“If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and He will repay you!” - Proverbs 19:17
In 2005, Femke and I moved to the Netherlands with one child and a huge desire to reach the world. Now, we have four kids and an ever-growing network of ministries and ministers (New Life Netwerk-IPHC & RUAH School of Prophecy) that are touching Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and nations all across the globe. We can proudly tell you about ministry that is taking place from our ministers in places such as Egypt, Romania, Hungary, Togo, Uganda, Italy, Cyprus, Wales, Spain, The Netherlands, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, the U.S., and Brazil. This is very exciting, yet today we want to share the story of Pastors Rene and Riske from the first church we planted in Amsterdam, called New Life West.
New Life West’s Community Kitchen & “Free” Store
In 2016, Rene and Riske took the leadership of New Life West over from us. They were both full-time school teachers, yet Rene felt God called him to give up his job to focus primarily on leading the church. He felt like God gave him a vision not only for the church, but to start a community center for our neighborhood.
Rene began giving out free soup one day each week from vegetables that supermarkets could no longer sell but were still good enough to make a soup from. This one day grew to three days a week, and it eventually grew to become the Community Kitchen with its own building to serve the community all throughout the week.
His wife, Riske, also began collecting and giving away free clothes one day a week at the community kitchen. Riske enjoyed this so much that eventually, she also quit working as a school teacher to dedicate herself to a new store where everything is given away for FREE! She now has a team of volunteers sort through clothes and give them away for free five days a week. Riske has also been able to secure her own building for this giveaway store.
The favor and the faith of Rene and Riske are incredible. Their goal is to make God’s love tangible, and giving food and clothing out to the poor is a fantastic way to do just that. King Solomon once said, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD— and He will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17). Rene and Riske do not just talk about serving the poor; they are living it out daily.
As leaders of a ministry network, we are excited to see the many different kinds of ministries developing among us. Ministries that range all the way from helping people out of prostitution, local church plants, international conferences, schools of prophecy, to a community kitchen and a “Free Give Away Store.” You never know what God may accomplish through you when you answer with a YES to His call to go to the nations. Thank you for being such an important part of our ministry through your faithful prayers and financial support.
Matthew & Femke Helland