Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Update Part 3

AMG partners from around the globe who also are partners of WD
At the beginning of April I had to be in Nicaragua for a week of meetings with Woord en Daad Holland. The meetings went quite well and we spent much of our time discussing the next 5 year policy period. This week of meetings was followed by a week of meetings in Holland in June together with all the WD partners worldwide. I enjoyed the conference and had to the opportunity to contribute to the next 5 year policy period. Brian Dennett the director of AMG Guatemala also attended the meetings as did Tasos Ioannides president of AMG International. We were also able to speak with partners that are under the umbrella of AMG but who also partner with WD Holland. There was a weekend in between the 6 days of meetings and we had the chance to see some parts of Holland. We went out for a day and visited a life sized replica of Noah's ark. This was very interesting. This was followed by a trip to Kinderdijk which is famous for the windmills. As we toured the area and the windmills I happened to run into a member of our church in Chilliwack (Martin van Ruitenburg). The world is a small place. Some of us also took a train and spent a day in Antwerp, Belgium. It was only a 2 hour train ride and it was well worth it. We spent the day walking around the city checking out the historic buildings. It was a neat experience. After the conference ended I stayed in Holland for an extra 4 days to meet with sponsors and visit with family and friends. I visited a school that will be sponsoring a school building project in Guatemala next year and was able to connect with some of the staff and students there. I also had a sponsor evening with close to 200 people who sponsor children in Guatemala. I did my presentation in Dutch and it went quite well considering the fact that my Dutch is a little rusty. The evening was quite special as many of those who attended knew Lia's dad. I had a little old lady who knew Lia's dad come up to me at the end with tears in her eyes encouraging me to continue working in the service of the Lord. It was very moving and I must say that my eyes were watering as well. Before she left she slipped a little bit of money in my hand and told me to take Lia out for dinner with that. This is only the second time in my 15 years as missionary that this has happened and both times it was from elderly people who gave a small amount of money with the specific purpose to take Lia out for dinner. That is very special. 
The Everts (the Dutch family who we worked with in Cubulco for 6 years) attended the evening as well and took me to their house. I spent part of the next day with them at their home and biking around the city they live in. It was nice seeing them and I appreciate the interest they have in the work in Guatemala. My brother picked my up afterwards and I spent a few short days with him and his family. The day before I left I was interviewed by a gentleman from the RD (Reformatorisch Dagblad). I spoke with him about many things, especially my father in law which is why I think he interviewed me in the first place, but also spoke of some of the difficulties of mission work. His article focused on that part of our conversation. He sent me the article to revise but since I was traveling I did not have a chance to do it. By the time I got back to Guatemala it was too late as the article had already been published. As a result there are some things in the article that are not accurate.
WD Holland Sponsor evening
I would have loved to have stayed longer in Holland as I enjoy going there, but being away for an extended period of time from family is difficult for them and for me. My return flights were cancelled, but I was put on a different flight back to Guatemala. It ended up being a good thing since I left later from Amsterdam and arrived earlier in Guatemala City than my other flight. Instead of having a 7 hour lay over I only had a comfortable 3 hour lay over. The return flight was much easier on the body than the flight to Europe since I flew all day and arrived in the evening. It was great seeing Lia and the kids again.

Brian Dennett, Tasos Ioannidis, and Myself




Van Lodenstein College in Amersfoort that is donating money next year for a school in Guatemala

One of the old gates in Kampen

Downtown Kampen