Nr.105 ended with: “It was just perfect; we could hardly have found a better place. But then we heard who the owner was whom we had to see…….!” (See richardandmarina.net).
To our great surprise we were told that the owner was a prostitute in Antwerp who ran the “Blue Room.” I had to go and see her, but I didn’t want to go alone; just imagine some young Christian seeing me going into that place! :-), so I asked my co-worker to go along. We had a very nice conversation and there was no problem renting the house. In fact, she promised to come to the official opening, which she did some months later. She came with one of “her men” and even brought a large plant as a gift. I’m just fast forwarding a bit now. We had a wonderful opening service and I really preached the gospel, clear and plain. Someone sitting in front of her heard the man say to her, “Quite the change, from a whorehouse to a church.” The woman’s brother lived close by and anytime there was something, we would go to him, we had a good relationship.
We sought the Lord for guidance and decided to move the beginning of 1975 during the Christmas holidays. Martin Luesink, my best man, and his wife Marjorie were working with OM in Belgium and after much prayer decided to move into the mill in Beerse and take over the work there from us. Realizing that once we had moved to Koersel, it would be difficult to go on furlough, Marina and I decided to make a flying 5 week trip to Canada to visit our home church and other churches and friends who had been supporting us, plus Marina’s relatives. We had a number of meetings in churches in southern Ontario. Two wonderful men of our home church rented a car for us to drive West and stop in at churches along the way. The first was in Sault Ste Marie, about 740 km from where we were. A meeting was planned for the evening. But as we were nearing the city, driving 80 km an hour, a car from a side road to the right ran a stop sign and there was a terrible crash……..…..! (Go to Musings).