We had an idea to invite our friends for a Christmas Dinner Party. Since we where only a few people in a living room we planned to invite people that don’t go to a church and listen to the Christmas story. As the event got closer we soled over 500 tickets. A few day’s before the party we went to check out if there would be enough space. We found out that there where only 370 chairs in the room. During 48h we had to come up with a concept to fit in a lot more. We organised tables and chairs. It was our first big event with our small team.
To our surprise we had over 600 people fill up the room.
We are very thankful to share the gospel with so many people this Christmas.
Thank you for all your prayers.
These are the people that will join me to Cambodia. I am very exited and thankful to have such great people come along. Most will stay for at least one year. This will give us the opportunity to put together a fun Khmer class.
The plan is to work out a strategy for the coming years.
How do we want to start the NGO?
How do we build the church?
What are the greatest needs and how can we meet them in the long run?
Looking forward to a fun time.
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“Risk great things for God, and God will do great things.” – William Carey
“Oh my God”, I cried out, “Something like this may not happen a second time! I will not survive it!” What had happened?
One Sunday I had invited a friend to come to church with me. I could feel his tension; he hadn’t entered a church service for many years. I was sitting next to him with a thankful heart, because God had answered my prayers and my friend finally came to church with me. After the service was over, I asked him: “How did you like it?”
He turned to me with an angry face and said: “Don’t you ever do this again! I haven’t seen such a boring, lifeless, irrelevant and unprofessional performance in a long time. I would rather sleep in my bed than in these chairs here. Don’t you ever invite me to a church service again!”
My joy vanished in less than a second and turned into frustration, but I did not give up, so I asked him: “Is it the faith in God that made you upset?” – “No,” he said, with a now more sad tone in his voice, “it is the style of the church, the sound and style of the music, the atmosphere, and how the people interact with each other.” I knew exactly what he was talking about; I told him that I was sincerely sorry about it.
That night I couldn’t go to sleep for hours. His words were hurting me. I knew that his criticism had hit the bulls eye.
I cried to God: “Why is church the most boring place on earth for many people? What has changed in church that so many people are afraid of it?”
This experience set a godly, radical energy free in me. A church is put together of very many different kinds of people. It could become the most attractive and interesting place on earth with God changing lives if only everyone would serve by using their personal talents. Then the church would have that unlimited power, which would spread sparks of hope.
“The world will thank you, if you try something new.” – Anselm Grün
Out of this and other similar experiences, ICF was founded.
Now I want to bring this kind of church to Cambodia.
Support our family with prayer during this transition time.
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I believe God is the opposite of boring. Following Jesus is maximum excitement and adventure mixed with a handful of awesomeness.
I’ve heard people say that Jesus is boring, living in purity is a drag, and they’d rather go to hell because at least they’ll be able to party with their friends.
Sorry, but that’s messed up.
If anyone knows how to throw an over-the-top, blow-your-mind kind of party, it’s the Creator of the universe, the one who invented fun and pleasure.
As lovers of God and doers of his will, Christians should be the best party people on the planet!
That’s why I think we should smile, we should dance, we should celebrate, we should laugh, and we should get over our serious selves and represent the joy of heaven.
I’m just saying.
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Two of our most proven people will leave ICF Zurich this summer 2013 with their whole family. ND & Sophal Strupler will plant a new ICF church in Cambodia. They are ready for a really big adventure.
We (ICF Zurich) asked how all this happened and what they feel personally.
Interview with ND Strupler
How on earth did it come about that you decided to move to Cambodia with your family? Your wife Sophal is an adoptive child from Cambodia…
This has to do with our first decision we took over 20 years ago: We where part in the ICF project and are prepared to go “all in”. Now it’s the same just with another challenge. It is a consequence of our first decision wanting to have an excited life in the kingdom of God. Sophal was the one who took the initiative to plant an ICF in Cambodia. It wouldn’t have been my choice, I would have picked California (another place with “C”…). But when she vocalized this, I also realized that like a puzzle many pieces fit together and it really made sense.
Where in Cambodia will you start and why?
After a time of research we chose the city of Siem Reap. At the moment, this is the fastest growing city in Cambodia because it is a tourist spot which attracts many Cambodians from the surrounding provinces. Unfortunately, it’s not near to the sea but one flying hour from Siem Reap.
What is your and your family’s motivation to take such a step after such a long time of active church work in ICF Zurich? You are not 20 any more…
Exactly this motivates us! Continue reading Starting Into A New World
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166 days to go
My family and I are in full transition mode. We are giving away or selling almost everything that we have accumulate over the last 12 years.
It’s a good feeling becoming lean again.
Reducing to what’s really important and letting go of things we don’t really need.
In 166 days we will leave Switzerland with just suitcases and a load full of passion.
Our sails are set for a new adventure.
We will learn the Khmer language and build a team to launch a new ICF church.
Our kids are fired up and Sophal and I can’t wait to go.
Before we go
There is still 166 days till we go. We are spending them as smart as possible.
Our focus is on family and friends.
Telling people about our plans and getting people involved in our journey.
Over the next five month I will travel to 9 cities to speak about our dreams and show the ONE DAY film. This will be a great opportunity to inform and challenge the people we leave behind.
What we need
We need your prayers.
It’s a stressful time for our family. Even if we feel our family grow together, we feel the pressure of the unknown come over us now and than.
So, please keep us in your prayers.
Register for our newsletter at ICF Cambodia
We will post our story as often as possible.
How do we change a person’s heart?
We might be able to restrain a persons angry outbursts by tying him up, but we are powerless to change a persons heart.
This is where God s plan of redemption comes into play.
The Gospel is not merely about “getting us saved,” as if we simply pray a prayer and are immediately transported into heaven. God describes “salvation” and the transformation of the Christian life like this:
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezek. 36:26-27)
“Getting saved” is not about praying a prayer and then continuing to live our lives as though nothing happened.
Blog auf Deutsch.
Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” Hebrews 13:5, 6
Thank you God for reminding me.
You will NEVER walk off and leave me.
This is good news in a world where this has become a common practice.
I want to take a stand and show the world, that STAYING is worth it.