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.
It is not only Jurgen who studies hard and makes progress, the children also work hard. Apart from their normal school curriculum, Issa and Vanya go swimming every week. They enjoy their swimming lessons very much.
In March both Vanya and Issa were awarded their first swimming certificates and badges. They proudly show them on the photo above.
Vanya was awarded the Octopus 3 Certificate and Issa the Octopus 1 Certificate.
February 14, 2012
The first trimester of the academic year 2011 / 2012 has largely been spent on getting adjusted to our new situation, environment and roles. After having taken our first steps, it is time to move on and aim for the goal for which we have come to the UK: to prepare ourselves for cross cultural missionary work.
We have already gathered much information about the possibilities on the mission field and from many mission organisations. For us, one organisation stood out from the others: Africa Inland Mission (AIM). Since AIM has its nearest office to the Netherlands in England, it seemed obvious to await our arrival in UK before embarking on further enquiries.
On Saturday the 4th of February Jurgen has attended an AIM seminar, titled ‘Into Africa?’. Much new information was given by various speakers. It was a very useful and encouraging day. As Jurgen put it: “It makes me want to leave ‘ NOW!”
During the seminar some explanation was given about the procedures involved in going out with AIM. A first step would be applying for membership, which alone could take 3 months or longer.
The coming time we hope to prayerfully consider applying for membership of AIM. We shall also take the time to talk about and discuss this with our supporters, friends and family in the Netherlands.
January 28, 2012
It is now the end of January, and the second trimester in University has started 2 weeks ago. Jurgen has two new subjects: ‘Studying the New Testament’ and ‘Evangelism Into the Future’. The first trimester has been a time of intense study, but this trimester wil probably ask even more of his capabilities and time. Not only are 2 written assignments required, there are also 4 placements to be completed. Happily Jurgen had made much progress in his first assignment. With the experience from the first trimester he now knows better what is expected of him.
The children’s home education goes well. After one trimester it is easier for Katja to plan the days and the appropriate amount of work. She has changed the schedule to meet the children’s needs of more time to play (all), more time for individual instruction (Issa) and more time with mommy (Abbey). The good thing is that both Vanya and Issa say they like being taught at home. They enjoy learning. What else could we wish for?
Now that learning has had it’s attention, it is time to press on towards discovering God’s will for our lives. At the beginning of February Jurgen hopes to attend a one day seminar of ‘Africa Inland Mission’ (AIM). He expects to get some answers to questions about the organisation, aswell as an idea whether or not the possibility of joining AIM needs to be further investigated. To be continued…
December 8th, 2011
Jurgen has received his grades for his first 2 essays. He is very relieved to have scored 55% on his essay for ‘Spirit and Church in Mission Context’ and 61% for his exegesis. Not bad for a Dutch student in his first year!
Writing the essays cost Jurgen quite some time. He hopes to gain more proficiency over the coming trimester, starting in January.
From December the 16th Jurgen has his Christmas holiday. Katja and the children will also take a few weeks off to enjoy the Christmas season together.
November 13th 2011
Jurgen is now halfway through his first trimester at Trinity School of Theology. This trimester his modules are: Spirit and Church in Mission Context and Studying the Old Testament. He is very happy to receive education at this college and he is given a lot of help in his studies. The lessons take place in small groups, which enhances the learning process.
For both modules two papers have to be written. The first two essays have been completed, grades have not been given yet.
For whom is interested: below you can click on the essays to read them. The essay for the module ‘Spirit and Church in Mission Context’ illustrates the role of the Spirit in New Testament Times, during the Reformation and contemporary time. The essay underlines that the heart of the church is mission.
The second essay is an exegesis (explanation of the Bible) on Genesis 12, where Abram received his calling. We hope you enjoy reading the essays!
In the meantime Jurgen has started working on his portfolio of the church we visit for the module ‘Spirit and Church in Mission Context’. He is also thinking about the subject for his second exegesis.
Essay 1 – The essence of the church
Essay 1 – Exegesis on Genesis 12