Today we have been in Uganda for three weeks already. We feel this is right because we have settled in quite nicely again and have met a lot of people again. Time to sit on the terrace, in the warmth, and tell what is on our minds. Our time can currently be divided into three task areas. Firstly, there are things that need to be arranged for our (temporary) stay. We had internet problems, we needed a tax number to register a car in our name and we moved to a place a little further away. Then there is the work in the children’s village. As we mentioned in the newsletter, we are busy writing various plans and associated proposals for sponsorship for the children’s village. Baukje is working with the Dutch embassy to contribute to the school that will be built there. I am working on a plan for a guest house in the children’s village and of course the playground!
Finally, we are of course concerned with the long term. We visit projects and people from which we can learn and take a good look around us. We see many opportunities to set up businesses in a similar way to what we saw in Ethiopia. Within this we want to create an opportunity to invest in people. We think many people are missing something here. Often practical skills, but also something that goes deeper. At first glance this seems to be the most Christian country in the world. Almost everyone calls themselves Christian or even “born again”. We meet many people where this also becomes visible in a fruitful and changed life. Unfortunately, this does not apply to everyone. Most people here live according to the culture that is often contrary to God’s principles and we believe that this is the basis for much misery. It is becoming increasingly clear to us that the only culture that works is the culture of God’s Kingdom. Let me explain this a little further.
Whatever you think about it, we probably all agree that the Netherlands likes it origin is a Christian country. The result of this is that our country is still largely based on Biblical norms and values. This is partly how our culture was created. If you look in the context of the world, I think you can say that the Netherlands is quite successful. Originally Biblical values such as “don’t lie and steal” are values that actually every Dutch person supports. You would almost say that it is innate and has nothing to do with culture or God. You will see the opposite when you are here. The roots of many cultures do not lie in the Bible or in the God of the Bible. Lying is not a bad thing for some and stealing is only bad if it has been seen by someone else or if it can be proven. Otherwise it is allowed. Fortunately, there are many people for whom this does not apply, but from a cultural perspective this is often the norm. However, you often hear from some people that we are not allowed to touch another culture. You hear: “That’s good according to the people here” and “that’s just part of their culture.” Personally, we have our doubts about this after everything we have seen. Don’t we all know that things like honesty and trust are indispensable building blocks for a functioning society? We will never claim that everyone should adopt Dutch culture. However, lately we have seen in a new way that success is mainly reserved for people and cultures who live according to the principles of God’s Kingdom. Anyone can learn these principles, but the only way to really shape your life is through a personal relationship with Jesus. Then you give Him the maximum opportunity to bless you in everything, because He loves you so much. We would like to give people a job, train them and share this with them. Then we believe that we are doing what we are called to do. We want to go in that direction and we are even taking the first steps for a company. Another thing that would also be workable from another location. More about this next time.
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