We have arrived! After an almost 8 hour flight we have landed in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday 10th in the evening. During travel we enjoyed the good food and the views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert. It was quite an experience!
After arrival we have stayed at AIM’s guesthouse in Nairobi for three days. That way we could rest awhile after the busy months we have had and be better prepared for the the conference we are now attending. A video about our journey from Schiphol to Nairobi you can find on our multimedia page.
On Tuesday 13th October we travelled in over 3 hours to the conference location. We saw men in business suits and just around corner one of the many slums of Nairobi, where houses are only for the rich. Halfway we passed by Rift Valley. Close to Nakuru we were treated to grazing antelopes and zebra. A video of the sights we saw can be found here.
Sofar we are very thankful for the preparation to missionary life in Africa we receive. The first week we have learned much about African culture, values and worldview. The tutor is an African who has studied in England and thus understands both Western and African culture. We also benefit from the contact with the other attending missionaries – some unexperienced, some with many years of service behind them.
In the the week to come we will dig deeper into African worldview and we will discuss safety and health. The third week will be about transformational development and world religions. Activities will include visiting local churches, a mosque and a visit to a Kenyan family. It is an interesting but worthwhile programme.
From 13 till 16 April we took in an Orientation for new members of Africa Inland Mission (AIM). We have been encouraged by meeting with several christians from other countries with the same goal and purpose in mind: seeing Christ-centered churches among all African peoples.
Many practical issues have been discussed: health, safety, communication, dealing with transition and cultural differences. We are more aware than ever of the risks and likeliness of suffering, but ever the more motivated to go. The children enjoyed a parallel programme.
We had the chance to speak with the Personnel Director about the possibility of being placed in a team on Madagascar. It has become clear that the team and unit leaders were worried they would not be able to suit the educational needs of our children. We have responded this need not be a problem, since we are prepared and willing to home educate our children. We hope the team leaders will soon find the time to see and pray whether we would fit on the team.
To be continued…
We have a lot of contact with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) Europe‘s Personnel Director this month. He is looking for suitable assignments options for us.
Sofar we have discussed and thought through eigth different possibilities in four different countries in AIM’s Southern Region: Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Namibia.
Two Projects have drawn our special attention, since it involves working with unreached people groups who are animists. This means they have a strong, life controling belief in spirits who have the power to make them prosper or wither. Ancestral worship is practised and witch doctors are very influential. People live in constant fear.
We would very much like to serve a people with no effective christian witness. Both assignments give us that opportunity. One of the options however no longer exists since the vacancy has already been filled. One options remains, on Madagascar. This seems to be the place for us. In the weeks to come we will examine this further. We much appreciate your prayers on the matter.
We recently received word from Africa Inland Mission‘s office in Nottingham that a Europe Based Orientation has been planned in April. The orientation entails information about AIM for new members and information about the designated location of service in Africa. The orientation will be held in Kidderminster, close to our friends in Bridgnorth.
At the moment we are reading, thinking and praying through various options for service. Please pray for wisdom for all those involved in the decision making process, including ourselves, staff of AIM and the church leadership team.
We hope to be in England for about two weeks around Easter. It would be nice to see many of you when we are there and encourage each other.
On the 8th of this month we went to Nottingham for our final interview with AIM (Africa Inland Mission) regarding our application for membership. We had our interview with the Director of Personnel, his colleague and the Director of AIM Europe. The interview lasted for over 4 hours and we were able to discuss many things, including further steps.
The outcome of the interview is that the interview panel were unanimous in their decision that the Lord has prepared and called us for ministry with AIM to work among Africa’s peoples. The next step is that AIM Europe will prayerfully consider appropriate assignment options for us. We hope to hear back from them soon.
Now that the interview is over, we stay on in England for a while to enjoy some holiday time and to catch up with friends and with people in church. We are enjoying our time in England and the lovely countryside. We hope to go back to Holland with new energy to further prepare ourselves for serving the Lord in Africa.
Today we received the news that we can have our final interview with Africa Inland Mission (AIM) at the beginning of October. After this interview we will hear whether we can join AIM. The interview will be held in Nottingham, AIM Europe’s headquarters.
We ask you to pray that the interview will be fruitful. The interview will be held in front of a panel, normally consisting of the Director, the Personnel Director and his Associate, and a member of the Board of Trustees. The interview will take 2 – 3 hours at least and we are expected to give a presentation on the topic, “The needs and opportunities in Africa, and how we believe God has prepared and equipped us to respond”.
It has almost been a year since we left England. We are glad to come back for the interview, and – at least as important – to meet and greet friends and visit our church in England, the Bridgnorth Baptist Church.
We are very glad to let you know that the necessary interviews in the Netherlands, concerning our application for membership of Africa Inland Mission (AIM), have been completed. We have had several conversations with the board of AIM Netherlands and the church leaders of our church in Holland.
The outcome of the various meetings is that our Dutch church is willing to support us in our mission, and is positive about our choice for mission organisation AIM.
The above means we can now take the last step towards membership of AIM: an oral examination at AIM’s headquarters in Nottingham. After approval of the European board we hope to attain membership. We seek to have this interview soon: this or next month.
We are glad to let you know some progress has been made in our application with Africa Inland Mission (AIM).
In May we have been assessed psychologically to ascertain our suitability as missionaries. We received the rapport a week ago. We are positive about the results and feel encouraged.
The pychologist’s rapport is a useful tool for the mission organisation to get a better picture of who we are and where we are best to serve. The findings of the psychologist also include some tools and tips to help us in our preparations and on the field.
The next step is an interview with representatives of AIM Netherlands and of the leadership team of our church in Holland. It is important to check that we all agree on important points – i.e. what are the roles of the missionaries, church and mission organisation? Lastly there is a final interview in England, after which we can become members of AIM.
It is almost half a year since we left England to return temporarily to the Netherlands. We had hoped to be sent to the mission field this spring, but we have learned this is not so. If we become members of Africa Inland Mission (AIM) and serve on one of their teams, we expect to go to Africa no sooner than in 2014. We have changed our mindset and accepted that we are in Holland for a longer time than anticipated.
A longer stay means we are in need of a long term house. It was very difficult to find a house, but the Lord has provided. Next month we hope to move to the center of Den Helder, the northwest tip of the Netherlands. Jurgen and Issa have already started to build a closet and two desks for the new house.
The past few months have not been easy. There was much uncertainty as to when we would be able to go to Africa, whether we would be allowed to continue home education, and with respect to our new house. We are thankful that these things have all worked out, but we would very much appreciate your prayers for peace in our family. Although we see ourselves grow in the capability of adapting to changing circumstances, it can still feel like tidal waves are coming over us sometimes. That is not a nice feeeling. We won’t give up, but please don’t give up on praying for us either!
We have been living in Den Helder for one and a half month now and have found our way back to the church, supermarket, swimming pool and library. We enjoy being close to family and Dutch friends.
Much has happened over the last one and a half year, so it is time to meet up with some people. Last week we gathered with some friends who are willing to help us in our missionary task, whilst staying in the Netherlands themselves.
Coming monday we will see the elders of our church, and later this month we hope to have a second interview with Dutch respresentatives of Africa Inland Mission (AIM). After this interview and a psychological test it will be decided whether we can join AIM as members. Then we will enter the next fase: orientation on the possibilities on the field.