“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them”
Corona times. The world is now trying to function within this new paradigm. Everyone is looking for their way; some of them for His Way. We also looked for new ways to use our time differently because the planned presentations and church visits could not go ahead. However, we wanted to make use of our time efficiently.
We did this, among other things, by reading books about missions and Thailand and we even occasionally took a sneak peek at the preparatory literature list for September. A video interview was also on the agenda. If you feel like challenging yourself and practicing your Dutch, follow this link.
Since we’re moving to England in September to start Bible school, we are thoroughly cleaning our house. A lot of our stuff has to go, which means that everything passes through our hands. This is how we came to browse through the book we received from father Roobol during our marriage sermon.
The Bible text above was our marriage text. What an encouragement to reread that God makes our path and that we only need to follow/obey. The title of the sermon was “There is joy in joining”.
This time also feels like a period of connection for us. God is adding people to our Home Support Team and prayer group. God binds people for His work to achieve His purpose. It is nice to see that He calls people for this, and that they only must walk. You can read more about this later in the newsletter.
Did you know that Thailand had the first confirmed COVID-19 case outside of China? Even though many tourists travel back and forth between China and Thailand, they were able to control the virus by acting very quickly (setting quarantine and curfew). Thailand has managed to flatten the curve with only 3,000 infections and “only” 58 deaths.
Recently, both from the press and from missionary friends in Thailand, we have learned that life is restarting. There too, video Bible studies, pastoral sessions, introductory meetings, etc. can make way for face-to-face encounters. The country is reopening, but during this period many people learned to be more creative. Very nice to see that the ministry could often continue, mostly in an alternative way. And this will have to continue for a long time. Would you please pray for the missionaries there? For the Thai churches and local Christians? That they may have the courage to continue going out and that they have the means to be able to continue to offer practical help.
Because of course the virus also has major economic consequences in Thailand. We do not need to explain to you that there is no social security structure as we are used to. No work means no food. It is good to see that many volunteers also worked there to assist people and that the missionaries can be of service to them.
Want to read more?
If you follow this link you can find more information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand
How can you help?
Home Front Team
Our home front team is as good as complete! Wicher Geertsema is chairman, Ilse van Eijk takes care of the Creative Design. In this newsletter Gerben, Marlies and Rebekka would like to introduce themselves to you:
We are Gerben and Marlies van Dam. We are the proud parents of Sophie, Sarah and Julian. We live in Zaandijk (NL).
We have known Jesse and Katrien for a long time. We know Jesse from korfball at ZKC. Korfball (Dutch: korfbal) is a ball sport, with similarities to netball and basketball. It is played by two teams of eight players with four female players and four male players in each team. The objective is to throw a ball into a netless basket that is mounted on a 3.5 m (11.5 feet) high pole. The sport was invented by Dutch schoolteacher in 1902. In the Netherlands, there are approximately 500 clubs and more than 90,000 people playing korfball. The sport is also played in Belgium and Taiwan, and in nearly 70 other countries.
Gerben and Jesse also went to high school together and have been good friends ever since. We have known Katrien since Jesse and Katrien have been together and from that moment on we have become very good friends. Jesse and Gerben were also best man at each other’s weddings.
Marlies works in the mentally handicapped care, where she coordinates sports and exercise for clients. Gerben works as an internal auditor within the municipality of Amsterdam.
Gerben will take on the role of Treasurer within the HST and Marlies will help with practical things and prepare leave . We love that we can be part of the HSC as a couple. We are happy to help Jesse and Katrien to realize the work they want to do in Thailand.
Gerben and Marlies
I am Rebekka Bouwknegt, married for almost 10 years to Wouter and mother of three beautiful sons, Levi (7), Micha (5) and David (almost 3).
I work as a school social worker at the Trias VMBO in Krommenie and at the Saenredam College in Zaandijk. We live with our family in a nice place in Oostzaan. At church, VEG Zaandam, I am, amongst other things, the leader of the crèche, part of the Alpha course team , and I provide the speaker list for church together with Wouter. I also participate in the prayer team.
For years I have written the “prayer calendar” for the congregation. For each day 1 prayer request or praise for something/someone in the congregation.
Prayer has my heart. This started early in my life and remains the first thing I long for. In my life I have also had the desire to go to Asia to tell people there about Jesus. I met a woman in my teens who worked as a missionary in China and spoke passionately about it during a church service. In response to this testimony, I promised in prayer to God to one day go to China to speak about the Lord Jesus.
When I studied in Ede, I tried to do a short-term mission trip to China with …… yes… OMF. Unfortunately, I was rejected due to my health. My energy level was not considered enough to travel. But they then said to me, who knows what options there are if you got married later. Maybe then you can go.
I have tried to fulfill the promise I made to God. The doors closed at that time. Now I am arried, and a window opens. Not in the way I had devised myself, but because Jesse and Katrien want to go to southern Thailand with OMF. Naturally, I was getting restless. What could I do? Do I have a place to fill God’s plan with the work they want to do? I was very touched by the words Ando Gerworgjan spoke in our congregation.
“You are meant to be in a certain place. God points you to that place, but if you don’t go, He will look for someone else, because He will continue with His plan. God has a purpose for your life. Not for yourself, but to His honor.”
In the period before Easter, I held a fasting period and asked God in prayer if he would tell me if I may serve in the ministry of Jesse and Katrien. In answer to that question, I read in the Bible:
“I have made you a light of the Gentiles, that you may be salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth. When the Gentiles heard this, they rejoiced and glorified the word of the Lord; and all who were destined for everlasting life believed; and the word of the Lord spread throughout the land.” – Acts 13: 47-49
For me, this was the answer that I can indeed go on the same mission, the same mission as Jesse and Katrien, but in the Netherlands. As a prayer coordinator, I would like to be around them praying, along with brothers and sisters. Would you also like to be among the people who intercede for Jesse and Katrien and regularly receive updates for new prayer requests?
Please talk to Jesse and Katrien.
Our prayer team is also growing steadily! Meanwhile, 21 people have registered (we aim for 30). Please ask God if this is a task, He has prepared for you.
We thank the Lord …
- for His timing; for knowing that He has everything in His hand and that we can put it there.
- for the good health of our family.
- for Katrien’s graduation as an Occupational Social Worker.
We ask for prayer …
- for an open border and an open school in September; for a smooth move.
- for the Home Support Team: that they can really grow into a close-knit team and that they may receive strength and wisdom for their task.
- for a good childminder for the children for our time in All Nations.
During this period (of preparation) for the Bible School and for the work in Thailand, we will be depending completely on financial gifts. We trust that God provides so that the people of southern Thailand can also hear the gospel.
Currently, the funds are covered for 9% for year 1 at All Nations.
You can transfer a single or monthly contribution to the account number of OMF:
NL53 ABNA 0513 3911 18 in name of the OMF Foundation with the reference
“gift to OMF for work of fam. Roobol”.
We would love to send you a family photo on a postcard as a reminder to pray for us. Please
let us know if you would like to receive it.