The Starbucks update

Okay- I haven’t updated this blog for a while but of course I need to tell you all about my Dutch Starbucks experience. Let me tell you, it wasn’t sweet.
After I finally convinced my best friend that we should check out the Dutch Starbucks she approved and hit the road with me. We ended up at Schiphol airport, found out that there are two stores and one is located at the old Yum Yum (Asian Noodles) store. We were sad! WE LOVE YUM YUM. Anyway of course we were going to see the bigger store and so we ended up waiting there in line to get our coffee (Mocca, Mocca!!) and the yummy chocolate cake. Let me tell you: it was expensive! I know Starbucks is expensive but clearly it has always been the best overpriced coffee, but this was too overpriced. Not to mention that after drinking it and eating the chocolate cake we were both very nauseous of all the sugar. What did they throw in that stuff? A sugar can? So I’m disappointed about the Starbucks here in The Netherlands. I must admit that the next week I made up that disappointed in London. Many many Starbucks there! ;-)


So, finally the overpriced best coffee in the entire world is opening a store in Holland!! Well I must admit...we already had one behind customs at the airport but not accessible for people who don't have an airplane ticket... Now, at last store 2 is being opened! This one is also located at the airport but before customs! YEAH! I finally can get my tall coffee Mocca with whipped cream in Holland! I'm so excited about this, you wouldn't know...

I really don't understand why we are one of the last countries in the entire world to have a Starbucks.. Dutch people LOVE coffee. Not to mention that the factory of Starbucks is situated in......AMSTERDAM. Did you know that Amsterdam is in Holland?? !!And we didn't even have or own Starbucks store...go figure! Anyway November 15th is D-day!

Boston- memories

Boston...I miss being in Boston. Was just thinking about that today. 3 weeks ago I was walking around downtown Boston with Jen. We visited this church (Trinity Church) for all your ' National Treasure' -fans... Yes it's in the movie besides the Trinity Church in New York city (which I have visited too;-)) Both churches are amazing. But must admit that I thought the Boston one looked so much more older...and smelled older too ;-) It's always great to visit a church and think about the fact that God has been worshipped in this place for many many many years. It makes you realise how great and amazing God's kingdom is...


I got braces today! OUGH! I had them twice before. But somehow my teeth won't stay straight, hehe... So them again. I feel like I'm 14 again.... :-)

My roommates think I look like a teenager...THANKS! ;-)

I hate it, but it's either this or awful teeth (1 corner tooth caused a lot of pain..)

Anyway there are worst things in life. So the next time you see me, I'll give you my iron smile;-)

Rambles about Boston, Passion and Maine

Sitting here in the computer room of the Hambletts in East-Boothbay. Just thought I would drop y'all a little note.
Right now I'm trying to figure out what I want to write down. My best ideas come when I'm asleep. I had all these things I wanted to write you but I have no clue what I want to write now. I arrived in Boothbay on Tuesday. After spending two days in Freeport (the home of LL Bean) and a couple of days in York, Maine and of course not to forget Boston.

Boston was just amazing! I arrived in Boston on Thursday night. Kate and I picked Jen up (a friend from Minnesota) from the airport and headed to Beverly to have a sleepover at Kate's friend house. That evening started quite interesting because one of the neighbors had some problems with her fire alarm so at some point we had about 3 firetrucks in our little street. Interesting!

Jen, Kate and I talked for quite some time and I think we went to bed at 2am. The next morning we had to get up at 4.30am because we had to move our stuff into the Sheraton hotel. Normally I'm not a morning person but because of the time difference and maybe because of the fact that I had been looking forward to this day for a long time I was full of energy and talked as much as I could. I think I drove them nuts.

We checked into the hotel at around 5-ish. Got our stuff into the room, met Christine and got settled for a bit. Then at 7-ish we had to leave for the Agganis Arena. Christine and Kate are older than 25 so they were volunteers. Jen and I decided to go with them because we thought we would be lost if we had to go there by ourself. After we dropped Christine and Kate off, Jen and I decided to see some sightseeings. I thought I knew the route but I think Jen didn't really trusted me, lol. But it turned out that I knew where we were going. Although the map was really helpful. We visited Trinity church, Boston Common and did a part of the Freedom Trail walk. It was great to be back in Boston.

That evening Passion started! WOW! I was super excited, couldn't believe that I was actually at Passion! I had to pinch myself the whole time. It was like I was watching Louie Giglio on one of his dvd's. But wow what a great night that was. Amazing to be in Boston with so many other Christians my age. That was just incredible. The next day, Saturday, was even more amazing! Steve Fee's song says it all: " We shine, we shine in the light of God and when we speak, we speak with words of love and when we dance we make it a little wild because we are the people of God, yeah the people of God." " We worship the King with everything that we are cause we are the people of God, yeah the people of God" A little wild isn't the description, it was WILD. And all for God. And the best thing was that at some point people were so into God that they forgot that Charlie, Steve or Chris was leading worship. It was so special to be part of the Passion regional in Boston. I don't want to sound like a dork but it really was. The holy spirit was sweeping the place. I never ever experienced something like this. I thought worship gatherings in Holland were amazing but this one gave me the chills. I can continue to write about Passion but there are no words to describe it. You should experience it yourself. Go to one of the worldtour dates in Europe: Stockholm, Paris or London.

