Tag Archives: Victory Outreach

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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Journey 2 Berlin

IMG_3098Evangelist Mando Gonzales, Sr.

Sometimes it happens that you are in the position to seize an opportunity of a life time, and  when those rare moments happen; Seize them! That’s what I did this October, when I was able to join Evangelist Mando Gonzales, Sr. on his trip to Berlin, Germany. Mando was scheduled to minister the weekend at Victory Outreach Berlin, a pioneering church that was launched out by Victory Outreach Rotterdam in 2007, and I was privileged to travel with him.

Our transportation would be the I.C.E. International, a high-speed train that would take us from Rotterdam to Berlin in less than 8 hours. Time to see a little bit of the nice scenery of this part of Europe, and to spend quality time with a great man of God. During this weekend I was able to apply the early lessons, imparted in me by my leaders of the Urban Training Center; “Listen and learn!”

“You don’t learn anything from what comes out of your own mouth.”

In moments like these, it is better to be quiet and to let your ears do the work. Listening to the stories about the early years of Victory Outreach, how a small ministry became a world wide movement. To learn and draw wisdom from a man with over 30 years of experience, and to see ‘Lifestyle Evangelism’ in full effect. I have noticed that men like Evangelist Mando don’t do things just to do them, but they are intentional in everything they do.

“Look at the faces, of the people and see”, would Mando say repeatedly, to make me aware of the story their facial expression may tell me about there lives. When people would pass us by and look toward him, Mando would give them a friendly smile and at times say a few words. “We are showing Jesus to them, by doing so”, would he explain to me. Mando was looking for any opportunity to introduce Christ to anybody who would cross his path. It reminded me of the words of St. Francis of Assisi “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words”.

As we arrived in Berlin and exited the ‘Haupt Bahnhof’ we walked into a young man, a drug addict for 10 years. No longer shooting heroin as he told us, but now it was methadone. There Mando witnessed and prayed for him, we were finally in Berlin and God reminded us immediately that these are the people we are called to reach, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

IMG_3106Mando & Ruud witnessing to a drug addict

We would have many more of these encounters during our stay in Berlin. On the ‘Leopoldplatz’ for example we went out to evangelize among the drug addicts and alcoholics. This square is full with lost souls, hurting men and women without hope. We were able to witness to many of them who were in despair. Some of them acknowledged their situation, but their fear was the pain that comes with ‘kicking the habit’. They were amazed by the testimonies of the men and women from our Christian Recovery Homes, whom God delivered miraculously from their addiction. With unbelief in their eyes they listened to the many examples of God’s healing and delivering power, and with hope in their voices they would ask us to tell them more. We told them how it all started with Pastor Sonny Arguinzoni, Sr, and that it is still happening all over the world. We believe God, as the team in Berlin continues to witness to this group on the ‘Leopoldplatz’ and others, that many of them will experience the same power within their lives.

IMG_3135‘Leopoldplatz’

Berlin is a city with the potential for more than one Victory Outreach Church in the future. The Church in Berlin is still young and the task ahead might even seem to be overwhelming, but with God the impossible becomes possible. The congregation might be small, but is already International: Poland, Philippines, Holland, Pakistan, Suriname and more countries are represented here and with the right strategy Berlin can be the home of a base, a launching path for the rest of Europe to dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

“The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers” -Walter P. Chrysler

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A Weekend in Heerlen

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Pastor Devid and Ruth Fecunda

This month Cindy and myself had the privilege to minister a weekend in Heerlen at the Victory Outreach Church. The pastors of VO Heerlen Devid and Ruth Fecunda are a visionary couple with 3 beautiful and energetic daughters. The church has great potential, it is a young adult church with very talented and anointed members. The congregation is a unique mixture of many nations and different languages. While we ministered translation was simultaneous taken place in Dutch and Spanish, and we met people from Belgium, Indonesia, Korea, Curaçao, Poland, Rwanda, Burundi and the US.

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The VO Heerlen Team

In 2001 the city Heerlen came in the news because of ‘Operation Hartslag’ (Operation Heartbeat). A campaign the city started because of the many problems they faced; prostitution, dealers, runners, drug tourists and addicts. The city received many rewards for her approach, but I believe that in the mean while God was preparing this great couple to catch His Heartbeat for the city. Where the city re-located, regulated and even tolerated the problems, God sent His son Jesus Christ to solve the problems, and bring hope and salvation to hurting people.

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A ‘crack house’ in Heerlen

Pastor Devid understands that Heerlen is a strategic city. Recently they started a church in Maastricht, a mayor city 21 minutes from Heerlen. There is not only vision for Holland but also for Aachen, Germany which is only 21 minutes, and Liège, Belgium 41 minutes away by car. By building a base in Heerlen he believes that they can become a launching pad for churches throughout Europe.

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Aachen, Germany

During our stay in Heerlen we had a great time, we enjoyed the fellowship we had, the friendships we made and were truly blessed by the hospitality of the people. Victory Outreach Heerlen has captured a place in our heart and we can’t wait to see what God will do in the future in and through the people of VO Heerlen.

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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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