Redeemer Stories: Meet Trevor and Bettie

Names: Trevor and Bettie Nielsen
Nationality: Dutch (naturalized from South Africa)
Favorite food: Italian and Moroccan

1. What does your day-to-day look like, particularly during the past year since the COVID pandemic?
Having spent more than 20 years working/living in several faraway countries (Vietnam, Indonesia, Romania, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Albania, Kenya) which exposed us to much travel, cultural differences and many interesting experiences (weather, food, habits and traditions, etc), before the slowdown/lockdown related to the COVID pandemic, this has taken some getting used to. Our days are now much slower, quieter, less active with the daily highlight being feeding the cat!! We have, however, started walking more than we did before the pandemic.
Trevor joins the Redeemer prayer meeting every weekday morning and Sunday evenings and is busy with the study of the Book of Revelation. Bettie connects with 2 women’s Bible study groups on a weekly basis.  And we do a lot of reminiscing about faraway tropical beaches which we plan to visit once the COVID restrictions allow this.

2.  What have you learned about God and who He is in this season?
We learned that God keeps His word.  He does not change and he remains faithful. We thank God every day even when life is sometimes not easy and He has honoured that.
He has kept us healthy and has met all our physical as well as spiritual needs.  We have come to realize that the more one seeks Him, the closer He comes. He spoke to us about things that needed changing in our lives and issues that needed to be addressed. We have both come to a deeper appreciation of His word and the value of prayer.  We speak more to Him and He speaks more to us.

3.  How has it been for you to connect with others (friends, family) during this time of distancing?
Connecting to other Redeemer members has been difficult.  In fact apart from a few times that we’ve had some of them over to watch the Sunday morning online church service, we’ve restricted our contact to our children and grandchildren once a week. Before the summer  we sometimes met with our Lifegroup in the park near our home. Thereafter contact was only through Zoom.
We have learned a lot about Video conferences, Zoom meetings, Facetime, WhatsApp and Skype! We connect regularly with our friends and family all over the world. We are so thankful to the Lord that this technology is available.

4.  Do you have any stories of God answering prayer or breaking through in situations that you’d like to share?
Our big story about answered prayers is that despite being in the vulnerable group we have had absolutely no problems with COVID, with ‘flu’ or any other physical health issues. We are so thankful for God’s constant protection and provision.
Another answer to prayer is when Trevor lost his wallet containing credit cards, debit cards vehicle licenses etc. during a visit to a town far from home, God miraculously answered a very short simple prayer and a stranger, who had earlier found it, brought the wallet back to us as we were sitting in our car with everything in it!

5. What are you thankful for?
We are thankful that we were given this extra time to spend in meditation, studying God’s word and prayer.  We have both grown much closer to our Lord!