JIL Netherlands: a picture of unity in diversity
These are the opening words of JIL Church Worldwide’s mission. A mission which JIL Netherlands tries to live up to.
“Besides Filipino and Dutch members, we also have Indonesians, Africans and Latin Americans as members of the church,” noted Ptr. Mimi dela Cruz, who is based in Amsterdam and oversees seven churches spread across Netherlands.
“We may come from different countries and cultures, but we are all one in Christ,” she stressed.
Her husband, Ptr. Michael dela Cruz, added, “We even have student missionaries from Youth with a Mission (YWAM) attending in our church.”
The couple has been in the Netherlands for several years now—Ptr. Michael, in the early 90s as an overseas Filipino worker and Ptr. Mimi, in 1994 as an “au pair” through the Dutch Exchange Program.
As such, they witnessed the beginnings of JIL Netherlands, which started when JIL missionaries from London, led by Ptr. Bong Infante, conducted bible studies and, eventually, the first worship service at The Hague, the Dutch seat of government.
From there, God has multiplied JIL churches in Rotterdam, Hoofddorp, Arnhem, Zaanstad, Utrecht, and Amsterdam.
“We are also now praying to open additional JIL churches in German cities, such as Munich, and Stuttgart,” disclosed Ptr. Mimi. “Currently we have two churches in Berlin and Frankfurt.”
“Our thrust now is to disciple our (Filipino-Dutch) youth because they know the Dutch language and have an impact on the community,” Ptr. Michael said.
Aside from those, they are also working closely with other Christian churches for the spiritual and moral transformation of Holland especially because the challenge of living in a rich country such as the Netherlands is “to show the need for the love, power, and presence of God through signs and wonders. That it is all not about money,” Ptr. Mimi revealed.
Judging by the fruits of this missionary couple’s labors, the Lord indeed blesses the united efforts of His people.