Only a mile from our hotel at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, we saw an old thatched windmill standing above the trees. David Hardesty and I visited and took pictures, learning that many years ago, the Dutch reclaimed land from the sea by building dykes, pumping seawater out, and using the land for farming, housing, roads, airports, cities and all other productive uses. Fully one-third of Dutch real estate is land stolen from the sea. Our hotel and meeting site were a dozen feet below sea level. The old windmill used to create the ground we walked on, had been preserved as a historical reminder.
There is a saying that goes, “God created the earth but the Dutch created Holland.” This idea contains a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that Dutch engineers have learned to harness and control water so well. It can also lead to the kind of pride that elevates human achievement to the status reserved only for God, and that kind of self sufficiency is a spiritual curse.
Indeed, we noticed that Holland appeared more industrious and prosperous than its neighbors. The countryside was manicured and groomed to look like a well-maintained park. We wondered how the message of dependency upon God—the ingredient for activating God’s life within us—would be received among these industrious folks.
Our meetings answered the question. The power of the Gospel operating by the Spirit, changes hearts, whether in America, UK, China, Africa, or Holland. Our crowds had already embraced Andrew’s teaching through television and books, and they came ready to receive even more. Dozens came forward to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many were released from religious bondage, experienced healings, and renewed their freedom in Christ.
Pictures courtesy of David Hardesty and John Elshaw
View the video below for a behind the scenes look at Stephen Bransford working in Holland. It was recorded by CBC Netherlands Student Kees Pos during Andrew’s visit to the country.
Filed Monday, June 6, 2011 from Amsterdam by AWM Media Manager, Stephen Bransford.