So yes Passion was over and I was a bit sad about it but now I can look back to an amazing time! It was great meeting new people and seeing the people I already knew...It was great to meet Mr. Giglio and the rest of the Passion staff.

On Sunday I left York, Maine for Freeport Maine. I had to say goodbye to Hannah, sniff but was going to stay with Kate for a couple of nights, so that was kind of cool too. In Freeport I did some shopping. Kate invited me to one of her Mary Kay meetings, so i got a make-over. It looked really good on me. And then on Tuesday I left for Boothbay.

So right now I'm at the Hambletts. It has been interesting till so far. Andy Hamblett is the director of the YMCA in Boothbay. I've known him and his wife for a couple of years... They have 4 kids: Peter, Lincoln, Helen and Chris. The two girls Lincoln and Helen are just amazing. They keep on talking, dancing, jumping, singing. Oh and there's something about a tv show here called Hannah Montana...or something like that. Yeah well....I think I can sing every Hannah Montana song now. They even have Hannah Montana costumes for Halloween...crazy!

Boothbay is my second home. It's just an amazing place and the people are great! It's so cool to see all those familiar faces again. Hang out with the people I know. I found out that I attract animals. Every dog is all over me...I love dogs, would love to have one again. But it's so funny...from the 3 days I've been in Boothbay I've had Marley (a golden retriever), a black lab, a schnauzer, a chocolate lab called Hogan and the dog of the Hambletts: Maddie. Today I'm going to stay with The Woods, and they have three dogs: Bartie, Kate and Kobe. Dogs everywhere, but I love them. So most of my clothes look like fur. They smell, but I don't care...perfume is working for me at this point.

Yesterday I had dinner with the Hambletts and they kept pouring wine into my you can imagine that at some point I was a bit tipsy....The thing with wine is: I fall I almost fell asleep on the couch when we were watching Grey's Anatomy.

That's the other thing about people here, everybody loves Grey's anatomy, The Practice, Ugly Betty etc...

Oh and I'm addicted to (don't laugh) CMT!! I just love country music...


A lot of you people know that my family is going through some very hard circumstances at this moment. But in the midst of all the darkness I find strenght in this verse:

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”- Romans 5:3-4

Less of me. More of Him.

Sometimes I feel that I draw every attention to myself...even in a way that people expect me to do certain things or think that I have this interesting and cool life.
I don't!
I pray that my life will be more and more in Jesus' footsteps.

"He must increase, but I must decrease" John. 3:30

Less of me.
More of Him.

And there it college

Look closely (click on the picture) my college is listed too :-) : Christelijke Hogeschool Ede

Taking it to the streets

The Pentecost church overhere celebrated their 100 years existence last weekend and so they organised these two Hillsong United events. One at Dam square and the other one in the Olympic Stadium. In advance I've told many people about this event. I was really excited that we were actually going to evangelise with Hillsong United on Dam square in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a city full of drugs and prostitution and the idea of bringing God's glory to this city, well that is just AMAZING. A lot of churches in my little country started to pray for this event and also my youth group. We were all very excited about it and were expecting major things to happen here!!

Saturday, 15 september 2007
A lot of youth groups had meetings going on that morning to pray for the event and to fellowship with other christians.The first concert was at Dam square. It started at 1 pm. I was part of the videoteam. It was great to see Hillsong United lead worship at Dam square. Amsterdam is a crazy city, lots of drugs and prostitution going on there! And to see God show up in all the hearts of the people who attended the concert, well that was amazing! Also to see all those young people proclaiming God's Glory, that was just incredible!!

The second concert was at night in the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam. 30.000 people worshipping God... WOW. It was great to be part of it and to spend time with God and fellow christians.Because I had to work during the first concert I missed most of it and so being part of the second concert, well that was just amazing. I had two tickets, 1 front row ticket and the other one was somewhere in the way back. I choose the last one because I wanted to experience it fully and have some time with God. From the way back it was amazing to see all these people praising God loudly, singing & dancing. It seemed like God showed us a piece of Heaven. Can you imagine how it's going to be in Heaven?? I think it's going to be one big party for God eternally!! WOW

I don't know how many people responded to the call to Christ! I'm not very good with numbers but I do know that a lot of people have met Jesus that day!

