Nr.68 ended with: “These dear people needed to hear the wonderful gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a mission field…….!” (See richardandmarina.net)
We moved from Holland to Belgium on December 23, 1971. Our two oldest girls, Rosa, 7 and Lily, 5 had started to get adjusted to school in Holland where they attended 4 months and seemed to enjoy it. They were quite excited to see Saint Nicholas riding by our house on a horse on December 5, with black Peters throwing nuts around. In Canada Santa Claus comes at Christmas from the North Pole riding a sled pulled by reindeer. In Holland, Saint Nicolas comes on a boat from Spain and then rides around on a horse. Gifts are given on December 5 and not on Christmas.
Moving from Canada to Holland was quite an adjustment, but the same was true about moving to Belgium. So many things were different, the mentality, the currency, the stores, the schools, even the language. And even though about 6 million Belgians speak Dutch, there are French words mixed in and almost every town or area has a different accent. One can often tell from which part of Belgium a person comes. The two main school systems are the Catholic and the State schools. Our girls went to a State school as it was so close to where we lived. Even our youngest, Renee, though she was only 3 had to go to school, as children in Belgium start at age 2½.
Speaking of children, Antwerp had about a half a million people and we found out that there was only one Sunday school in the whole city. We went to see one of the teachers, remarking that they must have a lot of children. Oh yes, she answered, we have 26 children! Marina, with a heart for children cried, how is that possible? Talk about a mission field! And what a challenge! You can well imagine that there would soon be a second Sunday school, and guess where? Our daughters would be getting up early on Sunday mornings and make up their beds and fix up their bedrooms so that they could be used as classes. What a thrill. And then came April 1, 1972……! (Go to Musings)