I’ve hesitated a lot to post what is on our table. You might not want to know it. But I will say it, whether you like it or not, but it is up to you to read it. You might want to stop here.
This table is one of the few items that has traveled with Jelle throughout his life. When he was a little boy, he ate at this table; when he was a student, he wrote his papers on it. When he started dating the woman who would become his wife (oh, that’s me), we had endless conversations there while we listened to beautiful classical music. Now, we have our meals as a family around this table.
The table took a long break when it was in storage at my parents’ while we moved to England and later to Canada. But, for our latest move across Europe, we decided to take it with us, and we enjoy it every day.
Our table sees something new every hour of the day: language study, folding laundry, coloring, quarreling, drinking coffee, spilling water, writing, reading, singing, and much more. Last but not least, there are the meals—a lot of them: three a day, 21 a week, 84 a month. Most of the time, it is just the six of us, but regularly, there are others with us.
So, the table is now at home in Osijek, Croatia, where we feel very much at peace. We know that God has lead us here, and we are sure that He will lead us into the future. We have found our place here, close to the Roma church in Darda, close to the theological school, and not to far from other Roma Bible Union colleagues.
But, lately, there have been some serious conversations at our table about one particular topic, and that is what I want to share with you. Although we have talked about it privately—just the two of us—into the wee hours of the morning, I have decided to put it all out on the table.
Financially, we are not making it.
We have a serious, committed group of people—some of them among you, dear readers—who are supporting our ministry through prayer, cards, e-mail, and also financially. Some of you have been supporting us already for ten years, since 2007. Some of you have even encouraged us with a visit. It all means more than we can say. We are very encouraged by those of you who stand behind us and cheer us along the way as we run the race.
We are very grateful to have our needs mostly covered at around 90%. Our savings provided us with a nice buffer so we could avoid facing that reality for a time, but now, we have to deal with it. We do not mind living a basic lifestyle, but there is a limit. Sadly, we have reached the bottom, and if we continue like this, the numbers will start to add up in the wrong direction.
We knew that some of the costs would increase. For example, we have to pay for the education of the girls, but we do not receive any child benefit. On the other hand, we also had some unexpected costs, such as the purchase of a new (secondhand) car last year. After living a year in Croatia, we have a better picture of what we need.
It would not be good to end this post in a sad mood. God has been so faithful in the past ten years. We have always had enough, but we want to be honest and put what needs to be said on the table. If you want to join our support team, this is the time do it. Say “Yes” and join us on our journey.
Yes, I see and recognize your call. Yes, I see that you have found your place in ministry among the Roma and at the theological college, and I do not want you and your family to have this struggle to get by financially.
If you support our work and family life already. Thank you very much, If you want to join our group of supporters, welcome! We are on an amazing journey together. It will never be boring that is a promise.;-)