This is what JTH from Hillsong United said about it:
"We headed for Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. It's literally right in the centre of the city in front of the queen's palace. We had the incredible privilege of taking worship to the streets. There were thousands of people around on a perfect day. And we did what we do right there in the midst of it. We had church outdoors in the middle of one of the most secular and hedonistic cities in the world. Making it public!! An experience we'll no doubt ever forget. It was awesome watching people just listening to what was being said, and being captivated by all that was going on. Phil preached up a storm and a lot of people responded to the call to Christ.

As if that wasn't enough...We went from there to the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam (they hosted them in 1928). There were 30,000 people there in Amsterdam - Europe!! Who could imagine. And they were passionate, and loud.. And free.. It was a night to remember.. And I believe it was something significant for Holland and this part of Europe.We've seen crowds like that in South America, and elsewhere. But not in Europe. There is a hunger and a desire here for truth...for freedom...for something more than religion. And it was so very very GREAT to be able to be here and be a part of it."

Wow, JTH is so right! This was something significant for Holland!! Also a real boost for all the young people overhere! Every heart was on fire for Jesus that night! I really hope it stays that way. Please pray for Holland but esp for Europe. People overhere are so hungry and I hope and pray that people like us can shine and tell them about God's eternal love.


Yesterday I was travelling with public transportation to home. When I was sitting in the bus I noticed a familiar face. It was a guy I met last year. I remembered him because last year I thought he was nice looking. Tons of girls think the same thing, but they don't know the real him. So when I saw him I noticed there was this girl beside him. She was totally atracted to him, it made me laugh. Poor girl, if only she knew how he really is....

Then it hit me! Am I growing up? Am I able to judge about guys...? Do I see the real person behind the façade? I don't know, but I can't help but think about that girl. I hope she finds out soon!


Bitterness, Brokeness
Trying just to breathe
Open wounds, painful hearts
Living in a world of fear

The Lord is my strenght
He is my guide
He keeps me from harm
And watch over my life

Open arms, healing words
Sparkling eyes, make me understand
His everlasting sacrifice

The Lord is Your strenght
He is Your guide
He will keep you from harm
And watch over your life


Norwegian church in Holland

My little nephew started college!! I'm such a proud aunt and I feel so old:-)

Yes, Cornelis started college. He attends a college in Rotterdam and is planning on becoming a captain of a ship. It's a job that has been in our family since forever, so I wasn't really surprised.

Last week I had to go with him to his college to arrange a couple of things. Arrived in Rotterdam we took a tram to his college and we passed a weird looking building, so I looked at it and noticed that it was a Norwegian church. I immediately mentioned it to my nephew. He took a deep breath and said: how do you actually notice these kind of things? Because we had passed this church like a million times that day and we both didn't really see it until I noticed it... I really don't know! But I thought it was kind of cool that we have a Norwegian church here...

Sleep walking

Definition: Sleep walking is a disorder that occurs when a person walks or does another activity while they are still asleep.

Apparently I walk during my sleep... I once showered in the middle of the night and woke up when I turned on the shower...and apparently last night I sleep walked again.

My nephew is staying at my house and he plays these computer games all at some point I opened the door of his room and yelled: "Please remove those smelly fish from my room."
He almost got a heart attack and said: what?! Then I replied: "oh...I thought there were fish in my room" and walked back to my room slammed the door and went back to bed...

Life is good, eternal life is better - Stellar Kart


Singleness. What a great word! I think I have drawn everyone’s attention now, or at least I hope so. I’ve wanted to write a blog about being single for quite some time. But I never really have gotten to a point to actually write one. I’ve no clue what I am going to write at this point but I felt I just had to write a blog about it.
What’s it like to be single? Great? Okay? Or horrible? I personally think it can be all three of those words. Sometimes it’s great; there are plenty of nice guys/ girls on this planet… Other times it’s okay: not spectacular and there are times that you are lonely and it sucks. I think everybody goes through these periods in his of her life. I’m single and I know all about it.


do I need to get married in order to be happy and successful: No. Is there a particular guy in my life at this moment: I don’t know, who knows.. Do I want to get married someday: yes! Would I mind if God has other plans for me: mmm…yes and no. I know that God’s plans are the best ones in life but on the other hand I do want to get married someday.

It’s great to talk with other people about this subject. Normally I don’t talk much about it because what should I say about it? I don’t mind being single. I know how awful dating can be but that doesn’t make me want to stay single. Things that happened in the past happened in the past. I’m looking forward to have my own family later on in life. All in God’s timing! My family basically things I’m going to be this OLD single lady. My friends on the other hand say that I’m way too young to actually worry about these kind of things. What I do believe is that we are living in this love- centered world. Our creator is the one who invented LOVE. Love can be really good but it can be used in a wrong way too. Everyone needs love and that’s why a lot of people are on the search for someone to love. Nobody is satisfied until they find that particular person. What most people forget is that real love comes from the One who is in the heavens reigning over the world. What He did for us: well that’s REAL LOVE! I want to end this blog with a quote from Louie Giglio:

"There's a lot of pressure to find the right one. But how cool would it be to fall in love with Jesus in such a way that He rose up to the top of your satisfaction quotient and He became the thing that satisfied your soul. And forever more you were going through life asking the question, 'I wonder if she's the right two.'"

