A 20 year old word…

These past few days I was reminded of something very important….

In the beginning of 1999, twenty years ago, during these exact months, Giacomo and I were in Worcester South Africa with Youth With A Mission. We were participating in a Community Development School at the new purchased YWAM Training Center in South Africa.

It was during this time (as a very newly wed couple) that God spoke to us about starting a new YWAM Training Facility, University of the Nations Campus in the capital of Costa Rica.

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We have been married 21 years this year!!

We had no idea what that all meant, but it was the word of the Lord to us. This word is now exactly 20 years old, 15 of those years have been pioneering this new YWAM Training Center, University of the Nations Campus, which we started in June 2004!!

Tomorrow, March 10th, after twenty years of being away from this exact place and not having been back as a couple since then (Giacomo has alone), we are going to South Africa to partake in our annual leadership meetings of the University of the Nations.

Not only did God give us a word of a brand new YWAM Missionary training Center, but He also has allowed us over the past 5 years to form part of a body of leaders on an international level. The privilege to learn from amazing leaders who laid the foundation that we are now building on is truly incredible and continues to be for us a tremendous honor and blessing.

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The Word was clear: “Raise up and equip young people who will be the next generation of Spirit led leaders in society in Costa Rica and around the world.”

Since early 1999, we have followed after God, sought His will on how to go about starting this new training location for missionaries, equipping them, loving them, training them and sending them out as passionate followers/disciples of Jesus.

In those years we have served in many different places and have been able to see God do amazing things and we have been able to train close to 1000 young people from our location, sending them into the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!

****** When God gives you a Word, you make steps to walk towards the fulfillment of that Word and scripture says that His Word will never return void ******

Tomorrow we will embark on a 2 day journey to travel to South Africa. Pray for our children as they stay in Costa Rica. Our oldest have exam week while we are gone, our youngest has already cried several times and will miss mommy the most (and mommy will find it hard to leave)…..but we believe this is part of what the Lord has for us.

As I reflect on twenty years, I reflect on God’s faithfulness to our lives and that what He has given to us. Not just our beautiful kids and how He has blessed us that way, but the extended family of YWAM San Jose. This beautiful family that has gone through all kinds of trials and challenges and has recently moved into our ‘promised land’….

Reflecting on that makes us anticipate what God might want to do in the next 20 years through our lives and the YWAM San Jose, Costa Rica training facility and family.

Giacomo and I believe the Lord wants to give us a fresh word for the next 20 years, will you join us in prayer for that. We will be visiting the very same place we were 20 years ago, of which we unfortunately do not have any digital photos, but we might be able to find some ‘printed’ photos and then show you what things are looking like today.

How exciting to co-create with God, to listen to His voice, to believe that what He speaks will come to pass and will never return void!!

****** Listen for His voice today, quiet your heart and He will speak *****

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Miracle on wheels needed..

For many years the Lord has blessed us in amazing ways with vehicles. In one way or the other we have always driven a car that came to us by a miracle.

The stories are long but we can testify that the vehicles we have been driving have truly been a miracle either through a very interesting circumstance or the amazing generosity of friends who saw the need at the moment.

Marjolein has been having trouble with her car for a while now in the sense that is has been costing us money maintaining and fixing it to the point where right now it has not been able to pass yearly road inspection.

The school year is about to start, the car is being worked on and until it passes inspection she will have to find another car to drive the kids to school and pick them up every day.

It has been an uphill battle to see the release of a new car for her and we ask that you stand with us in prayer for this to be released.

Giacomo travels quite a bit and using the big truck that he drives around is simply not an option for Mar as it is a very bulky car and inconvenient for Mar to drive around town. If you are a mom who drives around her kids you will understand.

For years the minivan has been the biggest blessing as that is what we have needed, but that is no longer the case. It won’t sell for much so it will not be enough for a down payment on another one.

Getting a loan here is not an option as we do not have a fixed income and no bank wants to loan to us and besides that the interest rates here are too high.

So you can see we need a miracle on wheels 🚙. Would you join u sin prayer. Selling the minivan will give us around $4800 💵 towards the payment of a better car but we would be missing quite a lot more of we really want to get a decent car that would not give us maintenance and fixings the first years.

Thank you for praying with us for this miracle. Raising funds additional to our monthly needs has been hard as the kids are about to start school and we simply do not have extra in the budget to put towards this need.

Trusting the Lord knows the need and that He knows the way and the time of His provision!

Pray for:

1) the minivan to get fixed, pass inspection and sold

2) miraculous provision for the new car

Twenty years today

I remember this day as if it was yesterday! I flew to Costa Rica 5 weeks before the wedding. With my wedding dress as my hand luggage I stepped foot into an adventure I would have never guessed would take me to where we have been over the past 20 years!

The morning of our wedding the day started early. The sun comes up early here in Costa Rica (every day)…

Many people were in the house running around with preparations. Even the baker making the wedding cake was at the house finishing this beautiful cake that in the end we ended up bringing home again as we never cut it at the reception (hahaha)!!

We did cut the cake with a few us who came back home, before we headed on our honeymoon!

A week later we were on our way to Holland to prepare for the second wedding in Holland! Some of the advantages of marrying cross-culturally is getting to have two weddings in two different counties! We had around 150 people at both weddings!

Flying back to Holland again with my wedding dress was a joy as I got to wear it twice (making sure the money spent on it was well spent)!

At the alter here in Costa Rica I more or less understood what was being said but praise the Lord it was being translated to English. I really tried to say “I do” in Spanish but I was to embarrassed to make a mistake….

Nevertheless we are 20 years later and now I know how to say “I do” in my new language!!

It has been quite the journey, with all kinds of challenges but here we are, ready for the next 20 years!

Many of you have walked this journey with us and we are so grateful for your friendship and being part of our lives!

Though we are from two totally different backgrounds, countries and cultures, God puts people together for His purposes and that is what He did with us! It has been a journey of learning and growing in many ways and we still are in that process…

Our love has grown, has been challenged, has been tested and we are coming out a bit stronger every time…!

Here is to the next 20 years…will you walk alongside of us in this journey, in prayer, in friendship and partners in the ministry!