A colourful and varied ministry, particularly with kids, seamen and prisoners, is the distinguishing mark of our work in Belgium led by an extremely creative couple.
Population: 10 Million – Official languages: Flemish, French and German, with English widely spoken, especially among the Flemish and those working in the international institutions (EU and NATO) – Capital: Brussels – Evangelicals: 0.4%
Hosting the European Union capital, Brussels and other important international organisations, such as NATO, Belgium is more than just physically at the centre of western Europe. Its position means that for many centuries it has seen foreign armies fighting over its soil and it self split between two principal lingüistic and cultural regions.
During the Reformation, the port of Antwerp was a city of significance, but after the war between Spain and the Dutch – in the 16th century- it was held by the Spaniards and what is now Belgium became Roman Catholic. 600 congregations were destroyed by the work of the Spanish Inquisition
OACI in Belgium
Ben and Marian Van den Akker, from the Netherlands, studied at the Belgian Bible Institute in the late 1970s and it was here that they came in contact with the British ministry of OAC. After a further period of training, the Belgian branch started up in 1982.
Ministry is multi-coloured and multi-cultural. It includes summer camping missions and children’s clubs, city outreaches, prison and ship visiting and a help line for kids. It largely takes place in the Flemish speaking provinces and Brussels.
The van den Akkers have three children and have lived since 1982 in Mechelen, strategically placed in the centre of the country between Brussels and Antwerp.
A great selection of ministry photos can currently be seen on the Flemish language pages of our old web site.
The Kids’ show has its own website.