A year ago, we had no idea what kind of pandemic awaited us in the weeks and months that followed. On March 9, 2020, the government will announce the first general measures to combat the coronavirus, such as washing hands, sneezing into your elbow and no longer shaking hands. Suddenly things go fast. Because by mid-March the Netherlands will have to go into partial lockdown and the catering industry, schools and childcare will close. Gathering with more than a hundred people is immediately prohibited. In this completely new situation, we met with various Royal Mission team members on Friday, March 13, 2020. What do we do? The wildest ideas come along, such as a drive-in with groups of a hundred people, who we will bless one by one in our building. We can already see the rows of crammed cars in the streets around our building. But we soon realize that we could become enormous virus spreaders. The start A holy dissatisfaction overwhelms us. Something has to be done, because we are not going to do nothing! Shall we do a live Q&A with the doctor and the preacher based on the book that Gor Khatchikyan and Martin Koornstra wrote together ? And then a short online encouragement to give people hope in these strange times? Yes, that’s it! Almost without further preparations, we will immediately announce these two live streams via our websitesocial media. Two days later on Sunday evening, March 15, we set up a simple studio in the corner of an office in our building in half an hour. A sofa, a table, two microphones, a small mixing desk and a flat screen as a background. Three people are ready with cell phones in their hands to film the conversation between Gor and Martin. One streams to YouTube, the second to Facebook and the third to Instagram.Rotating image Facebook appears to always rotate the image a quarter turn. We receive photos of acquaintances lying on their side on the couch, watching. Hilarious to see. After twenty minutes, the filmmakers’ arms begin to shake more and more and the image becomes more unstable by the minute. Yet hundreds of people watch live and despite the simple approach, God appears to use this to bless many. In the following days, our makeshift studio moves three more times. Every evening we build our livestream living room somewhere different. From the living room with a green-white background we go through an office with a dark blue wall and later a white wall to our final set with a green wall. We like the color so much that we regularly receive questions from viewers about which color number the back wall of our Royal Mission living room has.The adventure That first Sunday evening will be the start of five live streams per week. Who would have thought that? We can be seen every working day at 8:30 PM for sixteen weeks. Our brown leather couch is complemented by a chair for the person sharing testimonies and on the other side a chair for a guitarist leading worship. Our Royal Mission living room was born and so was the Royal Family! During the first few days we will provide the broadcasts with a permanent team. Every day we try to take a small step in the development of the technology surrounding the livestream. Sometimes that goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. Creaking guitars, media channels that disappear, noise that disturbs and software that lets us down. The learning process is sometimes frustrating, but at the same time a strong illustration to explain growth. Despite everything, the Royal Family continues to grow; at home and abroad.Team growth The decision was quickly made to train new people in the technology and to give other team members the opportunity to contribute on the couch and chairs in the studio. After all, we are a discipleship movement. Training and multiplying is our DNA. The first times that new faces provide the livestream, Martin is missed by viewers as host. But it soon becomes apparent that other team members provide encouragement and inspiration in their own powerful ways. A strong image of teamwork and diversity in God’s kingdom! More than forty volunteers make the first eighty broadcasts possible until the summer. It will be a big marathon, which we will enjoy immensely and also continue to grow. After the summer, the frequency will be reduced to once a week, because many Royal Mission activities are restarting and to relieve our teams.On the road together Every broadcast we make every effort to connect with our new online family. In addition to submitted letters and emails, we read responses from the chat. Names of regular viewers and daily commenters such as Aad, Merel, Rudy, Peter, Helena, Margreet, Sander, Rebekka, Lucia, Jenny and many others are now familiar to us. During the livestreams we also encourage viewers to encourage each other and pray for each other. Live and afterwards. It is wonderful to see how many people participate in this and how new friendships are created. Some even take it up as their ministry to pray for everyone online. The biggest example is always ‘Annet from the chat’.Giving makes you rich! We ourselves are regularly overwhelmed by gifts and packages that we receive from our digital followers and friends. After Agnes’ first ‘Stand up and Glitter’ card, dozens of other letters and cards followed. Around Easter there is suddenly a large box with bags of chocolate eggs on the doorstep and at the fiftieth broadcast a beautiful party balloon with 50 on it. But also the special home-baked crown cookies, the printed T-shirts, the funny photos in which team members suddenly have a different head of hair, the gigantic apple pie, the beautiful handmade pins for King’s Day, the hundred chocolate letters for Saint Nicholas… The climax will come in December 2020. In the In the run-up to the hundredth broadcast, our mailbox is filled every day with cards, streamers, photos and flags. All filled with moving stories, impressive testimonies and heavenly blessings. Theo and Ina turn it into a scrapbook, which is placed in our team room as a kind of monument. We are really happy to be the Royal Family together!A year of hope From the beginning, the message of the livestreams has been a beacon of hope. On Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 PM we will celebrate 1 year of livestreams. Hurrah! We thank God for this unique, exciting and very special adventure. Celebrate with us that God is faithful in the storm, blesses in the crisis and is a beacon of hope in dark times.Would you like to watch or participate? Here are our channels:www.youtube.com/royalmissionwww.facebook.com/martinkoornstrawww.instagram.com/martinkoornstraA memorial stone of God’s faithfulness Following this unique adventure, we as a teampublished a book ‘Rise and shine’ . Under the leadership of Karin Koornstra, 30 employees have developed 80 days of hope with inspiration, tips, prayers and assignments to encourage and bless you.