Passion in Boston 12-13 okt 2007

I finally made the choice: I’m going to Passion in Boston. Passion has been on my heart for so long and I felt that I should go to Passion. I booked my airplane ticket this week and everything is planned. It’s going to cost a lot of money, I can’t afford much but I just took this leap of faith. I’m also working on my dissertation. My dissertation is about Passion, so I hope and pray that I’ll have the opportunity to meet with the Passion staff during this conference.

Flevo Festival: living the dream

Last week was crazy. After working for half the week I found myself on a train to the Flevo Festival grounds. This was going to be my first Flevo experience and I was excited about it! Not only that but I was also part of the webteam. I was excited to see bands as Hillsong London, Chris Tomlin and the Newsboys. I couldn’t wait to write articles about them. But before I tell you all about Flevo I want to tell you something about Ireland. My friend Philip from atiG event management in Ireland booked Chris Tomlin that week. Philip knows that I’m a big supporter of Chris Tomlin’s music and invited me to come over. Unfortunately the day of the concert was on the day that I had to start with my work for Flevo. I would have made the choice to go to Ireland but because I already said that I would be at Flevo on the Wednesday I couldn’t really permit to leave for Ireland. I’ve thought it over & over, because I really want to see Compass & meet up with Philip. But anyway… Chris Tomlin was supposed to perform on the Wednesday in Ireland, then he had a show on the Thursday in England and on Friday he was going to be at the Flevo Festival in Holland. Philip told me that all the bands were arriving on Tuesday and so I was anxious on how everything went. I e-mailed Philip but didn’t really got a reply back. I knew he was busy so that wasn’t really surprising to me. Somehow on Tuesday evening I felt something was wrong. It’s weird… but I had a really weird feeling… I prayed for the situation & continued to pray for it. On Wednesday I still had that feeling and I guess I either text messaged Philip on Tuesday or Wednesday to ask him about how it went. He didn’t reply, so still I thought: well he’s busy… Later I found out that when Chris Tomlin arrived on Tuesday, he got stuck on the airport because somehow he didn’t have the right work permits. The band members were threatened as criminals and were told they had to leave the next day. The whole situation was stressful and very unrealistic. This must have been awful for everyone who was involved and so stressful. It became a whole political issue between Ireland and the US but literally thanks to God they got their passports back on Wednesday and were able to perform that night! Our God is so GREAT! (Note: more stories about this are on the website of Chris Tomlin and atiG and supersimbo

Anyway on Wednesday I was stuck in a train to the middle of nowhere in Holland. Literally, the Flevo Festival is in the middle of nowhere. It took me 2,5 hours to reach the festival grounds. I live in the western part of Holland, in the city area. So going to the southern part of Holland is going to the middle of nowhere, although Holland is small!!
I was excited and nervous because this was my first Flevo Festival and I was going all by myself. My friends were all coming on the Thursday but I was the one who was working at the festival and they were just going because they wanted to see the bands.
On Wednesday morning I arrived, bumped into my colleagues (which I hadn’t met yet) at the train station and we took a taxi to the Festival grounds. We put our tents up. Later I found out that we put our tents up into a swamp...we didn’t know at the time but when it started to rain that evening…well…I literally felt the water under my tent… Anyway we didn’t really felt like we should move our tents, because it took us quite a while to put up the tents. On Thursday my friends offered me to move me out of the swamp, but I waved it away. I thought it would be okay. I regret it now because of the fact that it was freezing at night, and my tent was always wet. So basically I decided to skip sleep every night (wrong idea!!)

