Where do I start……..
It’s been a while since I’ve written a newsletter, so it’s about time to get back into writing. It was a madhouse last year, so much has happened in so many areas! In my personal life, in my work and in the lives of many women! First I will start with March 2022. For a whole week I was locked up in a house in Kabwe with 5 other beautiful women to work on a training, a specific training for women. Within Operation Mobilsation, a lot of attention is paid to the VCJFs. These are letter Vibrant community of Jesus Followers. This means ‘living community of followers of Jesus. The focus of this is usually on men and women and it is often widely practiced. Since we as a team had a long-time dream to pay more specific attention to women within this general principle, we felt that God was now saying; Get started with it. It was a long cherished dream for me and my team leader, but we never really got it off the ground, until now! A prayer answered!
It was a really cool week of brainstorming and diving into God’s Word about how we were going to shape this. Result; a thick book of minutes! Many subjects have been discussed, but above all, of course, how we can help women from God’s Word. We do this through a DBS, a ‘Discovery Bible Study’. The advantage here is that you don’t have to be an educated theologian to discover the Bible. It’s very simple. Based on what a specific Bible passage shows us about God, Jesus, women, sin and, for example a promise, we teach women that they have a vital role in making disciples in their own community. That they may discover what Jesus has given them in terms of gifts and talents and that they may discover that they are of value! And that they learn to discover their skills and develop them further.
Women’s Empowerment Africa.
I can’t resist letting you share our beautiful new logo. The image radiates so much power. When I look at it myself, it seems as if the country of Africa is looking down and the beautiful woman is looking to the future with her head held high and elegant! This is what our job is! Giving women hope and a future again! It really makes me happy inside!
Pilot training in Kabwe.
In July 2022 we were allowed to hold a trial training (pilot) with a group of women from all over Zambia. The women who were there all have a responsible role within OM and the idea is that they put into practice everything they have learned in the training and train other women in their own environment. A very diverse group and all from different areas of Zambia!
During the training, the emphasis is on different parts, I have already briefly explained DBS. Another very important part is the identity of the women. That they know their identity in Christ. Topics that are very important; Love, worth as a woman, role of a woman and much more. It was very special to discover that the women could also work on themselves during the training. Many have been through a lot; abuse as a child, physical and sexual, violence, humiliation, rape and what not. Sometimes it cuts right through my heart the stories I hear. What a pain. How beautiful it is to see that they can receive healing during the training and experience freedom from a burden that they have carried with them all their lives!! It’s so amazing to see what can be done through encouragement and prayer, God is really at work. Women gain self-respect, self-esteem and experience that they are loved! They go home changed and encouraged! How beautiful is that! The amount of work we are/have been doing behind the scenes is really paying off! SO cool and I can only thank God for that! All this is possible through Him alone!
Training for the African countries.
We are now working on offering this training in other countries or should I say that we are already being approached by OM in other countries, they have all heard what the effects of our training are and would like us to come and train the women. During our training courses we also want to train trainers so that even more use can be made of all the teaching materials we develop. There will be a training book with all kinds of lesson plans and examples.
Educate Local women.
Something that we strongly point out in our training is that local women are the ones to go into the villages and do their work there, familiarize women with God’s Word and with skills. In Zambia I am called ‘Musungu’, which means; white person. It is very common that when I visit the local villages people think that I am a white person with a bag of money. Sometimes that is very annoying, but also very understandable. I am always very clear that this is not the case. How does the Bible say very nicely?
“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
I certainly help, where I can I also help with my financial support, so indirectly you also help many others! But I don’t do it visibly and that works best. The point is that we have to stimulate the mindset of the people of Africa to think for themselves in order to help them move forward in life.
Through this training and my experience while I have been here in this country, I have discovered that my strength lies in educating, encouraging and coaching other women so that they can take up the work locally. So much more can be done that way than if I personally go out into the communities. And it’s so cool to teach women that they have a big task in God’s Kingdom! I continue to visit the local communities, but only occasionally to visit the leaders and see how things are going. I am part of the ministry of Ndola though every week which is a blessing. And I am busy to start up a new section also in Ndola, but about that more in my next newsletter/
We still have the online meetings. We have a weekly team meeting with our own team and a monthly meeting as ‘Women of Impact’. The latter is an online meeting with women from all over Africa. We then have a speaker (different women) and we break up online as groups to continue talking about a topic. Very encouraging. In addition, I coach a number of women online from the VCJF training courses and from other groups within OM Zambia.
