29 August 2012
Our planned departure to Holland is drawing near. It is time to make plans regarding the education of our children.
In England we started to home educate our children. We are very content teaching the children ourselves. Being able to choose what, when and how they learn is a great privilege.
The children have an abundance of subjects to study. They not only learn about the history and culture of Holland and England, but also about world history and cultures around the world. The company we purchase most of our curriculum from, Sonlight, is very mission orientated.
The children also enjoy being taught at home. They like it that they learn a lot in a relative short time, and they appreciate the time spent together as a family.
Furthermore we do not want to put the children through all too many changes in their schooling. In Holland we will be living in several places and do not exactly know when we will go to the mission field. Home education provides us with stability and continuity, which is much desired. We expect to teach the children ourselves on the mission field also, making the transition less impacting when education stays the same.
However, laws and regulations in the Netherlands regarding the education of children are quite different from England’s rules. In Holland children are subject to compulsory school attendance, with only a few exceptions. The only exception that can apply to us is making a formal notice of objection to the orientation of the schools within reasonable distance of the home. A Compulsory Education Officer (CEO) checks whether the exception is lawful. Depending on the CEO and the local municipality home education can be made very hard. If you would like to read more about this, you can visit the website of the Dutch Home Education Association. Your prayers concerning the safeguarding of the home education of our children in Holland is much appreciated.
21 August 2012
There is an important change ahead: after having lived in England for 13 months we will return to Holland. We had not expected to go back so soon, but our financial situation has urged us to go this autumn.
Since Jurgen will continue his studies by distance learning, we no longer need to live in England. Over the last year the euro has dropped considerably, so our money is worth a lot less in pounds. Our housing costs have also increased, which prompted us to think hard about finances. Finally we have come to the conclusion it is no longer wise to stay.
We hope to go back on October 3rd. We will then live in a small holiday cottage that belongs to Katja’s mother. After that we will return to Den Helder, from where we moved here a year ago. Missionary friends have offered us to use their house while they are away on a 5 month mission trip. They hope to return in the spring of 2013, by which time we hope to know when we will step out into mission ourselves.
We look forward to seeing our family and friends in Holland again, but we will certainly miss the many friends we have made here. We count ourselves rich to have been embraced by the people we have met in school, church and in so many other places.
18 July 2012
On 30th June Jurgen was awarded his certificate in ‘Theology and Ministry’ from the Trinity School of Ministry in Rugby. We went to Rugby as a family for a very enjoyable day. Students gave their testimonies about their study experience and there was a meal after the official part of the day.
Sadly, the bible school was not able to offer Jurgen and the other students from his year the diploma level. Government rules and a shortage of students were the main problems. Although this is a regretful circumstance we are in no way sorry that Jurgen has studied at this school over the last year. He, but also we as a family, have been enriched en strengthened in our faith and in our longing to serve the Lord on the missionfield.
The official transcript is still to follow, but we can proudly say Jurgens overall grade is above average.
At the moment we rejoice in the fact that Jurgen has more time for family life and leisure activities, but he hopes to take up studying at diploma level at a different school shortly.
6 June 2012
After our return to England, half April, we have received application forms from Africa Inland Mission (AIM). On the forms we apply for a membership of AIM. After having shared information this is the logical next step when we wish to go into mission with AIM.
After having given the above a lot of thinking, prayer and consultation we have decided to apply for AIM´s membership. So now we have to take the first step to fill in the (rather extensive) application forms.
We have started filling in the forms right away, but Jurgen does not have enough time to do this at the moment. He is at the end of his third trimester of Bible School and the assignments take a lot of effort and engagement. We hope to finish the application forms this month and send them in. Representatives of AIM will contact us to let us know what else is required of us.
April 20th, 2012
We just spent the Easter Holiday in the Netherlands. It was good to meet with family and friends there and to smell the sea again. Apart from taking a break, we have made some progress towards the mission field.
In the Netherlands we have had a first official interview with representatives of AIM (Africa Inland Mission). It was a good and fruitful conversation. We will be sent the application papers for a membership of AIM shortly.
Jurgen has started his last trimester at the Trinity School of Theology. He is studying the modules ‘The Development of Christian Faith in History’ and ‘Introduction to Religious Diversity’. Jurgen is quite thrilled with these modules since they are so relevant to our longing to serve the Lord abroad.