On leave to the Netherlands ……… and becoming a long-term missionary ……………
It’s time! Slightly ahead of schedule, but I want to make good use of my planning. My first term of 2 years ends at the end of July this year, but now is a good time to go on leave to the Netherlands. I hope to be able to leave next Friday, March 12th !!! Fun but also very exciting at the same time! It takes a lot of effort, because as you understand Corona is still not out of the world and will remain so for a while. I will have to travel with a negative Covid test, do a rapid test at the airport back home and then in quarantine for 10 days. I will be able to do another test on the 5th day and if it is negative, I am FREE!
Well, free ………My freedom of movement will be a lot less in the Netherlands than it is in Zambia. Life really goes on here in Zambia. Wearing face masks, washing/disinfecting hands and keeping 1 meter distance, these are about the only rules we have here. About 6000 tests per day are being conducted where 10% of them are found positive. Yet there are more cases of Corona, but many people do not go and get tested and the test capacity here is also different than in the Netherlands. Zambia is trying hard though to do their best in this pandemic.
Reversed culture shock
I hope to stay at least 2.5 months, but this can also be longer or shorter. That depends on the course of Corona and also on my work. Going home means thinking that the situation at home is completely different or can feel completely different. I am of course used to everything that happens within the OM missionary organization here in Zambia and I am pretty much used to the country of Zambia. A country other than the Netherlands, or my province Friesland. Just as there is a culture shock when you arrive in Africa, there will also be a culture shock when I return to the Netherlands. So the other way around!
Working in a mission field is different from what I was used to in the Netherlands. It means living and working with other motivated Christians. Living in a community where the emphasis is on prayer, Evangelism, Bible studies, quiet time, morning devotions, the conversations, working with the vulnerable and a fairly intensive team life.
Also the church in my hometown is no longer the same. Certainly during Corona, no meetings, people have sadly died, hopefully new people have joined the church. My home village has changed. People have moved, new people have joined. Conversations revolve around other things than I am used to. Suddenly I will be in a 1st world country where everything is arranged and well organized. It makes me sad every time I think about it. There is simply not much here, people live in a survival mode. Day by day.
No Holiday but work during leave!
Probably you will think, wow, at least 2.5 months, what a long holiday! Well, I can tell there is work to be done too! It is NOT A HOLIDAY. I am so grateful for all the support I have received so far, which results in the fact that I hope to meet some supporters and I would also like to personally approach churches who support or have support me financially, as far as Corona allows. I can’t do any work without all my financial supporters! I cannot do my job without anyone who reads my newsletter and contributes in whatever way. It is the support through finances, through prayer, through an uplifting word or message, through mail, parcels that I am very grateful for! All support is important! My job is not to make a name for myself, but everything I do is to the glory of God!
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58
I’ve had enough challenges with regard to my health for somewhat a year now, but it looks like things are heading in the right direction! It was a bit worrying a while ago because I got symptoms of the flu and my beloved other half had tested positive for Corona. I took a test twice and it was negative both times. Quite remarkable! Fortunately, and I thank God for this! Let’s hope and pray that I get fewer (health) challenges in the coming year!
Most of you will be curious about the course of my relationship. Well, we are still on the way! It is best to take it easy on the road we are on. Especially in my case because I have been alone for years and it is quite a change I must say. We trust that God will walk with us. #Faith #Hope #Love
My first two-year term at OM ends at the end of July this year, but it turns out that I am far from finished with my work here in Zambia. I also use my leave in the Netherlands to pray and to think about the next step, the next challenge. I have been asked from various parts of Zambia to help set up something for women. My expertise is appreciated and I hope to get more clarity about where I can serve God in Zambia in addition to my work for the Africa region. I have terminated the rental contract of my current house. A big step, but I can temporarily save those costs when I am in the Netherlands and when I return to Zambia I can first temporarily live with a friend and take it from there. Will you pray with me?
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Will you pray with me?
- Thank for my stay in Zambia so far and all that has been given to me.
- Thank for all the support that makes my work possible!
- Thank for my work * Thank for my health
- Thank that I will probably have a car at my disposal during my leave!
- Pray that my trip to the Netherlands may go well and smoothly
- Pray that I can do my work in the Netherlands well within all restrictions
- Pray that I may be provided with support again in the future
- Pray for my relationship and my adaptability after having been alone for years.
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What’s my story again?
Through the mission organization Operation Mobilization I will go and work 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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