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Behind the scenes - afspraken op inspirerende locaties. Willem & Wendy

Behind the scenes - afspraak bij de Kamer van Koophandel gemaakt

Behind the scenes. – The last week before we go back to the Netherlands has arrived. This means: a lot of handovers and here and there some last minute stress. But it also means: looking forward to what is to come. Especially the holiday at the moment: – rest – walking – enjoying each other – and more rest. And secretly we are already preparing for our own company during the weekends. Bit by bit we will share more with you.

What are we doing?

What is involved in setting up our own business? Willem and I have made a whole schedule with actions. This states what we all need to think about and the steps that need to be taken. Of course, we first brainstorm about what we are going to do exactly, what our goal is and how we will make a difference. We determine our target group and find out what is really needed and how we can respond to this. We have many conversations at different inspiring locations … What a privilege!

Behind the scenes - vele brainstormgesprekken op veel inspirerende plekken.

Name, logo and branding

All these ideas may also be put on paper or online…: Website, brochure, e-mail. Our target group must know what they will choose, even if they do not yet know us personally! Of course we also think about the name of our company. We will release the name in February. And about who can bring that into shape by coming up with a logo. Meanwhile we have had a lot of wonderful responses from great designers. It will be difficult to choose, but next week we will make a decision! It will be difficult that we have to disappoint some designers, but their wonderful work will be noticed by someone else. We will probably fill in part of the branding as well, because I think it’s way too much fun to play around with Adobe Spark and Lightroom and so on. Hobby-time! Our talented cousin Joel will take care of the website again with his company Succeswebsites, because with this website he has delivered top-work.

On schedule and arranged…

√ Appointment registration into the Netherlands / Nijkerk again.
√ Buy a car
√ Appointment accountant
√ Complete registration form Chamber of Commerce
√ Holidays booked
√ Appointment registration Chamber of Commerce
√ Appointment for opening new bank account
And much more…

Exciting and fun at the same time! We are looking forward to it!

Prayer is much needed if the camp is so overwhelmingly big - Alan and Gaby doing a nutrition assessment in Kutupalong Rohingya extension refugee camp

Prayer. A lot of people are praying for the situation of the Rohingya and I’m thankful for that. A friend sent me this prayer for those who bear witness. It brought me to tears and it helps me in my journey of bearing witness and I will print it and read it more often – by publishing this I hope it helps you too on your journey. The writer is unknown to me, so I cannot give credit – but if you know the writer, please let me know! Read more about how I beard witness? Find one story here.

Prayer is much needed if the camp is so overwhelmingly big - Alan and Gaby doing a nutrition assessment in Kutupalong Rohingya extension refugee campA Prayer for those who bear witness

Kind Father, thank you for commissioning me into this ministry of disciplined remembrance.
I have answered your invitation today.
Even as you left the light of heaven to swell in the darkness of earth, I have followed you deliberately into stories of oppression and misery the details of which most people would desire to remain ignorant.

I have seen with my eyes, heard with my ears, touched with my hands, a kind of suffering and despair that is more than my humanity can bear.
Oh God of Light: By your mercy, dispel this darkness and speed the dawn.
At the close of this day, I leave all that I have seen and heard in your gently hands. May those whose lives lie at the centre of these stories remain in your watchful, tender care.
Receive especially these images that cling to my heart, soul, and mind.

Instruction: Call to mine, one by one, any particularly troubling things you have seen or heard. Leave them in the presence of God. It may be helpful to use a physical gesture, such as placing your palms upward with your fists clenched as you call each image to mind, then, as you release each image to God, open your hands. Repeat as God brings images to mind.

Lift from me the burden of sadness, fear, and despair that weighs me down because of my work today. Where the evidence of violence and oppression has tempted me to anger, lust, or hopelessness, fill me instead with your joy, love, and peace. Where I have been tempted to discount evidence of justice, healing, and restoration, allow me to more fully dwell on the reality of redemption.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I step now out of darkness and into light –
acknowledging that in you there is no darkness at all.
I step now out of work and into rest –
acknowledging that you neither slumber nor sleep.
Renew me with your power, your love, and your joy.
In the strong name of Jesus,
Amen.

A Rohingya Refugee story: one less thing to worry about

The Rohingya’s I met, they went through unimaginable hardships.

A Rohingya Refugee story: one less thing to worry about

Today I only have one request. Every time I met #Rohingya refugees, they would ask me: ‘Will you share our story? We must not be forgotten’. This is why I wrote this: to let people know about the unimaginable hardships these families are living, but also their hope, strength and resilience. I hope you will read this story and feel inspired to help in any way you can. So they won’t be forgotten.”

For the Rohingya: Pray – Give – Bear witness – Share

There is a lot that you can do. In any way you feel inspired or you can. And I know for sure that Unia would be very thankful for that. Pray if you’re a prayer warrior or if you are just touched by this story or by the fate of the refugees. If you want to give, please go to our website.

