Out of our 50/50 Gift Day in March we are investing half of the money raised into five international projects. Matt and Jo Simmonds, from CCK in Brighton, will shortly be moving to Amsterdam to plant a church.
As one of the most international cities on the planet, a centre of culture and business, and very few Christians on the ground, this is a fantastic opportunity to shine light in a dark place. So we’re very pleased to be able to support them financially, right at the beginning of their adventure.
We caught up with Matt to fill us in on the details:
Q: When are you launching your church plant?
MS: We’re moving with our family in mid July but we probably won’t launch on a Sunday (to the public that is) until we’ve got a strong core of people with us, perhaps in a year or so. We’re in no rush and would rather make sure we build well enough so that whenever we launch, we can do it really well (and then keep on doing it without exhausting everyone within a few weeks).
However, a lot will be going on before then as we build team, learn the city and settle in our family.
Q: Who’s going with you to plant the church?
MS: We’ve got a team of 12 adults and 11 kids coming with us initially. They’ll all be moving into the city over the next 2/3 months from various parts of the UK & the Netherlands. There’s a whole bunch of other people who are interested in getting involved, some already living in Amsterdam and others from around the country and elsewhere in Europe.
Q: Do you have a name for the church yet?
MS: No. Well, sort of… I have an idea for a name but it’s top secret.
Q: What will the financial support help you to do?
MS: We’re so grateful to King’s Church for getting behind us in prayer and financial support. When you’re getting ready to plant a church (particularly when you’re moving your family to a new nation), one of the big questions you need to answer is; ‘how are we going to pay for this?’ (obviously) and then after that ‘how are we going to make this sustainable for the long term?’. The gift from King’s helps us to answer the first question and gives us a bit of breathing space for the second one too!
Q: What’s are the biggest challenges your face — what can we pray for?
MS: Please pray for our family as we move and get used to a new context, in particular pray for our kids (we have four daughters aged between 2 & 8). The oldest 3 will all start in a Dutch school in September which will be a big change for them. Pray they make friends, learn the language and settle in quickly.
Also, pray for more people to join us. We’re so excited about what God has planned for this church plant. He’s beginning to lay some big dreams on our hearts yet as we explore the city more and more we’re increasingly aware of the challenge ahead of us. We’ve got a great team already with us but we’ll need more people, many more, to help build a pumping church to reach this incredible city.
Find out more on facebook facebook.com/amsterdamchurchplant or on their blog amsterdamcity.tumblr.com