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Vandenhurks: English missionaries to England! Funded by US churches!


blessalessi

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I was browsing a global missionary website link from another thread and was amused to see several "missionary families" on the books listed as serving the Lord in the UK and lreland.

John and Natalie VandenHurk are a married couple serving as Missionaries to Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, England.

They made their brave journey to England from the USA on a luxury Cunard liner, where they were helped settle into an existing church with a ready-made congregation, by Natalie's former pastor.

They lived initially with Natalie's family, who are English and who raised her here, a 45 minute drive away from her new mission field. John is eligible for a visa and permanent residency status because of his marriage  to Natalie, a British national that John met while living in England for several years.  

 

DEAR  CHURCHES  AND  PRAYING  FRIENDS,        

 ~   SETTLING   IN!   ~   After   getting   off   the   ship   in   Southampton,   we  got   a   rental   car   and   drove   to   Corby,   where   we   were   thankful   to  stay   with   Natalie’s   Mum   for   several   weeks.      Over   the   past   two  months,   the   Lord   has   opened   up   opportunities   to   share   the  Gospel   with   various   family   members,   who   have   been   asking  questions   about   the   Lord.     We   had   many   tasks   to   complete   like      1  June  2013,  Prayer  Letter  sorting   bank   details,   getting   our   phones   working,   and   purchasing   a   used   car.     The   city   of  Peterborough   is   45   minutes   away,  and   we   have   begun   to   look   at   houses   there.  

~   WARM  WELCOME  ~   We  had   a   wonderful   welcome   from   the   congregation   of   Calvary   Baptist  Church,   where   we   are   working.   I   would   like   to   say   how   thankful   we  are   for   the   help   and   encouragement   of   British   evangelist   Colin  Pavitt,   who   was   asked   to   help   with   the   spiritual   oversight   of   the  church   while   they   have   been   without   a   pastor.   He   had   asked   us   to  pray   about   coming   to   the   church   and   has   helped   us   to   settle   in.      He  and   his   wife   Rosalind   have   been   a   great   blessing   to   us   through   the  years   as   well   as   since   we   arrived   back   in   the   UK.  

John and Natalie's mission goal plan says they were originally supposed to be church planting in this dark and heathen land, but now they seem to have accepted permanent status as leaders of the ready-made church, and are instead praying for and assisting a local man who is doing the church plant instead. Since arriving on the mission field in 2013, they have already enjoyed a restorative holiday to the Netherlands, and a 3-week visit back to John's family in the USA. 

Their life is so appealing that single missionary Amanda Baker is currently on deputation in the USA raising funds to join the Vandenhurks.  She currently has a link on her fb page to a UK press article which describes Peterborough as a thriving up-and-coming city with a growing population and attractive facilities.  Who wouldn't want to serve the Lord in such comfort, right?

Why are these grifters being enabled by their churches in the USA?  Both of them could get jobs to support themselves and still have plenty of time to volunteer their service to the tiny church they attend.

Why?  Why??!! :my_cry:

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Reminds me of the people who became missionaries to Atlanta, GA. Because nobody in Atlanta has heard of Jesus. Nobody. 

I think a lot of the missionaries just don't want to work, but these sorts don't want to work or go anywhere where they can't live the lifestyle they are used to. 

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The prayers letters are a wtf read: http://jonnynats.weebly.com/prayer-letters-archive.html

I understand that the UK is now a popular mission ground, but why are US churches willing to fund other people's travel adventures?

Deputation seems to be a grown-ups' stretched-out version of the fundraising that High school kids do, when they want to do a bungee jump or hiking trip that they can't afford and so they make it into a charity sponsorship activity.  Teenagers will usually at least wash cars to earn their keep though.... these people only offer to bring REAL ENGLISH TEA BAGS to any churches that will listen to their spiel.

No wonder deputation takes 2-3 years. It is basically begging for people to enable you to avoid the responsibilities of a normal adult working life.

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England is a popular mission field now?! Why wasn't it back when I was a fundie? I could have gotten people to finance my trip overseas.

How does England feel about being a mission field for America's laziest missionaries? 