On Wednesday I found out that I had to write articles about the main stage artists, I was excited. On Thursday I had my first interview with Rebecca st. James. We talked about dreams, festivals, fans and being single! I also had an interview with John Davis (Supergrass). He told me that he used to be a drug addict and while I'm having a brother in law who’s a drug addict....well John really inspired me!! On Friday I was busy, or at least I was supposed to be busy. I had interviews with Chris Tomlin, Sarah Kelly and Christafari. But they were all cancelled! All the bands were late and so most interviews were cancelled. I was so disappointed. I did meet Tomlin & band members. It was good to actually meet the guys! They are so nice. I guess Philip told them all about me on Wednesday so they all knew who I was. Crazy. Philip, you’re the best!!
So I decided to just hang out backstage and talk with the guys, make some pics of their sound check and while my interview was cancelled I planned to go to the press conference. I guess my colleagues saw me with the band and I soon became the ‘groupie’ of the web team. We all had these names for each other. Embarrassing!! Haha. I wasn’t the only groupie. Robin befriended Psalters and This Beautiful Republic and so when I came back to our web team tent it was crowded. He invited those bands to use our internet and they took up that offer. So at some point I found myself behind one of the laptops of one of the band members of Psalter because he changed, by accident, the language of their myspace page into Dutch. On Friday night I went to see Hillsong London. I love Hillsong. I’ve been to the Hillsong church in London and I love the Hillsong organisation and their heart for God. After the concert I was so tired and asked one of my colleagues if I could join her in her interview with Jeni Vardeneau. Jeni is a wonderful woman and we had a great conversation with her. Then I went to see Sarah Kelly perform. At some point I felt so tired that I went backstage again. Saw the Tomlin guys, wished them a good performance and walked back to the main stage area again… The concert of Tomlin band was amazing! I love their concerts, because they are so God centered, and that’s what it is all about. Flevo is a music festival and people don’t really go there to meet Jesus. I felt God move big time during their concert. Although rain was pouring down I felt that God was blessing us all. It was amazing.

Saturday was a busy day, I found myself behind the laptop all day, writing articles. I also had an interview with Kees Kraayenoord (a Dutch worshipleader) Kees is originally from my hometown Katwijk. It was great interviewing him. Saturday was busy, but I found some time to see the Newsboys in concert. I didn’t expect much of it but again God moved big time! He was really there and he was setting the hearts of young people on fire! Sunday was the last day. There was this service in the morning and then it was already time to leave. It was an incredible but crazy week! I hope I’ll be able to do it again next year!!

Much thanks to the web team: Linda, Christine, Robin aka Remco :-p, Thijs, Roland, Tim, Marcus and our supervisors Irene & Carolien!
Just to let you all know, the stitches have been removed and I’m healed up. Thanks for all your concerns and prayers. You guys are the best!

The removal of the birthmark...

Sometimes things just don’t happen the way you want them to happen…
Well it happened to me again! Two weeks ago I had an appointment in the hospital to let them check my birthmarks, or moles or whatever you call them, you know those brown circle things you have on your body, well I’m blessed with a lot of those… It’s not like I’m all covered with them but I do want to get some removed, just because I thought that it would be better! So to continue my story: I went to the hospital to get them checked and asked the doctor to remove the ones I wanted to get removed. She didn’t want to do it, she saw no point in removing them. Until she noticed a birthmark that questioned her mind and well she wanted to get that one removed.
On Tuesday I had to come back to the hospital for the removal of the birthmark. I was a bit scared though, although I’ve been in the hospital before and I spend the first 3 months of my life there I was still afraid. “It is only a birthmark, why should I be scared?” I thought. I was still nervous but calm when the doctor started to cut my birthmark away. I thought I would end up with 2 stitches and a little bit of a scar but things changed a bit, because the birthmark was about 2cm and she had to cut all the skin around it away(I don’t know why they do that, but anyway…) In the middle of stitching me up her intern fainted so there I was lying on this table with a doctor stitching me up and an intern who couldn’t really handle it….I felt so awkward. I couldn’t really see what they were doing because the spot was right under my arm. Anyway, she stitched it all up and I’ve got 8 stitches and it hurts more than I ever expected. It’s only a birthmark, I feel so stupid! On Wednesday I hung out with one of my best friends and I think I’ve mentioned the pain a dozen times to her. Poor girl. In the end I told her: “it’s not like I want to whine, or complain or that I’m feeling sorry for myself but I just need attention.” She couldn’t stop laughing and said that it was ok. I'm such a drama queen! lol

Paris trip august 2007

Paris, the city of love. I don’t know if it’s really the city of love but I sure can tell you that it plays tricks with your mind. I know Wade, Jan-Willem and Jolanda will say something different but we had a few really weird conversations. Actually the whole weekend was one weird conversation but we had so much fun! We left for Paris on Friday the 3rd of august. Jolanda, Jan-Willem and I had to work that Friday morning so we left at around 2-ish in the afternoon. It took us about 6,5 hours to reach Paris due the fact that traffic was just crazy near Antwerp. Also we experienced some trouble with getting LPG/GPL (gas) because we found out that every country has its own way of putting gas into a car… But we made it to Paris! When we arrived there, we found this amazing parking spot just outside the city centre, near our hotel. The best thing was: free parking! As we are cheap Dutch people we booked a cheap hotel near Pére Lachaise; the cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried. The hotel was cheap and the rooms were tiny but we couldn’t really complain because we didn’t pay much for it. The subway was right next to our hotel so we decided to go to the Eiffel tower. Seeing the Eiffel tower after being in a car for so long is just amazing! It was beautiful to see Paris by night!