It has been a very busy year, I already wrote in March about the fact that it takes a lot of getting used to being married and a mother right away, but I must say that it is going very well! Fortunately, I can often do certain activities in the evening when our youngest is in bed. (On time 😉) For example regarding the training or preparatory work for the skills and the meetings in the communities. Mobuley is also very busy with his work at the base and at home. You can read his newsletter by clicking the button below. In addition, we are setting up a number of things to be able to generate some income for our family because my support is not sufficient for the whole family and the missionary work. An example of this is keeping chickens, yes, explosion chickens. (That’s how we call them in the Netherlands) In this we do not follow the normal chemical route and therefore our chickens were very tasty and were in great demand in our area. Unfortunately, we do not have the space to set this up on a large scale. We hope to be able to do this in the long term when we have our own place. A lot of chicken is eaten in Zambia, so it’s really worth it. We were also able to buy a piece of land next to a piece that was given to us and the size is now 5400 m2. Seems big, but for Zambian standards it is a small ‘plot’, but enough for us to start doing something.
In September-October 2022 we were allowed to be in the Netherlands for 7 weeks. For Mobuley it was the first time he came to the Netherlands and he was amazed. When we came from Schiphol, the first thing he said was that he did not see any black smoking exhausts from cars, because this is normal each day and on every road in Zambia. We also didn’t encounter holes in the road and the road network looks perfect in the Netherlands. In the supermarket we didn’t know what to buy first and last. He will tell you more about it himself in his newsletter.
Second wedding day
In the second week of our stay, we were allowed to experience a second wedding day on September 17th, 2022 with family and friends from the Netherlands. It was very important for us to organize this because on our wedding day in Zambia on December 18th, 2021 none of our Dutch family and friends could be there. We made it to be a complete day! Photo shoot in and around the beautiful village Ee where I grew up and have lived for a long time, a special church service and a reception. With wedding dress and all that was part of it! It was so special! And how beautiful is it to be able to wear a wedding dress for the second time!
“But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love“
Rev. Paul van der Meulen from Apeldoorn has given us a very special church service. Focused on our being together, but above all on God’s work, which we both love to do and which we really experience as our calling! He also gave us a very special text, Psalm 33:18. In Zambia, no wedding text is given with a marriage, so this was something we really wanted in the Netherlands because there it is very common to do this. This 2nd wedding day was also very important to us because we knew we couldn’t meet everyone and this way we got to see a lot of people and they all got to meet Mobuley. It has made my marriage to be more ‘real’ for the people around me. Being physically present and being able to see us like this has done everyone much good and we are very grateful to God for that! It’s amazing how everything has been made possible for us, here and in Zambia! God’s lovingkindness is visible to us in so many ways!
Declutter / cleaning up stuff
In 2019 I was already very busy cleaning up stuff, but there was still a lot that was in storage, after all I would only be gone for 2 years……..well, that’s what I thought. Now I had to go through everything, see what we wanted to take with us, what could be given away, what could be recycled in the second hand shop and what could be thrown away. It was a lot of work I can say and of course also emotional…..but unavoidable. It’s a lifetime you go through, I can tell you that…..
We were also able to do some fun things, discover Friesland, especially the area where I grew up and lived. Now Mobuley has an idea about the stories I share with him. Family and friends have also invited us on a journey of discovery or just to get to know Mobuley. In addition, we were able to visit a few people, but it was very difficult to plan and we did not manage to meet everyone who is very dear to me, which I regret very much. Who knows in a few years! And of course everyone is welcome to visit us in Zambia!
Will you pray with us?
- Thanks for an incredibly beautiful 2nd wedding anniversary!
- Thanks that so many people came to that day
- Thanks for the personal gifts we received on that day!
- Thanks for the situation at home, that we can form a family!
- Thanks for our work, my work
- Thanks for fulfilling a dream of mine with the new training
- Thanks for the change in women over the past year.
- Thank God for helping us in everything
- Pray that my work may continue to give fruits
- Pray that every woman we come into contact with will feel empowered and changed
- Pray for many trainings to be given
- Pray for the finances to come in for those trainings
- Pray that God will provide for our family needs!
- Pray that we may become self-sufficient and invest wisely.
- Pray for Mobuley his work.
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What’s my story again?
Through the mission organization Operation Mobilization I am working in Zambia and Africa to give the women Hope and Recovery through lessons in sewing, pattern drawing and Bible study. In addition, I will also coach them and provide pastoral assistance. My salary consists entirely of financial donations. In this newsletter I share with you what happens in my work and life.
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