Coast, Philippines, Mexico and South Africa.

This might be my first and lasting impressions, but I am convinced they don’t have to stay that way, it is time for change…

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