The next morning we woke up early to leave and to explore Paris. First we hit the catacombs, an underground burial place in Paris. The bones of around 6 million people are stored there. From what I’ve understood was that a lot of graves were emptied in the 18th century and the bones were placed in these underground tunnels. It was a bit strange to see all these skulls and bones, but in a way it was interesting too. After the catacombs we took the nearest subway to Napoleon’s grave. Napoleon is buried in the Church of the Dome at Les Invalides. The church is just amazing, it has these beautiful paintings and the top of the church is covered in gold. The gardens around the building are very pretty. Les invalides was near the Eiffel tower so we decided to walk up to the Eiffel tower and take an elevator up to the top. We weren’t the only ones who wanted to go to the third floor of the Eiffel tower that day so Wade and I decided to get in line and Jolanda and Jan-Willem walked up to the fountain to relax a little bit. It took us 1,5 hours to reach the ticketboot and when we finally reached it they changed the sign and we could only go up to the 2nd floor because it was very crowded! I’ve been to the 3rd floor before but I was a bit sad for Wade. Here's this American who comes all the way from the United States and now he can’t go to the top of this building. Although we were only on the 2nd floor, the view from the Eiffeltower was amazing! After we came down, Wade and I walked up to the fountain and met up with Jolanda and Jan-Willem again. It was really warm weather so I decided to get into the fountain to cool down. The next thing on our list was the Nortre Dame. The Norte Dame was amazing too, I love seeing old churches and this one has a great architecture! Having seen the Norte Dame and all the other places we were all very exhausted and decided to go back to the hotel to take a shower and to change into fresh and clean clothes.

On Saturday evening we went up to Montmartre to have some diner there and see the Sacre Coeur. We missed sunset but still it was an amazing view from the Sacre Coeur, you could just overlook the whole city. My all time favorite place is Place du Tertre, the place where all the painters are situated on the street and draw or paint portrets. Such a romantic place and so beautiful. (If I ever find my mr. right guy I would definitely want to go there with him!) After Montmartre, Sacre Coeur and Place du Tertre we went to the red light distric of Paris; the place where people buy love. We wanted to see the Moulin Rouge so we walked up the building and took some pictures. Then we decided to go back to our hotel to drink some beers and get some rest.

Sunday morning was Louvre-time. We took the tube to the museum and while it has free access on every first Sunday of the month there were lines and lines everywhere. But as I already mentioned we, cheap, Dutch were excited about the museum entrance being for free so we couldn’t really care about the lines. It didn’t took long to get into the museum and so we went straight to the 1st floor to see the Mona Lisa. You just have to see the Mona Lisa when you are in Paris. It’s this tiny painting on a big wall and about 1000 asian people are making pictures of it…You just can’t miss it! After visiting the Louvre we walked on the Champ Elysées to the Arc du triomphe walked passed place du concorde and the American embassy. Wade wanted to make a picture of the embassy but the security in front of the buildig got really angry. Arc de Triomphe is amazing too, it’s nice to see the everlasting flame and to walk around the building. We were all too tired to climb the thing so after we had seen it we decided to go back to the hotel, get our stuff and head back to Holland. The bad thing about the whole day was that it was around 32 celcius outside and we were in a car without airconditioning. But we survived and we arrived safe at home that evening. Paris was amazing. I would like to go back again!

Flevo Festival// August 16-19

And I'm on the webteam during the festival:-)

Weekend-away Bristol: july 20th-23rd

Friday morning my mom and I went to the airport to check in for our flight to Bristol. The flight to Bristol from Amsterdam is a short flight so we figured we should be at the airport 2 hours in advance. Unfortunately we guessed wrong because it was the last day of school that day and everybody was going away! So there were lines and lines and lines and I got stressed out a bit because we would for sure miss our flight. Luckily there was this nice flight attendant who helped us and got us through right on time! When we arrived in Bristol I noticed someone familiar: David Ruis. He’s a worship leader and he led worship at Soul Survivor Holland a couple of times. I basically ran into him. He recognized me too because I interviewed him last year. We talked a bit and he told me he was on his way to Soul Survivor UK. Arrived in Bristol we took the shuttle bus from the airport to the city centre. We arrived too early to check in so we left our bags at the hotel and went shopping.

