Stepping into renewed vision: ‘The Cleft’ to open its doors to the city again

The YWAM Amsterdam community has been prayerfully considering about what God has next for Oudezijds Voorburgwal 63, one of our buildings in the middle of the Red Light District.

We are now excited to announce to name the building The Cleft, going back to the original name our community gave it when it was entrusted to us in 1979. As the driving force behind the new ministry, the Evangelism Team will be renamed to The Cleft as well.

The name ‘The Cleft’ carries the vision and heritage of being a blessing to the city and of welcoming those who are marginalised within the city.

The name was originally inspired by the story in Exodus 33 where Moses saw God’s glory passing from a cleft in a rock. In that way, we hope to see God’s glory in the Red Light District where the building is located in.

Elisha Nyandoro from Zimbabwe co-leads the The Cleft and is working hard with the team to prepare the building to open its doors to the city again.

“First and foremost, our goal is to make God known in the city. We want to provide a living room for the city where all kinds of people can retreat and find a spiritual oasis in the midst of the busyness of the city”.

Elisha and the team have been working with the homeless and marginalised on the streets of Amsterdam and are now excited to have a place to welcome their friends inside.

YWAM Amsterdam’s director Reinier Blijleven is excited about the new purpose of the building: “The Cleft was YWAM Amsterdam’s first expression of ministry that focussed on the city and its inhabitants. While the vision remains the same, the ‘how’ might look a bit different in a neighbourhood that has changed and is still changing so much”.

“I’m excited to see a collaboration of ministries, all reaching out into the neighbourhood while opening up a place where people can find belonging, meet Jesus and other people.”

Annemieke Roering from The Netherlands co-leads the The Cleft and is looking forward to work more with the YWAM Amsterdam’s house of prayer, the Tabernacle, to see evangelism be more combined with prayer and intercession.

Renovations are currently in progress, the team projects to start opening up in the coming months. The ministry to the homeless and the ladies behind the windows in the Red Light District will continue as usual during the renovations.