- An Important 50th Anniversary
Tomorrow, Friday the 21st of June is National Indigenous Peoples Day. And here is an amazing coincidence!
This June is the 50th anniversary marking a series of pivotal events in our lives with the Canela, a Brazilian Indigenous People group.
In the first week of June we met Canelas for the first time, and the Canela chief communicated with me through a little Portuguese and a lot of gestures, inviting us to live in his village to serve his people by doing medical work, and teaching them to read and write.
In the second week, I ceremoniously received the Canela name, Prejaka.
The third week, after ten years of study and training, we moved into a temporary Canela village to begin our twenty-two years of service.
And, Yes, next year, in 2020, the Canela will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the new village site where we lived for decades in one of the first houses to be built.
- Why I Identify with Indigenous Peoples
I paid close attention in a grade five history class in Holland when I heard that the Frysk (Frisians) were the earliest known indigenous people of Holland with their own Frysk language and culture going back to 700 BC. I am a full-blooded, indigenous Frisian since my parents, grandparents are Frisians, born in Fryslan—now called Friesland.
When the Batavian immigrants arrived in Holland, coming down the Rhine river from Germany along with Romans from Italy around 100 BC, they displaced my indigenous Frisians ancestors who ended up living in swampy areas along the north coast of Holland, in Friesland. A half million Frisians still speak their own language. Yes, the Bible has been translated into Frisian.
- A Major Reason to Celebrate!
Our family is giving thanks to God that after three and four months of surgeries, complications, chemotherapy, multiple tests and exams, Jo, wife, mother and grandma has been pronounced cancer-free. Yes, we are celebrating!
- Summer Focus on Writing Memoirs
This will be the last InSights and OutBursts post until September. I am taking my traditional blogging break over the summer. Not because I am going to stop writing. Oh no!
I am working hard on the second volume of my memoirs—the years from 1950 when I arrived in Canada as a twelve-year old boy, to 1966 when Jo and I in our late twenties arrived in Brazil with our three pre-school children, one of whom was only four months old. Those sixteen years were a time when God prepared us for our decades of service in Brazil.
So, the working title is The Preparation Years. The third book will be The Production Years. The first volume, The Misadventures of Hansje, is the Prequel.
- Summer Family Vacation and Reunion
In the first two weeks of August, we will have a family vacation with some camping, and at least one day of family reunion with my siblings and their families. God is good. More reason to celebrate!
Here’s hoping you will all have great reasons to celebrate this summer too!