Jacques T. Brunt is an itinerant preacher, teacher, and evangelist in the Netherlands. He was born in 1979 and converted to Christianity in 2000. He is the youngest of five children and was raised in a Dutch Reformed family. He was married to Annette in 2004, and they have three children: Levi, Boaz, and Jesse. Jacques’ ministry can be divided into three specific areas – he is a leader for Heart Cry Netherlands, he is a teacher in his local Baptist church in Alblasserdam, and he is an itinerant preacher throughout the Netherlands.
First, I would like to wish you and all those that are dear and beloved to you God’s richest blessings. Let us be and stay faithful to the calling with which the Lord has called us. The Lord will bless us in most amazing ways if we will but be faithful to our work. In light of this, I was once again moved by the following well-known story about Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Spurgeon was to speak in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Since he had never preached in that church, he decided to ask the parish clerk if he could test the acoustics that week. With quite a loud voice, Spurgeon called out the well-known words from I Timothy 1:15, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Spurgeon then repeated the words a little more quietly, because the clerk thought he was speaking too loudly; but when he did so, it was then not loud enough. The clerk motioned that it should be right in between the two, so Spurgeon repeated for the third time the words that declare so clearly the goal of Christ’s coming. Afterwards, Spurgeon thanked the clerk and left. Years later, Spurgeon was called to a man’s deathbed, and in their conversation it became clear that the man was a believer. When Spurgeon asked him how he was converted, the man told him that a voice from heaven had spoken to him. He shared how years ago he was repairing the roof of St. Paul’s Cathedral and that suddenly a voice had called out, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He said, “I heard this voice three times, and it never let me go.”
Recently, we looked back and considered all that happened during 2014. God alone knows how many times I was privileged to share the Gospel during all kinds of meetings. This has amazed us. The Lord opened so many doors and brought about many invitations for speaking engagements. It was a tremendous blessing to be able to teach Bible studies not only on the whole epistle to the Romans, but also on the whole book of Ephesians. There was great interest, and the Lord really used the evenings and the studies to equip the saints (Ephesians 4:12). We have noticed that there is a great desire for structural and systematic Bible exposition. Brothers and sisters from all kinds of churches and denominations were present. The Word of the Lord was opened, and it empowered us. All of the Bible studies have been recorded on video, so that now more people can follow the study via the internet than were present during the meetings. We praise the Lord for this! At the end of January, I’ll be starting a new series in the book of Hebrews. The studies will be held in our hometown and are linked with our own Baptist congregation. It is a blessing to know that there is a group of young brothers and sisters who are willing to organize these evenings. Please remember these studies in your prayers.
Additionally, we are thankful for several brothers and sisters who were baptized after sharing their testimony of faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. I also was privileged to join in matrimony a brother and sister. During the wedding ceremony, I spoke on I John 4:16: “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” It was an unforgettable day.
Moreover, in 2014 I was closely involved with the planting of Reformed Baptist Church in Urk. Right now, the congregation has been established for a few months, and there is a core group that visits the meetings weekly. We are deeply grateful for this development.
In December of 2014, I started to take a course in homiletics. After my conversion, the Lord immediately called me to preach the Gospel and to equip the saints for works of service. I am self-taught, and through much personal study I have gained knowledge of the Word. The Lord has blessed and used that. However, I now desire to be taught more specifically in regards to preaching. The course is reasonably short and, therefore, very manageable to me.
Everything that I have described thus far is only a sampling of the ministry that we were involved with in 2014. We are extremely grateful that the Lord continued to show Himself to be faithful and worthy of our trust. As a family, we lacked nothing. There was enough money to pay our monthly fixed expenses. The necessary renovation of our home (for work/study) was quite the financial step, but the funds have come in. We are also grateful in regards to the spiritual development of our children. I get to preach the Gospel in many places, and thanks be to God, not without fruit. But often I am asked, “How are your children doing spiritually?” They are my first responsibility. In that respect too, 2014 was a special year. The Lord is at work in our eldest son Levi, as well as in our second son Boaz. In April of last year, Boaz asked me to kneel down with him, as he wanted to give his heart to the Lord. That was a wonderful moment for me. And during one of the meetings where I spoke, Levi very deliberately surrendered his heart and life to the Lord. He told us about it later. As parents, we know we need much grace, wisdom, and patience to guide our children in their continued walk with the Lord. This requires considerable time and energy. It also makes us realize how small we are and how amazingly the Lord works. Our family needs constant prayer. When I am on the road preaching, the enemy often tries to bring unrest to our family in different ways. We desperately covet your prayers for the protection of our marriage and family.
Continuing to watch over my calendar is a very important concern in 2015. There are so many requests and invitations that sometimes it becomes too much. This includes not only invitations to speak, but also requests for pastoral counseling. The needs and the brokenness are very great. It is fundamentally important to be tuned to God’s will. What does He want us to do? Where does He want us to work? It is our prayer to remain sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in the midst of all the work that comes our way.
In closing, we would like to encourage you with the following Scriptures:
“Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, ‘Alas my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (II Kings 6:15-17)
Elisha’s attendant was upset, which was understandable, considering the surrounding armies. He cried out in distress, “What shall we do?” If we, in like manner, let ourselves be led by what we see, fear and trembling can grip our hearts. Similarly, I thought of the twelve spies who explored the land of Canaan. Each of them saw the same thing, but they drew differing conclusions. Ten of them looked at the circumstances (visible), while only two of them looked to the God (invisible, but no less true) who had made promises. Joshua and Caleb believed that if God had promised them that land, then they would certainly enter it. The question is, “To what are we looking, and in what or whom do we put our trust?”
Even across the oceans, we know ourselves to be closely united to you in our Lord and Savior.