TESTIMONY //Jan and Anneke’S
TESTIMONY // Jan and Anneke’S STORY
Retired? – No! – On a mission.
Since I gave my life to Jesus in 1972, I have always said that I would never retire. To go with Jesus on new adventures, is the best life you can ever live. I love to depend on Jesus, crying for help if I think I’m sinking, just like Peter who walked on the water. I love the impossible.
About four years ago, God gave me a dream, telling Anneke and me, that we had to go back to France. We had previously lived in France from 1996 – 2005. We started a church and later joined with another church plant in the same city.
At that time I had the dream, we couldn’t leave Holland. But some years later, with the help from Regions Beyond, the church was doing well and Steve suggested that the time had come to give the leading of the church to a younger man. As I did, God started to speak more about being a spiritual father for young leaders. I have missed that in my life, faithful spiritual dads, who were supportive, even when one made stupid mistakes.
This became the new mission for Anneke and me. It is our desire that young leaders remain on fire when they became older. I have seen so many good people lose this fire. The world needs spirit-filled, faithful people. There are so many lonely young leaders. I believe there is a cry for fathers who do not judge, not just to give instruction, but to be there for marriages, in weak moments, or just to encourage. Young leaders must do it differently to the way we have done it because they are standing on our shoulders as they grow to greater heights.
God has given us direction to go for four different places; for now Holland and France, and the remaining two places will be revealed in time to come. The moment we began to launch out, the opposition was stronger than ever. Nine months ago, I became very ill, with liver compications. A few months later, Anneke was diagnosed with breast cancer and then there was the Covid 19. I started to work in a hospital but then I almost broke a rib and I couldn’t work anymore! What was God doing?
I don’t have all the answers, but I know that we are more dependent on Him than ever. He is in charge and He is not expecting me to understand everything. Over the last 9 months, I have been without pain and have had more energy. I have been reading more which has been inspiring. Together with Anneke, we have had great times being together, walking in the forest, or riding our bikes in the beautiful Spring in Holland. It has been great to develop relationships with JW and Marlinde Tamminga, who lead Hope Church in Utrecht, and we have met several times for prayer. I have also spent time praying over the phone with those that have become ill in our church in France and in Holland.
We are now back in France, and our diary is filling up more quickly than we thought it would. Lots of people need encouragements, prayer, and help. It is great to be back and see God moving; it is great to work together with Him; it is great to be retired and still so in love with Jesus; it is great to play an active part to see Jesus’ church growing; it is great living again enjoying the best years of my life. God is good!
Jan en Anneke Stoorvogel