Redeemer Stories: Meet the De Jong family

Name: Joshua, Gerlinde, Salem & Azize
Nationality: Dutch
Favorite activity: Discover new places and go on holiday.

  1. What does your day-to-day look like, particularly during the past year since the COVID pandemic?
    We both work three days a week and the other two we are home with our kids. Gerlinde works in Leiden at the hospital in eyecare and Joshua works for Redeemer. He also has his self employed business in IT on the side. Salem, our oldest, has been going to school now for over two years and will start ‘group 3’ after the Summer. Our youngest, Azize, will start school after the Summer and we are both looking forward to the limited free time it will give us at home in the near future. In the beginning of the pandemic our lives, as many others, were brought to a halt. But with the kids returning to school and daycare, life at home has taken back it’s normal form. We enjoy discovering new places in the Netherlands but also abroad while going on holiday. That last part we’ve really missed and we are looking forward to a time we get to travel safely again. Up till that time we’ve been discovering our province and things around Pijnacker. We love our little town just between Rotterdam and The Hague and the community we have around us.
  1. What have you learned about God and who He is in this season?
    It’s so true that God doesn’t forget us and uses our situations for His good. God has remained the same and he didn’t have to go into lockdown. While we had to quiet our lives, he has been there with open arms for us to grow deeper with him. But we also believe he has been using this time for us to grow closer with our neighbours and that the Holy Spirit is using us to be a good influence in our neighbourhood.
  1. How has it been for you to connect with others (friends, family) during this time of distancing?
    This past season, where social contacts have remained mostly digital, we’ve had the privilege of seeing our neighbours quite a lot and have spent time doing “life together”. One of our prayers before the pandemic has been to have a meaningful relationship with them. While the nation was in lockdown our kids have been playing around in our neighbours gardens, which meant we have gotten to know them well.
  1. Do you have any stories of God answering prayer or breaking through in situations that you’d like to share?
    During the last Ashburnham (2019) we both felt that God had spoken to us about our neighbours and to invest into the relationships we have with them. To be open for the Holy Spirit’s prompting and for him to use us. And now looking back we see that God has opened up many doors in our relationship with them.
  1. What are you thankful for?
    We are thankful that we are healthy and that God always provides. Such a short sentence, but such a deep truth. Lastly we are thankful we can almost go back to church. We have really missed out on meeting all of you! We feel God wants all of us to be connected into the community. It’s good to have a community around us like what we have described in our previous answers. But we long to also be into community with our friends and family in church. Our kids have asked us many times when we go back to church (the Nieuwe Kerk). As much as we have enjoyed watching Ollie and seeing our community on the television, we long to see you all soon, already now at the Sunday evening prayer evenings or in the upcoming Sunday morning meetings very soon.