From the Netherlands to Canada - A Story of an International Missionary

The Netherlands is a pretty small country. It is about 240.35 times smaller than Canada! And it is much more populated. Where Canada has a population of 4 people/km2, the Netherlands has 412 people/km2. Fun fact about the Netherlands:  55% of the Netherlands lies under sea level. We have a whole province that didn’t exist 100 years ago. I mean literally. There was only water. I grew up in a town called Heerhugowaard, which is in the province of Noord-Holland(North-Holland). My house is 2.5 meters below sea level. No worries, we have everything under control. We are pros at building dikes. Anyway, enough about that. Let’s dive into the role of faith in that little country of mine. 

The Netherlands is spiritually struggling. Growing up my parents took me and my siblings to church. I grew up being one of the two girls my age who went to mass every single Sunday. When we grew older, the other girl moved parishes and I was the only one left. Luckily, I had the blessing of being involved in a Catholic musical group a few hours away and had the opportunity to go to Catholic camps twice a year. From these places, I learned more about what good friendship should look like, the heart of our faith, and got to experience God in a personal way. In my heart grew two main desires, the desire for community and the desire to be a missionary. I desired community because I didn’t have any Catholic friends close by. I felt alone in the battle of faith and felt like I was fighting alone most of the time. I didn’t want to fight alone. The desire for mission started the day I was confirmed.  I always felt personally called whenever I read John 20.21 (As the Father has sent me, even so I send you). The more I grew in my faith, the more I saw the need for Christ everywhere around me. The problem I had was I did not know how to bring Jesus to the people around me. I think now it’s because I wasn’t confident. I didn’t have community and passionate examples closeby to lead me. I was afraid to do something wrong. 

That is where NET comes in. When I heard about NET it was everything I had longed for and what I had been growing in. It fell into place. 

Being on NET has been an amazing experience for me. I learn a lot. For example, school buses are still in use. Wow, school buses were a shock to me when I came. Before I came to Canada I only saw school buses in movies and I was under the impression that they were something from the last century. Now I know better. I have also been learning that my ways aren’t always God’s ways, and that he has greater things in store for me. More than I can ever imagine. I have found the community I desired for so long and am able to share Jesus with everyone around me. 

We are all called to be missionaries, in one way or another. Remember that we are not alone in this. God promised that he would be with us (Joshua 1:9). Even though I had some hard times, I knew that God was with me. I knew that what I experienced, Jesus experienced too and often even more severe (John 15:18-20). This is what kept me going, kept me hoping and trusting. 

Do you trust God and His plan for your life? Do you answer His call?