A ten-year journey
It is ten years ago these weeks that we moved to Horsley’s Green in England.
“You start a journey in faith” is what Sjaak van Kleef told us during the WoW (Windows on Wycliffe) course. I wondered: Do I want that? Am I able to do that?
It was scary. We had three little kids, and I could not speak English. I learned many words in my kitchen while feeding the girls and changing diapers every several hours. During, potty-training time, I learned and lived the word available.
We moved to England in 2007. I wanted to be available not only for our children but also for God and the realization of how He would lead us. Jelle worked on the Etnologue, a handbook with a description of the 7,000 languages of the world. I learned English but was scared, confused, lost, and felt also very grateful to live in the Chiltern hills. What a beautiful place! But, we did not stay there. From 2010 to 2012, we lived in Canada. Jelle did his MA in philosophy and translation studies. I worked in the member care department, and our Laurens was born.
In 2012, we moved back to the Netherlands. Our Dutch was becoming rusty, and we wanted to stay there for a few years to consider what would be best for the future for our family. We already worked with Roma Bible Union, traveled to South- East Europe every year, and finally decided to jump and make the move.
“One day at the time” is what the Canadians told us.
And now, we are looking back.
Did we save a lot of people? We did not actually come to save the world. The Savior of the world sends us, and He is the One who saves the world.
Recently, I read C. Wright’s The mission of God’s People. In it, he quotes Is. 55, a part that I always have loved and treasured. Missionaries come and go, but My word will do what I send it for and will accomplish what I desire.
When you live in the place where you flourish, where you feel peace and joy, that is a great good. But, there is a lot to say about it when you move as a family with teenage kids. Still, for us, this is the best place to be now—in this house, in this street, close to our friends and the Roma. We are home, where God is with us. And, when He is with us, who is against us? His word has power.
We do face challenges. We do make mistakes. We do sometimes face financial difficulties. We also know moments in which we are astonished by the generosity of others. God put in their hearts to share what they have because they recognize the call and the vision. It makes us very, very grateful. It gives a bond that is immensely strong. People far away are suddenly near, because we share the same desire Let God’s Kingdom come.
Every morning, we read with the world-wide church a verse out of a little booklet from the Hernhutters. One of these days, this was the song for the day:
God’s love has brought us thus far and blessed us. It is unchangeable because He is unchangeable. What will the future bring? We do not know, but we do know Him who was yesterday, today, and in the future, the Same One. Again, we put our hands in His Hands and pray: Would you lead us?
Thank you very much for journeying with us.
Warm greetings from all of us.
Femke, Laurens, Jelle, Janneke, Judith, Marijke