Saturday was the day of the wedding!! But it was also the day that the new Harry Potter book came out and I love reading those books! So Saturday morning I made sure I bought a copy of the new book. At around noon the uncle and cousin of Andy (the groom) picked us up and together with them we drove to the wedding, which was in Weston Super Mare (about a 30 min. ride) The wedding started at 1.30 pm that day and we were a bit early so we decided to hang out in the park and just get a cup of tea. Then when it was nearly time we walked up to the church. At the church I bumped into Andy and his parents. It was great to see him again and to meet his parents. When we finally sat down in the church Andy’s best man walked up to me and said that I was one of the witnesses and that I was supposed to sign the register at the end. That was a big surprise for me because Hannah didn’t tell me, I was very excited!! The church service was amazing! It was very beautiful, full of God, full of love. They sang a couple of amazing hymns, Beautiful one by Tim Hughes and How great is our God by Chris Tomlin.After the vicar blessed Hannah and Andy it was time to sign the register. During the signing Hannah’s friend Pippa sang this amazing Lex Buckley song: Heaven Rejoices. I love that song because if I go through hard times I always listen to that song. After service we met some relatives of Hannah and Andy and talked a bit. It is amazing to meet people that you only know from stories. The wedding reception was at a beautiful hotel in the country. Pictures were taken and we met one of Andy’s cousins who had lived in The Netherlands. He was great. Funny guy and he had enough time to practice his Dutch on my mom. My mom kept on talking to him, poor guy! After the reception there was this big dinner. Which was amazing! I love food so everything with food involved is just amazing. After dinner there was cake and coffee! Also there was the opportunity to dance! Andy & Hannah hired a band and at some point I even found myself dancing on the music and doing the ‘Boston Tea Party’ with other guests. You all know I can’t dance, so hopefully there aren’t any pictures taken! The wedding was amazing and I really had a great time!

Sunday & monday
On Sunday my mom and I visited some churches in Bristol, went shopping again and sat for quite some time in a nearby park. I wanted to visit Bath, but the weather was horrible and so we decided to just stay in Bristol. I also had the opportunity to start to read in my Harry Potter book! (it caused me some nightmares that night!! LOL) On Monday we packed and took the shuttle bus to the airport at the airport we hit the Starbucks again and went again shopping. I seriously don’t need or want to see any shops in the next two weeks! I had a great weekend-away. Hopefully will be going back again soon to see Andy & Hannah.

Ps 1:Hannah and I know each other since birth, our moms were both dealing with difficult pregnancies and they met each other in the hospital. I lost contact when Hannah moved back to England but found her through the internet about 2,5 years ago! The amazing thing is that she became a Christian about 4/5 years ago and around that time I made my own choice to follow Jesus. Being in touch again is amazing, we truly believe that God has made this all happen!
Ps 2: It seems like I have an American accent…At least 5 people asked me if I was American and when I replied that I’m Dutch they looked at me and said: are you sure? Haha…
Matt 17:20

He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

Parents left the building!

So yeah mom&dad left Katwijk and traded it in for Stavanger, Norway!! They are not coming back for another 2 weeks! So are you thinking what I'm thinking?? PARTYYYYYY!!!

Unfortunately my dear sister has given it a thought too and now she is coming this weekend with her husband and two kids...NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Yea, and my little niece is crazy about me.....but I'm pretty sure after this weekend I'm not crazy about her anymore;-)

Picture time:-)

Gerco, Arjen & me

Charlona & me
Natasha Bedingfield & me

Chris Tomlin @ EO youth day press conference

Chris Tomlin & me

Me @ Sosu during Delirious?

Safin lost....

And now I'm sad:-( ...LOL

Our own little christian world...

For the past few days I have been wondering and thinking about what you should do and what you shouldn't do as a christian. Do you have to follow rules and act like a good christian or just live your life & do whatever you want to do.... Do you have to stay in your own safe circle of christian friends or is it better not to? If I look around me a lot of my christian friends & family members are coming up with rules. But did God & Jesus really intend those rules? Isn't it all about having a relationship with Jesus? And shouldn't you be out there in the world and see what's out there, but not belonging to the world? I find it hard....I talked about it with a friend of mine and she came up with the story about the firstborn children in Egypt. She heard this story during a churchservice, I would like to share it with you. This story is part fictional and part non-fictional:
  • During the time the Hebrews were in Egypt and were slaves for the Pharaoh of Egypt. God told Moses what he intended to do to get the Hebrews out of Egypt. There were several plagues and one of them was that all the firstborn children were destroyed. God told Moses what the Hebrews would need to do if they did not want their firstborn destroyed. God said that they were to consider a certain day as the beginning of the first month of their year. The first month of our year is January, but the first month of the Jewish year is called Nisan, and it is in the springtime.
    On the tenth day of that first month every family of the Hebrews was to take a young sheep, or lamb, and keep it until the fourteenth day. Just as the sun was going down on the fourteenth day they were to kill these lambs, and the blood was to be sprinkled on the doorposts of their houses and over the tops of the doors. That night they were to roast the lambs and the families were to eat them during the night.
    If a family was small and couldn't eat a whole Iamb in one night, then the family next door could be their guests, and in that way one lamb would do for two families.
    None of that lamb was to be left until the morning. If they couldn't eat it all, then what was left over was to be burned inside the house.
    While they were eating the lamb, the Hebrews were to be dressed, all ready to leave Egypt, for God knew that the next morning Pharaoh, the king, would insist they must leave right away.
    That night when the power of God destroyed all the firstborn of Egypt, wherever the blood of the lamb was found on the doorposts of the houses, the firstborn child in that house was not destroyed.
  • It happened to be that a man, who thought he was very religious and lived in God's law didn't listen to Moses orders from God and didn't sprinkle the blood on his doorpost...His firstborn was killed... But his neighbor, who was a sinner and didn't act like God's law, listened to Moses and obeyed God's commands and his firstborn was saved.
  • Now the question is: How could God not safe the firstborn of this man who believed in him and obeyed to His law ? And why did he safe the firstborn of that other man?
The answer is that we are all sinners, although we might try to be good christians we always sin no matter what... That man who was a big sinner he listened to God and obeyed his command! Although he didn't live and obeyed God laws all the time he did listen to God in a crucial moment. Sometimes we are so caught up in our own little world, with our own christian friends and our own christian dvd collection, cd's and books, and sometimes we just don't hear God speaking to us! I don't say we all need to sin more because it doesn't matter what we do or how we act, it does! We are called to love, like Jesus said in John 15:17 This is my command: Love each other. We should live for Jesus, live like him and have a relationship with him. But we must be aware of the fact that we don't start to become isolated from the world and be caught up in our own little safe christian world because well...we might miss a crucial moment!

