Looking back and looking ahead at the end of 2020

Published Categorized as english

It has become a habit: At the end of the year, I write a summary blog in case you would like to read a bit more one of these days, I’ll give you a review of a few blogs.

At the end of 2017

Height (and depth) points of 2018

2019 in a nutshell 

In January I published – with permission – the interview from the Nederlands Dagblad about Marijke. An honest story about a young person who has moved a lot and the impact that this has.

In the rule of life I wrote in January 2020, I expressed the hope that I could have a number of quiet and writing retreats. A lot of days had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. Fortunately, a number of days went ahead and we dealt with it creatively.


The world closed and I wondered: how did others who worked from home do that before us? Working from home is not new. I researched how C.S. Lewis shaped his day and wrote about it.

Celebrating the end of World War ll, 75 years:

We nearly would forget the end of World War ll, because of the distraction of the Pandemic. It helped me to see a few similarities around that time and the current time we live in.

Some bits and pieces:

  • The story of the old wall decorator. How walls are decorated in Europe during the Habsburg time and how lucky we are to found a decorator at the antique market and do it now in our home.
  • Unexpected!  The story of friends who got parents after 9 years of waiting.
  • A walk to the well
  • Just for you: One amazing pizza receipt. I do not know about you, but since we are more at home, I seem to do more home baking and such. This pizza is a bit of work, but if you make the dough in the morning and prepare the filling in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy your pizza for sure!

The end of an era. 

In early October we said good-bye to our sending church in Randwijk.

It is also the end of our time period living as missionaries with a support group from Dutch friends and families and other friends whom we met along the way. How do you thank everyone who has been so faithfully supporting us? was the question I had. I decided to highlight a few stories, so as to be able to see the bigger Story of God within our own small story and wrote a…


Since we came back in the Summer of 2019 we had been jobhunting. At first, I got a job as a nurse, at the Salvation Army, but it was too intense next to our family in re-entry and the responsibilities that this gave and I decided to quit. I got a lot of peace about that decision, but it was very hard to find something else (for Jelle and me) amidst the pandemic. I used that time off to write the book: The world around my table. Many of you ordered a copy already, and some of you are writing such encouraging responses. That makes us very happy indeed! It touches us deeply to see what a journey we have been on together. You as one walking alongside, cheering, encouraging, and we as a family at the front.

Here a few related book blogs:

  • The on-line book presentation was a remarkable moment where we met with many of you from all corners of the world. The group of people queuing that day gave a fascinating indication of our nomad life of the last fifteen years. People from more than 10 countries joined. It was an absolute highlight of the year for me where I saw so many people on my screen like a puzzle piece and connecting them was a special experience.
  • In this blog, you can see pictures by the chapters in the book. Just a visual impression of the stories.

The year 2020 will remain in our memories for a long time. That’s okay. We wish you an intimate Christmas, where you can perhaps zoom in more than usual on the manger and the perfect Child who came to give His life to us in more or less misery.

Left: Josefś dream, while the angel is touching him. Middle: Josef and Mary on the way. Right: Jesus carried by Josef. Made by Judith dec. 2018


p.s.1. Happy news: Our job search ended in a remarkable way: Jelle and I both got accepted for a Salvation Army project in a nearby town. This is quite amazing amidst the crisis. Here you can read our project proposal.

p.s.2. Did you not order the book yet, and still want to do so? You can read more here.


Order now on Amazon.de (Europe)

Order now on Amazon.ca (Canada)

Order now on Amazon.com (US)


Merry Christmas and a blessed 2021

Left to right, Janneke, Laurens, Judith, Femke, Jelle and Marijke.


In case you like to linger on a bit more around the Christ child lying in the manger. In this video clip, you can see the Huismanband singing. (be aware we are not professionals;-)

Enjoy and be on the lookout for a boy who is sneaking in.

The priest here is Jos Strengholt who served in Egypt for over a few decades. Jelle is not to be seen, as he is the man holding the camera.


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