I haven’t posted on here in quite some time, but I thought I would fill you guys in on something exciting in my life! I am going back to Amsterdam! It would be an understatement to say I am excited to get back to the Netherlands, but for lack better words...I AM EXCITED. Last year I got to spend my spring break in the city of Amsterdam helping a local church build the Kingdom in a city desperate for the love of God. I am posting today because I wanted to tell you guys about my missions trip there last year, and some familiar faces in the most unchartered place I’ve been thus far.
The second the plane landed in Amsterdam God stirred an anticipation and exhilaration in my heart for the people I would meet. I felt God sent me to the Netherlands with a purpose. I knew my mission’s trip would look a lot different than my friends who were going into the bush of Africa, but I knew without a doubt that God had me on that trip for a reason. The leaders and leaders at the church quickly became friends I knew I could never forget.
The entire staff at the church Agape were amazing; they served tirelessly and were always so welcoming. While I was there I got to help lead worship, clean/ organize the church, prayer walk through the Red Light District, Muslim ministry, street evangelism, and helped with church events. The work we did was extremely relational, we were able to pour into the leaders of the church and encourage them in their ministry. The display of relationship being at the center of ministry was eye opening. Often we can get so focused on the everyday checklists and miss the opportunity to love on the people around us. Seeing how relational Europeans are shaped my life. They inspired me to focus on those around me and truly love everyone where they are at in life, because that is what Jesus did. God stirred a passion for Amsterdam in my heart and I haven’t been able to forget the people of the city. I was reminded how to serve with no ulterior motives, and how to continue to bring Jesus to a place that so obviously rejects Him. This trip reminded me of what the life of a Christian it all about, bridging the gap between heaven and earth by loving people unceasingly.
My team worked closely with the youth pastor of the church, David. This is when the craziness and irony of the trip comes in. One Sunday a friend from my team told me someone she knew from the church (Agape) was from Canada. Me, thinking Canada is a super large place and I wouldn’t know who this girl is, I just thought, “Oh, that’s cool” and carried on. Long story short; Canada clearly isn’t that large because I actually grew up with this girl. She went to the same family camp as me and we would hang out during the summer! She had married someone from Amsterdam, and mentioned how her sister also married someone who lives in Amsterdam too named David. The same David we had been working with all week…you can’t make this stuff up. I can always count on God to place a sense of familiarity in a completely foreign place. I know I went on that trip for a reason and those people were a huge part of it.
This year I am going to Amsterdam with my church, Grace City. To top off the madness of my Canadian/Amsterdam ties, David is the pastor we are working with on this trip. I am ALWAYS amazed by how God works. I believe all of these things are not coincidence but simply a confirmation of Gods passionate desire for community among is followers.
With all of this being said I would love to partner with you on this missions trip! Please prayerfully consider if you would partner with me in prayer, and/or financially. Whether you choose to donate $1, $5, or $100, every dollar helps! You can read a brief summary of what we will be doing by clicking the link below! If you do choose to partner with me financially donate at: https://hopestash.com/shelbysparkman
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Love you all!