Spring 2018: after having spend more than 35 years in New Age and modern spirituality, God radically opened the eyes of 2 Dutch women, now living in Spain. After that everything changed. They realized life wasn’t about them anymore but about God. Their work, their income, their relationship, their social life, their interests, their whole way of life: everything was now to be aligned to God’s will.
Overnight almost all their work stopped (while they earned up to 10.000 euro’s for a private business retreat). God made it clear that they had to live through faith and that He was going to provide. In hindsight this was pretty amazing, because now they, as very young Christians, had the time to read and study the Bible, listen to a lot of online sermons and ask many questions in online groups.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB
In the summer Ingrid Bijl and Ingrid van den Boogaard (Bo) reached out to the only longtime Christian they knew. He was flabbergasted by the way God had plucked them out of the world and was working in their hearts and minds.
After a few months they realized they had to start looking for a church, and get to know more people that believed what they now came to see was the truth. They found a small English speaking Christian community that they joined. Later they also found a church where people spoke their native language: Dutch. Solid biblical churches are hard to find, especially in Spain, where only 0.4 % of the people are practicing evangelical Christians.
On the March 3, 2019 Ingrid and Bo got baptized in the Mediterranean Sea, as a confirmation of their faith.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus in John 3:3 NASB
Bo, who had a background in creative arts, started thinking about how to share what happened to her with her friends and family, who were all non-Christians. From the moment of her conversion it was very clear that she was called to serve God with the creative talents He had given her. This was confirmed by several elders, missionaries and other mature Christians. She talked to a lot of people, shared her faith, but was also drawn towards making a testimony video. She started the IAMoneworld creative ministry and in the spring she started working on the video. At the same time Bo was invited with the ministry to become part of Live Global. Live Global is the partnership arm of the well-known ABWE mission organization (est. 1939) in the USA.
In the summer of 2019 Bo and Ingrid were invited by their American pastor and his wife, from the international church in Spain, to join them on a trip to the US. Rick and Lisa had been missionaries in Thailand for many years and went on this US trip to visit churches, friends and family. They also had the opportunity to visit the Live Global/ABWE headquarter in Pennsylvania. It was an extraordinary journey, physically (from Washington State, Oregon and California to the east coast, Washington, Harrisburg and New York City) as well as spiritually. They learned a lot from all the Christians they had the privilege to meet. And will never forget the incredible kindness and hospitality with which they were received!
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Paul in his letter to the Romans, 12:12-13 NIV
During their trip to the USA Ingrid had the opportunity to speak with a few pastors about how to think biblically about coaching and counseling, which was her background. It became clear to her that she was called to start a Biblical Counseling ministry, not only to help people with mental, emotional and spiritual problems, but also to make Biblical Counseling more known in Europe. In October 2019 she started an online study with the Biblical Counseling Center (IL, USA). In June 2020 she received her lay certificate for Biblical Counseling.
In the meantime Bo finished her testimony video. She published the video on You Tube and on her private Facebook page on December 8, 2019, and immediately people started reacting: emails, private messages, comments; many people reached out to her, sharing their stories, asking questions and so on. Most of them were taken off guard by her very personal testimony and were deeply touched. Not only her family and friends responded to the message, but people from all over the world started contacting her. From Australia to South Africa, from Pakistan to Canada, from Peru to Spain and Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands and the US. It was really amazing and also quite overwhelming! Ingrid started helping out in having conversations with people online, and became part of the IAMoneworld ministry.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, 2:10 NKJV
We realized that being in a ministry like this called for solid support in prayer. In January 2020 we started inviting people for our online prayer group. At the moment more than 100 people from all over the world pray regularly for the ministry and for us. We started to look for ways to raise support as well for our now almost fulltime ministry.
In January 2020 we also began to organize house concerts where we showed the testimony video and played new worship music, which Bo had written earlier in 2019. These meetings were really Spirit lead and showed us the impact the video had on people in their everyday life.
