Martin (UK) is OM Belgium’s Field Leader, responsible for 47 full-time OM workers serving in outreach campaigns, church planting, and mobilisation. Martin was brought up in Birmingham, attended Oxford University, and worked for eight years with OM in Belgium during the 1980s and 1990s. He went on to become a director in the NHS before returning to OM in 2017.

Meryem (NL) is the Director for New Belgians, leading work among victims of trafficking and immigrants from hard-to-reach nations such as Morocco, Turkey and China. Meryem was brought up in Friesland in the Netherlands, and attended the Belgian Bible Institute, before going on to be an evangelist among Turks in Brussels. Later, she spent 20 years as a translator in the UK.

They have been married since 1990.

About Belgium:

Having been one of the most religious nations in Western Europe, Belgium is now the most secular. Two-thirds of the population say they do not believe in God, and just 14% say they believe in ‘the God of the Bible’. There are more than ten times as many avowed atheists as evangelical Christians, and five times as many as Catholics who attend mass regularly.

375 out of 581 districts have no Protestant or Evangelical church, and these are by and large the same districts where Catholic Churches no longer hold regular services or see congregations of under 10, perhaps just once a month. Half of all indigenous Belgians live in these districts. (Average size of a district is 19,500).

Belgium has the highest suicide rate in Western Europe, has had the world’s highest divorce rate, and was the first nation to introduce child euthanasia. 2/3 of Belgians say they believe there is no God or spiritual world, but 1/3 say they believe in the occult. At 14%, Belgium has the highest proportion of atheists in Western Europe. Also at 14%, it has the lowest proportion of people who say they believe in 'the God of the Bible'—specifically that they believe God is able to influence the affairs of the world. However, 44% believe their lives are controlled by Fate.

Belgium is a modern, prosperous nation with great art, great food and a great welcome—but it is also a nation in deep spiritual need, and is among the world's 1/3 least evangelised nations. Just one in two hundred indigenous Belgians are evangelical believers.

The vision:

To see a vibrant church in every district, 1 in 10 Belgians to be believers
OM’s vision worldwide is ‘we want to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached’.
OM’s vision in Belgium is to see a vibrant community of Jesus followers in each of the currently 375 unchurched districts. We also want to see one in ten of Belgians identify themselves as ‘followers of Jesus’.

Mobilising a movement:

To see a church in every district and one believer among ten Belgians is beyond the ability of OM, or any other mission. We need to see the Belgian indigenous church and the rapidly growing immigrant church take up the challenge of bringing in the Belgian harvest.

Pray with us for:

Wide sowing: campaigns and outreaches with existing churches, new church plants and in unchurched areas to bring good news to secular Belgians
Gathering: new church plants in Steenokkerzeel and Wavre, with plans for Erps-Kwerps, Leuven (Chinese) and Louvain-la-Neuve.
Mobilising: engaging churches and individuals in Belgium to send out and go out as ‘labourers in the harvest’

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