A month ago I was in the Netherlands. Even Coronavirus cooperated, helped by our staying at a sufficient distance, to make this visit a ‘memory with a golden edge’. Even though three weeks seems like a lot of days, time flew, also because I criss-crossed the country from west to north, to east and south.
The reason for my trip was the postponed celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Week Dutch Missionaries (WNM). The WNM was initially founded to provide additional support to Dutch missionaries who all over the world were fighting injustice and poverty. Later their work expanded to include and support lay missionary workers, of which I am one. WNM, renowned in the Dutch Catholic world, is solely funded by gifts from or collections among church goers, especially during a focused campaign during the period of Pentecost. I was part of a group of 15 Dutch missionary workers from various parts of the world and together we discussed developments in each country as well as in the Netherlands.
Leiden, Gouda and Rotterdam
Of course I was also in Leiden, the city where I lived before I emigrated to Nicaragua. I reconnected with the ecumenical Rainbow community, and the Leiden Ekklesia, churches which have continued to support the work in Nicaragua throughout the years. Of course I met with and said goodbye to Jeroen and Niko who ran Vivir Juntos with so much enthusiasm for 6 years. As a token of appreciation for all their love and dedication to supporting the Ruach Fundación, I presented them with a coffee mug with photos of our work. I also met with Annelies, who manages the Vivir Juntos website together with her husband Michiel, and does important work to promote Fundación Ruach. As a token of thanks for their great effort, I was able to offer her our special present, a clay model of our Ruach Home, on behalf of all people working for the Fundación.
I also attended a service in the Ark community in Gouda and was very happy to learn a little more about how well they are doing. And of course I also met with the new Vivir Juntos board, face to face. We discussed important topics, such as the limited financial reserve of the Fundación Ruach and the difficult communication between the two boards.
I have been back in Juigalpa for two weeks now, fighting-fit to use my creativity in facing the various challenges. We are also preparing for celebrating the first anniversary of the MiraMira optician shop. The shop is doing well, so in due course we hope to generate profits from the shop which will be used to part-pay for the cost of Ruach’s social work. I hope you will raise a glass to us with this in mind!
Thank you for your sympathy and prayers. Together we can make a difference. Unity makes power and so we can face the challenges with confidence!