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We hold regular meetings in our witches' covens to discuss ways to persecute them, of course! :my_biggrin:

 

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A few years ago I found an American family with four kids who were sent to Sweden as missionaries, paid for by a church in the US. I tried to find them now to see how they are doing and how many they have converted, but their blog is gone.

I'm not a huge fan of proselytising and I don't know why they pick a country that has been Christian for 1000 years and where it was illegal to not be a member of the CoS until 150 years ago. Why?

 

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England is a popular mission field now?! Why wasn't it back when I was a fundie? I could have gotten people to finance my trip overseas.

How does England feel about being a mission field for America's laziest missionaries? 

As someone from England: OH SWEET JESUS NO GET AWAY FROM US CRAZY JESUS FREAKS

 

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England is a popular mission field now?! Why wasn't it back when I was a fundie? I could have gotten people to finance my trip overseas.

How does England feel about being a mission field for America's laziest missionaries? 

I myself am on deputation to minister to the museum and restaurant staff of the Continent. It is going very well. By full time begging for the last three years I've raised about 10% of the money I would have earned in a devilish job. Of course I've had to use that money to feed myself, but I'm very optimisic because Jesus. And Van Gogh.

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A few years ago I found an American family with four kids who were sent to Sweden as missionaries, paid for by a church in the US. I tried to find them now to see how they are doing and how many they have converted, but their blog is gone.

I'm not a huge fan of proselytising and I don't know why they pick a country that has been Christian for 1000 years and where it was illegal to not be a member of the CoS until 150 years ago. Why?

 

Well, it could look good to the sending churches - according to Wikipedia, church is attended in Sweden by only 5% of the population, and in the UK by about 12%. In the US the figure is 39%. So I suppose the Brits and the Swedes could be seen as heathens by devout fundies!:my_rolleyes:

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Well, it could look good to the sending churches - according to Wikipedia, church is attended in Sweden is by only 5% of the population, and in the UK by about 12%. I n the US the figure is 39%. So I suppose the Brits and the Swedes could be seen as heathens by devout fundies!:my_rolleyes:

If they think that sending American fundies here will make us more pious... I think they will be disappointed. I actually feel sorry for the poor church members who will pay for it.

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The prayers letters are a wtf read: http://jonnynats.weebly.com/prayer-letters-archive.html

I understand that the UK is now a popular mission ground, but why are US churches willing to fund other people's travel adventures?

Deputation seems to be a grown-ups' stretched-out version of the fundraising that High school kids do, when they want to do a bungee jump or hiking trip that they can't afford and so they make it into a charity sponsorship activity.  Teenagers will usually at least wash cars to earn their keep though.... these people only offer to bring REAL ENGLISH TEA BAGS to any churches that will listen to their spiel.

No wonder deputation takes 2-3 years. It is basically begging for people to enable you to avoid the responsibilities of a normal adult working life.

They actually bought the REAL ENGLISH TEA BAGS from Cost Plus World Market lol.

I agree this is only a way to finance an extended vacation. I need to start working on my mission to Italy...

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Many years ago, the Bateses had a blog post about friends of theirs that were becoming missionaries to England. A bunch of people pointed out that England is a predominantly Christian nation, with a national church. The Bateses responded that despite the rich Christian history, the churches were all empty and people were Christians in name only and they needed the Gospel more now than ever before. 

:my_confused:

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Yes, it is called "reverse mission" because the UK colonised half the world and/or sent out missionaries to convert the heathens, and yet now we ourselves are in need of evangelization because of our current "post-Christian" culture.

These missionaries don't seem keen to hang out in the more poverty-stricken areas, getting their hands dirty, though. They are favouring an existing church with a very small congregation of 50ish members who could probably just about have survived and managed to stuff tracts through doors without financial implications of the VandenHurks transatlantic adventure.

