"WE WISH TO REMAIN AS WE ARE"
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, situated in the heart of northern Europe, is nestled between Germany to the east, France to the south, and Belgium to the west. Boasting one of the highest standards of living in the world (even in this time of economic turmoil), Luxembourg has become the home of many European Union institutions and a growing center for international finance. It hopes to become fertile ground for information and communication technology (ICT) start-ups–a kind of European “Silicon Valley”.
Defying its own mantra of wishing to remain unchanged, Luxembourg has the highest proportion of international residents and workers in the EU. The population of 537,000 (2013) includes residents from all of the EU member states and over 140 other countries. Some 44.5% of the total population is non-Luxembourgish. That's why you can touch almost every nation on earth in this tiny spot.
Although official census statistics on religious affiliation were discontinued after the 1980 census, the nation remains primarily Roman Catholic, at least in name. Many young people who have grown up in traditional Catholicism now claim to be either atheistic or agnostic. The welcome of Bosnian and Albanian refugees after the Balkan war in the 1990s has given the country a slowly growing Muslim population (8,000+ in 2014). Interest in eastern religions and sects is growing, although these have a lower profile than in the more prominent neighboring countries.
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH
Christian Community Church, launched in 1975 by BMW workers, seeks to serve both the international and local Luxembourgish population by establishing Bible-teaching churches for as many language groups as possible. Having arrived in Luxembourg in 1976 for French-speaking ministry, Tim and Kathy Heijermans have served CCC since 1986 to develop leadership within this international church, which today comprises 25-30 nationalities. Given the regular turnover of a portion of church families due to job transfers, many other churches around the world benefit from this training as people come to know Christ, are discipled, and then move on to other parts of the globe. The church has ministries in English, Luxembourgish, Tagalog and Spanish. Luxembourgish members are concentrating on reaching out to Luxembourg's nationals through evangelism and the preparation of a translation of the Bible into Luxembourgish in cooperation with Bibles International.
Beginning in 2013 Joël and Nathalie Meyer and their four sons began to serve at CCC as Associate Pastor. They will gradually take on the Heijermanses’ ministries going forward. Tim and Kathy will work with CCC to multiply ministries in the coming decades, Lord willing.
FULL-TIME WORKERS AND TENT-MAKERS
Other workers with a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, formal theological training, clear language-learning ability, good people skills and basic ministry experience are needed to assist CCC in the development of branch works in Beval—a rapidly developing new university city in the south—and Nordstad—the joining of two northern cities certain to experience significant growth as the north of the country opens to new residents. We do not seek to develop a campus-based ministry at the university, but intend to establish a presence there which can funnel students into CCC.
Given the increasing difficulty of securing residence permits for US citizens who are full-time religious workers, tent-makers or university students doing masters or doctoral studies at the University of Luxembourg may find it easier to gain entrance.
Opportunities for summer ministries in July are available to applicants accepted by both CCC and BMW. Since 1996, dynamic youth camps sponsored by CCC have been an excellent forum for Bible college and seminary students desiring exposure to ministries in Europe. (Opportunities in Luxembourg (PDF))
Luxembourg is also one of the hubs for BMW’s EURéquipe program. Flexible internship programs under EURéquipe are available to qualified single men who have completed formal theological training and who wish to enter full-time ministry in Europe. Applicants must be in full doctrinal agreement with BMW. Although North American interns will not be able to remain beyond three months as tourists, European citizens may extend their internship to nine months, providing that they can secure lodging.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Tim Heijermans at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and an application form. Or contact Dale Fries, BMW's Area Director for Europe. Check out the church's site at www.christian-community-church.net.