July 16, 1970, Theo Visser was born as the eldest son in a village near Rotterdam. After high school, Theo decided to study economics in Utrecht. There he had a powerful encounter with God; this caused him to switch his study and start studying theology.
After the day he married his Rieneke, the brand new couple went to live in an old farmhouse at Bodegraven. As of 1995, they both worked for Stichting Gave. This is an organization that makes Christians aware of the Biblical calling to show hospitality to foreigners. In this work, Theo got to know many different cultures up close.
It became his desire to see all this diversity reflected in churches, and so starting in 2000, he and his wife were at the inception of ICF Rotterdam. After 5 years it was time to share all the lessons they learned in intercultural church planting with the rest of the Netherlands. Stichting ICP NL (Intercultural Church Plants) network was established in 2005. Having transferred ICF Rotterdam, however, pioneer Theo still wanted to be involved n church planting, so in 2013 a new church plant in Rotterdam came to light: LEEF! (= LIVE!) This is a new way of being a church, where everything is geared towards people making disciples.
Later, Theo also transferred ICP NL, so that he could spread his wings even further. At the moment, Theo is the network leader of ICP Europe, an organization working in many countries in Europe, setting up networks focusing on a movement of disciples through intercultural church planting.
Over the years, Rieneke has specialized in intercultural worship music and she is also, along with Theo, spreading her wings across Europe. You can find more information about this beautiful work at Songs2Serve.
over dit mooie werk vind je bij Songs2Serve.
"Lord, let me live, I am not ready yet to meet you!" Those are Theo's thoughts, his cry for help, when as a 12-year old boy he has a serious car accident. The following years were to him like a quest: what about God and sin and how exactly does grace work? During his student years he has a powerful touch from God when he calls out to Him in his disappointment with life. In a wonderful deliverance, God at the same time places a "burden" on Theo's heart. This heart has been beating ever since for people who have not yet met Jesus and have not been transformed by the power of his Spirit!
When Theo looks with new eyes at the tension between the New Testament and the church, a desire starts growing in his heart to find out how Jesus wants his church to function in this day and age. Through all the mistakes he has made over time, he is increasingly learning how important it is that everyone in the church is involved in the mission and is specifically trained for that. He gradually learns more and more - together with many others - about the dynamics that the church of the future needs.
God has placed a deep desire in Theo’s heart to unite the many cultures living together in the streets of Rotterdam and in many other major cities of Europe, to the glory of his name. Theo spreads this message in many ways and means. In doing so, he is always looking for this one aspect: to bring lost sheep to Jesus.
Theo has deeply experienced what it means to be purified and cleansed through the refiner’s fire. From this brokenness he lives to see Christ power through our weaknesses.