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Matthijs & Patricia Van Engelen

Matthijs & Patricia Van Engelen

Amsterdam, Netherlands GC Netherlands FD6095

Q&A

About the Van Engelens' Ministry

Welcoming refugees in Amsterdam with stories of hope

In 2016, a refugee camp opened just one mile from our home in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At the same time GCE, the European network of churches that houses our ministry, invited us to respond to the huge influx of refugees into Europe.

Patricia's Story
My passion for welcoming refugees began back in 1995 in Fort Collins, Colorado, where I served families who fled the Bosnian War. In 2003 I moved overseas to help start a church in the heart of Amsterdam. The recent influx of refugees to the Netherlands has brought many beautiful but hurting people into our midst. As a coach, I help refugees rebuild their lives through pastoral care. With deep gratitude for the saving work of Christ in my own life, it’s a joy to bring God's message of redeeming love and hope for new life to those in need.

Matthijs' Story
When Patricia and I married in 2013, we began to pray about doing ministry together. Then the refugee camp opened near our home and God invited me to reach out to the people seeking a safe haven in Amsterdam. This outreach became a way for Patricia and I to work together in sharing's God's love. Since 2016 we have been growing our ministry among refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—meeting practical needs, offering friendship and hospitality, and studying God’s Word.

The Need
We meet refugees from Africa and the Middle East, the majority of whom are Muslim. Many have been through war and have made a dangerous journey to reach Europe. They are homesick for their family and friends. Here, especially in our individualistic society, they feel lonely and isolated. They need a friend and to know the hope that only Jesus can give.

Our Vision
Refugees have a strong desire to connect and make new friends. We listen to their difficult life stories and share stories of hope that pique interest in Jesus. We are trusting God to reveal Jesus as the true Messiah and establish a new community of believers among the refugee population.

We partner with Great Commission Europe and Christ Church Amsterdam as our local church family.

Partnering with Great Commission Europe, Inc.

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