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Fits the term "moochinary" in my book. Kind of like how Jack Hyles' grandson and Jack Schaap's son, after Schaap was sentenced, determined that my (relatively affluent - disclaimer, not all of us, but still quite a bit above average income) community needed him to start a church here (within a 10 mile radius of at least 5 other IFB churches). He then spent something lik a year going around to other HAC-graduates-as-pastors sphere IFB churches as his "deputation" for which those churches committed to give to him as a "missionary" to my community. Honestly, something clearly has changed from the IFB that I grew up in. These moochinaries would have been sent on their way with - at the most - a small "love" offering and a large helping of advice (in this case, to get a job).

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I just read through all the prayer letters. Apparently they've 'been told' that at least three generations in the UK haven't been exposed to the gospel message. Well I'm 43 and you couldn't get away from the gospel message when I was at school in the UK in the 1970s and 80s!

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Yes, it is called "reverse mission" because the UK colonised half the world and/or sent out missionaries to convert the heathens, and yet now we ourselves are in need of evangelization because of our current "post-Christian" culture.

These missionaries don't seem keen to hang out in the more poverty-stricken areas, getting their hands dirty, though. They are favouring an existing church with a very small congregation of 50ish members who could probably just about have survived and managed to stuff tracts through doors without financial implications of the VandenHurks transatlantic adventure.

Honestly, I prefer the missionaries lazing around in the UK or other Western European countries and being annoying, sanctimonious pricks to the missionaries going to more impoverished countries and being exploitative, condescending dicks.

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I just read through all the prayer letters. Apparently they've 'been told' that at least three generations in the UK haven't been exposed to the gospel message. Well I'm 43 and you couldn't get away from the gospel message when I was at school in the UK in the 1970s and 80s!

 

And I'm 62 and same applies to 1950s and 60s. Almost all state schools started the day with a religious assembly, and Religious Instruction(RI) or Religious Education (RE) was a compulsory subject in  all state  school, and in those days the religion was Christianity. The teaching of religion is still mandatory in state schools, although nowadays it is not christocentric, but usually taught as comparative religion.

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From a VandenHurk prayer letter: 

~   GYPSY   CAMP   ~   From   the   local   gypsy/“traveler”   camp   next   to   a   roundabout   near   the   church,  over   15   people   have   come   to   the   services   and   Bible   club.      These   dear   people   are   sometimes  considered   the   outcasts   of   society,   but   God   is   working   in   their   hearts.      Many   have   a   sincere  desire   to   learn   God’s   Word.      Most   in   their   community   do   not   read   or   write,   so   Natalie   and   I   are  currently   learning   a   method   called   “Spell   to   Read   and   Write,”   using   the   Bible   to   teach   them.  

 

 Because the UK really needs an American English children's bible-based literacy course to complement the existing range of state-funded services to adults in the Traveller communities. 

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From a VandenHurk prayer letter: 

 Because the UK really needs a bible-based literacy course to complement the existing range of state-funded services to the Traveller communities.

Plus most Traveller communities in the UK are of Irish descent, and are quite happily RC! In fact, many of them are very devout.

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Plus most Traveller communities in the UK are of Irish descent, and are quite happily RC! In fact, many of them are very devout.

That's OK, Nathalie was Catholic before she became a Christian!  So she can use her evangelism skills at the same time as teaching the poor heathen Travellers to read! ;)

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I have heard of American missionaries to Germany, too. It would be plausible for them to proselytise in the eastern part of Germany, which has the biggest atheist majority in the world (if I am correct), but instead they tend to go to the southern part - which is the utmost pious one. I don´t get fundie logic.

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I have heard of American missionaries to Germany, too. It would be plausible for them to proselytise in the eastern part of Germany, which has the biggest atheist majority in the world (if I am correct), but instead they tend to go to the southern part - which is the utmost pious one. I don´t get fundie logic.

correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Germany already Protestant? It's not even like these folks can pull the "saving the ebil Catholics" card there like they do when doing mission work in places that are already predominantly Christian.

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Catholic vs Protestant is irrelevant.  It's about being the right kind of KJV-reading soul-winning Christian that's important! ;)

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I live about 10 miles from Peterborough! I know that travellers site, Cambridgeshire has a high population of travellers and gypsies, historically because of the seasonal agricultural work (mostly now done by Eastern Europeans). Good luck to them trying to convert the travellers, they are not well known for taking crap from anyone.

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