The End….Of the Beginning

Last night, Brenda and I headed to Logan airport. We parked in the parking garage so I could help her in with her bags.

She didn’t take much considering she is going to be gone for months. Still it was more than she could carry to the gate on her own.

Airports always remind me that there is a big wide world beyond the Vicarage’s front porch.

When I began “Notes…” I kind of thought that this day, of Brenda’s leaving, would be the end of the story. I am beginning to see that while Brenda returning to the Netherlands is an end of sorts, in God’s estimation it is only the end of the beginning. In some ways I think the story that is about to unfold about the denizens of The Vicarage is the story He always meant to be told.

So…On Sept. 1st 2021 Missionary, Brenda Lillie, boarded her plane at Logan to fly to her mission field in Zaandam, The Netherlands. Her brother, Pastor J got back in his car on Level 7MM in the parking gargage, and after doing his on line devotional with his Digging Deeper DLT group, he pushed out into the remnants of Hurricane Ida to make his way home to The Vicarage.

It was a long rainy drive home during which he took one pastoral call about someone whom someone else thought had died, but that turned out to be a Facebook mistake…. another marvel of modern technology gone wrong. Anyway, two bluetooth calls later, the mystery had been solved and not too many people had been panicked.

“I’m home!” J called out as he entered the Vicarage after his rainy drive.

“Are you an axe murderer?” Pastor Amanda called out the customary greeting (another gift of Mom’s sharp wit and the Hallmark Mystery channel combined)

“No! I’m a poisoner!” Pastor J hollered back his customary answer as he thumbed through the mail on the table.

“Where is your sister?” Mom asked.

J realized, sadly, that Mom did not recall that Brenda had left for her new home in The Netherlands and would need to hear the whole story about Brenda’s work and future plans again because to her mind it would be the first time she was hearing it.

It took about an hour and a half to settle Mom into the story and the information, to the point where she was ready to go to bed. Finally the time came for bed and some much needed sleep. Even though so much remained to be done J shuffled off to bed. The rest of the day’s work would have to wait for morning.

As the sun rose on the new day the word of the Lord came into that space that exists between sleep and conscious thought….“I have work for all of you…The day of planning is past…..The day of preparation is gone….I have set you all to your separate labors….prepare for the hard work of harvest.”

Realizing the new day was dawning in more than one way, J got up and set about the work: Dog walking with an additional dog, breakfast and pills and papers for Mom….exercise (time to get rid of this spare tire)….and some early morning writing joined by another household friend who always seemed to show up when the tapping of the computer keys started.

The new day passed. Meetings were had. Conversations were spoken. Decisions were made, and Brenda reached home safely.

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Mirjam,one of Brenda’s chief partners in ministry in The Netherlands picks her up from the airport.
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The new house

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The neighborhood.
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Go Netherlands Pt. 3

This is day 3 of Brenda’s 10 day campaign. Several of you have clicked the link towards making a decision to give. I am praying blessing into you and into Brenda as the Lord leads in your choosing

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.Brenda J. Lillie11h

DAY 3 10 DAYS 20 Partners
Join the team!
1..Every dollar gets me closer to getting back to the Netherlands
2. You’ll be helping create The Bridge Artistic Network’s first official location in the Netherlands! How awesome is that?!



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DAY 2 10 DAYS 20 Partners
Join the team!
1.Anyone can donate and become a partner
2. Every dollar gets me closer to getting back to the Netherlands
3. By Helping me YOU help others…YOU become a part of BEING THE CHANGE THIS WORLD NEEDS

A New Way

Our fellowship has a very structured method for our member missionaries to raise funds. When Brenda came home last April she jumped right into using that method and following the rules to the “T”. While not great rule lovers we Lillies tend to be pretty stringent rule followers in most things.

Sadly the rules which are set up and which work for many of our member missionaries do not work well for all and they didn’t work at all for Brenda. She was actually losing money and driving herself nuts (literally) in the process.

Come October she was emotionally and spiritually exhausted and everyone who knew her understood that she could not go on with the process as it stood. Brenda’s leadership gave her three months sabbatical. Brenda used that time to pray and recuperate.

During that time God gave her an idea for a new play called “My Hiding Place.” The play is about a real life Christian heroine of the twentieth century, Corrie TenBoom. Brenda got permission from the TenBoom museum to write and perform the piece and began setting up shows for her return to ministry.

The show has made all the difference. It has activated Brenda’s creative bent and hitched it to the fundraising need. Bookings have begun to come in and the show is a roaring success. I have seen it three times now and each time I am moved to tears. Further the anointing is on this thing. 14 people have received Christ since the beginning of the year and Brenda has prayed with a host of people who profess Christianity but continue to walk in bitterness and unforgiveness.

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Here is Brenda’s booking schedule. She is currently looking at breaking out of New England she is currently working on a tour of some Southern States and Pennsylvania. Anyone interested?

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My Hiding Place

When last we spoke, one of the things I told you was that Brenda was put on sabbatical after her conferences in August. Her leadership told her she needed to take off through the end of October. I was relieved because she was emotionally and spiritually exhausted (and anyone who has ever done the work of full time ministry knows how difficult spiritual exhaustion can be).

During her time away from the itineration trail Brenda sought spiritual guidance and spent a lot of time praying. The Lord led her during that time to write a one woman show based on the life of Corrie TenBoom one of the 20th century’s great heroes of the faith. Corrie Tenboom’s name rises to the level of Graham, Bon Hoeffer, Elliot and Mother Theresa.

That show is almost ready to go up. The first production will be on January 10th. I have sat through two workshops of the play and a few rehersals. It is gripping.

As Brenda once again hits the itineration trail she is offering the show as an outreach to churches and civic groups. Here is a snippet she did for our church during the month of November. She was out of costume but worked it into a presentation she gave to our church. The full production is being hosted at Cornerstone in April.

Brenda is travelling across Southern New England with the show and is also looking at a tour in Michigan. She is wiling to tour your area as well and will come for the cost of travel and a love offering. If you would like to book her contact me in the comments section below.