At the beginning of 2017 we left the Netherlands for Makassar, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
We live and work here with the Christian and Missionary Alliance team.
Peter: After more than 33 years working as a shoemaker, I wanted to start working elsewhere in the world. Together with students from the Jaffray University of Makassar and the local church, we are setting up businesses in the south of Sulawesi. This is a poor area with mainly Muslim residents. With the companies, we want to improve the difficult conditions in which the local population lives. Students have the desire to plant churches there. The companies ensure that the church has a higher value in the community. Also, it hurts my heart how many people live in poverty. We can improve their lives through setting up businesses. We want to meet that challenge. It will not be easy, but we know that we are supported by our family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Above all, we have the realization that we do not have to do it alone, but that God helps us.
Anne-Marie: In the villages south of Makassar, I will be a maternity nurse for maternal and childcare in the first weeks after delivery. In this village, I spoke to a mother in her house made of corrugated sheet. She gave me a homemade rice cake with coconut. Meanwhile, the house was full of neighbors and children. She told me that she had a three-hour drive to the midwife with severe labor pains. She came home with her baby 24 hours after the birth. She had many questions such as: "How do I hold my baby? What should I do when he cries? How do I feed him? The neighbors helped me but I felt upset". After a visit to the midwife, it became clear to me that there are opportunities here. There is a lot to improve on maternal and childcare, such as hygiene, preparation for childbirth and allowing the mother and child to become familiar with each other. I want to give information and instructions on hygiene together with the students of the university. In doing this, I want to show God's love to these women.