Giving is better than receiving

Last two weeks we were in Suriname. This beautiful country has a special place in our hearts, because Karin lived there for two years. After primary school education and five years of teaching foreign children in Rotterdam, she decided to work as a volunteer in Suriname at the Indian children’s home Koesikwarano. We are now 25 years later, again in Suriname and you can ask yourself what the fruit of such an enormous investment of two years has been. Let me start with the reason for this trip. In recent years we have been approached several times to come to Suriname. Over and over again we were convinced that it was not the time. Until we came into contact with Wendell Hasselbaink last year. Wendell and his wife lead the young Dunamoo foundation in Suriname. Their vision and dreams are very similar to those of Royal Mission and this is how a warm contact via Skype was established. Their specific request to us was to be allowed to use the materials from our part-time school. We were happy to give it to them as a gift, with accompanying books, on the condition that we came to train the material ourselves in Suriname. Because our part-time school is not the material, but the heart of the people who teach the lessons and the DNA of Royal Mission. This is how this unique journey came about. In six evenings we taught the ten Dunamoo team members and took the first steps with them towards a part-time school in Paramaribo. This process will be continued, so that we provide them with maximum support during the start-up and realization. In addition to these six training evenings, all kinds of opportunities arose before and during the trip:

  • Speaking in four different churches
  • To provide a large youth service
  • A training day for children’s workers
  • Teaching at Bible School Hebron
  • Singing with children in a large daycare center
  • Day closure for In De Ruimte, home for the disabled
  • A training day for youth workers
  • Providing a program in the youth prison
  • A youth evening about sexuality in celebration of Valentine’s Day
  • Giving interviews on radio and television
  • Meeting leaders, praying for them and prophesying about them

We have been given many opportunities and God has opened special doors for us. Of course, we also took some time in our busy schedule for relaxation, such as a boat trip on the Suriname River with playful dolphins around the boat. But above all we visited the Commewijne, the district where Karin lived and worked for two years. Upon arrival in that area around Koesikwarano, Karin saw an old woman walking along the road. She said, ‘Is that Auntie?’ It turned out to be one of the permanent employees in the children’s home from 25 years ago. It was directed by God. After a quarter of a century, that was the first woman to walk in front of us. After an emotional meeting she took us to other friends from back then. These were eventful moments, as you see in Spoorloos. Aunt took us to her simple wooden house, where she lives with her two daughters and grandchildren. The photo above was taken there. These daughters, Chiquita and Carmelita, lived in Karin’s children’s home as children. When we arrived at their home, we were given food (like everywhere in Suriname) and we sang a number of songs together. I complimented the daughters: ‘You sing so beautifully’. They immediately replied: ‘We learned that from Sister Karin. She taught us everything.” Tears came to my eyes, because after 25 years this was the fruit of a young woman who had given her life away for these Indians. On the children’s workers’ day, a woman came to say that she had been at the children’s club with Sister Karin. That had changed her life and now she had become a child worker herself and thoroughly enjoyed our training day. We met many more people who talked about 25 years ago and how their lives were determined by it. The congregation where Karin went at the time had now more than doubled in size and has three daughter congregations. Their story was that the worship and music band completely changed because of Karin and that remains the case to this day. Christians are always eager to receive, be blessed, or experience renewal. That is a good desire, but the blessing of giving is even greater. The lives that Karin has been able to influence and the fruit it has brought in her own life cannot be measured. It is better to give than to receive. So go and give, for you will see the blessing!

Would you like to watch the videos of our trip? Here they are: Vlog 1 – Day 1Vlog 2 – Day 2 & 3Vlog 3 – Day 4Vlog 4 – Day 5 & 6Vlog 5 – Day 7 & 8Vlog 6 – Day 9 & 10Vlog 7 – Day 12 & 13

Karin with children 2

Karin with children

Suriname Children's House 2

Suriname training day

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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