Early 2020 Ingrid also started her own ministry, focused on biblical counseling. She started writing articles and as a Biblical counselor she had online conversations with people from all over the world. This really took off in March 2020: because of Covid-19, part of the world went into lock down, so online communication became even more important. Then something unexpected happened: just before the lock down Ingrid had met with the Dutch ambassador in Spain on two occasions within three days. When Spain went into lock down for 6 weeks, quite some people reached out to the Dutch embassy for emotional and mental help. The embassy in Madrid was not really equipped to fulfill such requests, so Ingrid offered her help as a counselor for free. Quite some Dutch people living in Spain contacted her and this gave her an opportunity to reach out, help and serve people in need, and also build a relationship with the ambassador and other people of the embassy. It’s so wonderful to see God working in every detail in our lives, on a day to day basis!
“Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.” Deuteronomy 32:2 NKJV
During the lockdown Bo started producing what became a series of 73 videos with Bible verses, to share online. They were shared by for instance Global Rize, an online ministry organization from the Netherlands. Later that same year Bo was invited to make 10 Bible videos for the mission organization Open Doors, for them to use online in a specifically targeted region. She also made several music videos.
In the summer of 2020 we had the opportunity to go to our home country the Netherlands. What at first was planned to be a 3 week trip, became a 2.5 month trip. God had other plans… We visited churches, had the privilege to share our stories at many places (churches, house groups and personally) and met many new people. Because we didn’t grow up in church in the Netherlands (we came to faith in Spain), we almost didn’t know any Dutch Christians and didn’t know a lot about church and church culture. Gratefully we learned all that God wanted us to see, know and learn from this experience.
Over the course of 2020 some pastors and youth group leaders had asked us if we would be able to create additional material connected to the testimony video, because of the important topics that were covered in Bo’s testimony video. In September 2020 we started working on study material for small groups, generously supported by the Pharus foundation (Pharus is a Christian organization that financially supports projects ‘that are appealing and can make a difference’). Groups in several countries have started try outs with the material already.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 ESV
In February 2021 Ingrid started her study with ABC, the Association of Biblical Counseling; an elaborate study to become a certified Biblical counselor by the high standards of ABC, which she now is.
More and more people got to know Ingrid and Bo’s story and ministry, and they were invited by several online platforms with a big reach for interviews, podcasts and live streams.
New Page ministries is the merger of the ministries of Bo and Ingrid. They still have their own ministries, their own callings, but it became clear that both ministries are really complementary to each other. They work together on a daily basis. In the relatively short time New Page ministries exists, we have seen God working in amazing ways.
- We have received and still receive many messages of people who are blessed by our ministry (see testimonials).
- We are very blessed to have a big group of people that supports the ministry in prayer.
- People have started to support the ministry financially.
- God sends the right people at the right time: people we can serve and people that help advance the ministry.
We are very blessed to see how He uses our ministries to reach the hearts of so many people from all over the world, online and offline, non-believers and Christians alike.
We are grateful to be part of two churches (the international and the Dutch church), were we have the privilege to serve in worship, communications and practicalities. A couple of months ago it became clear to both of us, at the same time, that we are also called to work more locally, in Spain. We realized that when you meet people in person, you can work in a different way, especially concerning discipling and local outreach. Many people perceive we are living in very uncertain times. Building relationships and meeting people face-to-face has become even more important now; only online outreach isn’t enough.
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” David in Psalm 56:11 NKJV
Recently we found a place in Alicante where we started to work with the creative ministry, the Center for Biblical Counseling Europe, to extend the team, to do local outreach, start a life group, a library etc. We’re also praying for and working on a vision for a place where people can rest, relax, recharge, be encouraged and spiritually fed.
There is a desire. There is a purpose, there is a (big) need, especially here in Spain. And there is approval and spiritual support by our elders and mentors.
God is clearly working. What will He do next?
“For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.” Psalm 95:3 NKJV
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