Pope Francis said: ‘The presence of God today is also called Rohingya.’ And while I was there, walking in the endless camp, I believe this to be true. I saw Jesus in the act of Aaid – a seventy-two year old Rohingya refugee man who lost his wife and grandson, as they got shot while they were running. But then he took in a boy he saw crying on the street for his mom and dad in as his own son, and has cared for him since. Can we do that today? Make an act of unselfish love? An act of love that is going to cost us, but we do not moan or groan about it? I dare you today.

A Rohingya Refugee story: one less thing to worry about

Balancing on a tree-trunk - difficult to travel roads

Difficult, difficult, difficult. During our holidays we laughed out loud when we heard the song of Dutch comedian Brigitte Kaandorp: I have a very tough life (sorry only in Dutch). But at the moment, there’s not much to laugh about if you look at the situation in the world and a lot of people are in real difficult and very tough circumstances. A lot of people have a very tough life. I cried a lot a couple of times. But despite my compassion that might be good because at least I can still feel anything, people need more of my action.

A quote from our colleague…

My colleague Elisabeth Ahlquist worded it beautifully, so I won’t take effort to write something myself, but I will just quote her:

‘This is one of those weeks when each day seems like an onslaught: Hurricane Irma (which has Haiti in its sights, a nation still rebuilding from March’s devastating hurricane); the brutality of the Myanmar military on the Rohingya; Trump’s rescission of DACA; N. Korea and it’s hydrogen bomb tests; publication of studies revealing micro-plastics in our water; wildfires raging; civil wars continue in South Sudan, Syria, DRC, and Yemen; millions forcibly displaced from their homes due to violence and insecurity; 20 million people are threatened by man-made food emergencies…

It’s a real cluster cuss and sometimes hope seems hard to hold. But I cling to hope on behalf of those taking the full force of the onslaught.’

How do we bring hope and change?

That is what we have to do. Cling to hope and think about how we can give hope to the people in these extremely difficult circumstances. What can you do? Do you give time in prayer? Or by stabbing your hands dirty? Do you give some of your money to organisations that bring hope in these circumstances? Do you give your heart? Dear people, sometimes the situation is overwhelming and we cannot take this any longer. But please, promise me we won’t forget them all. Take one of those situations in your heart and support them in a way that is possible for you. Let’s bring hope!

Fortunately there are also a lot of good things happening. Like here in Nepal: So it’s about time for a few new blogs.
To stick with the word ‘difficult’ we will show you something in this blog about the difficult roads we travel in Nepal. A challenge, but nothing we can’t overcome.

For about 160 kilometer, we driver about seven or eight hours

The roads in Nepal to our project are a challenge. Especially when it rains and storms, but even if it’s dry, the potholes are quite a trial. The route is only about 160 kilometers, but we take about seven to eight hours to get there! Below you’ll find two small video’s of the potholes (who don’t show that well – you just had to be there actually) in the road. Oh and holding my phone is also a challenge in itself… :-).

The next video might show it even better…

Hiking for hours in the difficult to reach areas

When we arrive at the outskirts of the project, we have to hike for hours sometimes from the one cluster of houses to the other. For me this feels like ‘holidays’ because the area is beautiful, but if you do this day in, day out in all kind of weather circumstances like rain and cold, to reach the most vulnerable, than that is very tiring and difficult. And I have the utmost respect for my colleagues who work there.

Do you see the beautiful environment? It’s great, but there are no roads that you can reach by car… our colleagues do everything by foot! Respect. Now the sun was shining, but they are also going when it’s freezing cold or when it rains. Do you see the blue roofs? Almost all of them are new, earthquake resilient homes. Can you imagine seeing this makes us extremely happy? We may support a full village to built earthquake resilient homes. And a village is a lot more of those hills. 1,263 houses in total. You only see about 15 to 20 in this picture… can you imagine? 🙂 Almost 200 are finished now!

You can see the beautiful but difficult to reach areas. See the blue roofs? Those are Medair earthquake resilient houses. All respect for the staff as there are no roads for cars to reach those houses, everything is done on foot. You can see the beautiful but difficult to reach areas. See the blue roofs? Those are Medair earthquake resilient houses. All respect for the staff as there are no roads for cars to reach those houses, everything is done on foot.

And then there are the slippery bridges that consist of a tree or if you’re lucky two tree-trunks. The steep slopes, the many leeches during the rainy season that stick to your skin and try to get your blood. Respect… a lot of respect for my colleagues.

You can see the beautiful but difficult to reach areas. Crossing a river on just a slippery tree is just one of the challenges. All respect for the staff as there are no roads for cars to reach those houses, everything is done on foot.