New plans and hopes for our city center buildings
Over the last 43 years YWAM Amsterdam has had the joy and responsibility of owning and caring for some of the most incredible and iconic buildings in the heart of the city center.
These buildings continue to be in year round use as homes, places of hospitality, offices, prayer and training spaces for YWAM among many other things. We’re honoured that they’ve also been embraced as places that can welcome and serve the local Christian community and we’ve been pleased over the years to partner with other organisations in filling these spaces.
One of our major prayers over recent years has however been to see our buildings used more effectively in fulfilling our value of “making God known.” We don’t think it’s an accident that God has placed us as a missionary organisation right in the heart of this famous city. Instead we believe that we have a message to proclaim and a welcome to offer.
We are therefore really encouraged by progress we're making with two of our buildings.
A new vision in Samaritan’s Inn
Every day thousands of tourists, school children and Amsterdammers walk past the front corner of our Samaritan's Inn building on their way to visit or tour the central Red Light District, to go on a city tour or to head to one of the art galleries or museums in the local area. Over the last couple of years a growing team of YWAMers and Christian business people have encouraged us to seek more innovative ways to engage with all these people. We’re now pleased to start to put these ideas in to action by encouraging a team to work towards building a new ideas and arts center in what is currently the Pelgrim bookstore, in order to open it by summer 2018.
This is a new venture but it is also just a further step in building upon things YWAM has been involved in for years:
For decades we have cultivated the work of Christian artists and musicians in the city. Now we hope to provide a location to display this art in a place where people can meet those who make it and hear about the God who inspired them.
For years leading YWAMers have taken Christians on tours of the city where they show how this small city of Biblical reformers took the idea that people were made in God’s image and spread it round the world inspiring ideas of toleration and democracy. Now we want to open this same story up to the general public.
Since the start of YWAM Amsterdam we have interrupted travellers on their journey and started them on a journey to meet with Jesus now once again we want to create a space where YWAMers can meet fellow travellers. Once again on the city corner that leads to the Red Light District we want to remind all who go there, that this is also the city of Rembrandt, the artist who painted the most famous picture of the Prodigal Son returning to his loving Father.
We are thankful to all those who have previously used this space in Sam’s Inn for the work they have done in reaching the city. We hope you can pray with us that the moves we make over the next two years are the most effective possible in impacting the city for God.
A renewed focus for Oudezijds Voorburgwal 63
Over many years our building at 63 Oudezijds Voorburgwal has worked in combination with its next door neighbour the Tabernacle House of Prayer to provide a welcoming Christian witness in the center of the Red Light District. With the closing of the Lighthouse ministry at the start of the year we wondered what the next step in this story would be. We are now really delighted to say that the Evangelism Team will be taking over the leadership of this building.
We are really inspired by the enthusiasm of this team to use this space to fulfil its potential. Many of their ideas are still in the early stages but we would like to share a few of them. Perhaps most importantly they want to continue to see the building as a place in to which ladies working in the Red Light Area are welcomed, they want to once again see the building opened up as a regular meeting place for homeless or marginalised Amsterdammers and they want to see links with the Tabernacle House of Prayer grow.
Please join us in praying for the Evangelism Team, in particular pray that their overall ministry continues to be fruitful whilst they are led to the right specific uses for the Lighthouse building which will be most effective in meeting people of the area with the love of Jesus.