Some time ago we gave an interview for “Jente”, a Dutch magazine about families and faith. This edition focuses on “dreams”. We thought this would fit for the Isaan website as well, so we translated the interview for you.
“Even before we knew each other, we wanted to go overseas to be involved in development work. Both of us chose a study with this in mind. So when we met each other it was easy to decide we would go together. We spend a lot of time searching and praying and we came to the conclusion we should go to Thailand. Although this country is not under-developed, it is one of the least reached places for the Gospel in the world.
We work here as church planters, in an area of about 100.000 people. The church that was planted currently counts about 12 adults and the same amount of children. Because the group wouldn’t fit in our living room anymore, we started renting a building for about a year now. We learnt that you have to be flexible in your dreams. We never thought God would lead the way in our lives the way He did.
We didn’t see ourselves as church planters or pastors. Sometimes that’s difficult, but we see His blessing through it all. Last week again 3 people were baptized and more and more people become open to the Gospel. This is where we have to be for now.
When we came to Thailand, our firstborn was about 2 years old. We started in faith with an adventure we didn’t know the outcome of. Our children also have a very different life here than their friends in the Netherlands. Things like playing with friends or on the street are not as obvious. But we do see the positive things. Our kids are very flexible and when we have visitors they easily make contact with them. Because our kids meet a lot of people with different beliefs and traditions, they get a broad perspective on life.
Our life here requires that we have to make sacrifices. But through it all we experience God’s faithfulness. Our children know very well why we are here. They see us talking and praying with the people, they realize that they need Jesus. If we would not be here, who would tell them? Above our church entrance is a sign which says: ‘come to Me you who are weary and burdened.’ The people in Thailand are friendly and they smile a lot. But behind that smile there is often a lot of pain; divorce, drugs, alcohol, traffic accidents, many people die young. Peace in their heart, that’s what the people need here. Peace only Jesus can give.