Safin vs. Federer

I have been watching Wimbledon these past few days. I love tennis and I would love to go to one of those grand slam tournaments in the future. My ultimate wish would be the French Open, but would love to go to Wimbledon, the Australian Open & US open as well... Anyway today i found out that my favorite tennisplayer (Marat Safin) is going to play against Roger Federer in the 3rd round...
You all know what that means...or not! Federer is one of the best tennisplayers in the world. He's practically unbeatable...So when I found out that Safin had to play Federer.. I was very disappointed. Because I don't want Safin to lose. Don't get me wrong, Safin is an amazing tennisplayer, one of the greatest of this era. He can definitely beat Federer, as the matter of fact he did beat him a couple of times on hard court, grass..well that is a totally different story. But somehow I really hope & believe Safin is going to win! I've said it before, I like Safin better... Why? Well not only is Safin a great tennisplayer, he is a very nice & down to earth guy! I've met him twice (5 years ago) and he was just amazing, Federer is a whole different story..he is so focused on his game and not focused on his fans...he just walks past you..I thought that was kind of rude!
Not only that, this week I found out that the cow he got from his country when he won Wimbledon is slaughtered because the cow did not produce enough milk...HOW SAD!

Is it wrong to like a tennisplayer because of his personality??? ;-)


The weather overhere has been a bit depressing. It has been raining and raining non-stop. I don't mind because I like to sit on the couch and watch television while it's dark & raining outside. But there's nothing to watch on the television lately. i don't understand what people are watching these days...It seems like there's no normal tv program left. I don't like soap opera's because they are most of the time so fake and unreal.. I mean,..come you really believe that some woman has had every single guy from one family...that's just not realistic...
Not to mention all those reality tv programs...I really don't find it interesting how people live as millionairs in a mansion...
Oprah has gone new age... all those tell-sell commercials are driving me nuts and not to forget all those re-runs...
So every week I'm looking forward to thursday evening...when I can watch my all time favorite: CSI New York! Yup...that might be fake too, but at least it's interesting!


Lately I've been using this blog a lot for posting songs, lyrics and quotes I like...Here's another song I've been listening to over the past few days...I love the lyrics!

"Revolution" by Starfield

If I'm here all alone
If I'm left behind
If they spit in my face
If they hate my kind

I will rise above
I will live for love
I will answer to the call
For the bond between
For the depth unseen
For my God forsake it all

'Cause I'm a fire
I'm a flood
I'm a revolution
I am a war
Already won
I'm a revolution

When the world is at war
When the grace is gone
When the hungry lay dead
While the rich live on

I will rise above
I will live for love
I will answer to the call
For the bond between
For a depth unseen
For my God forsake it all

(Here I stand)Open hands
Waiting for You
I won't back down
I'll live to speak Your truth

Rev. Run

I found this in my inbox today and I wanted to share it with you:
Good morning. Replaying past triumphs and victories in your mind is a powerful way to motivate yourself.. Keep your trophies and victories in your face.... Staying encouraged is a full time job! On the other hand,be careful having conversations and associations with people who provoke painful memories. Stay away from dream killers and nay sayers... Protect your mind!!!!! (Remember!!!) You will always move in the direction of your strongest and most dominate thought! Stay encouraged!!!!! God is Love Rev Run

Kelly Family

Don't start laughing!! I just love 'em, they have been one of the bands I grew up listening to. I was a BIG fan, I collected everything! The walls in my room were covered with Kelly Family posters and I had a huge crush on Paddy Kelly...haha...that was 12 years ago... The Kelly family has shrunk in size... Paddy left the group to go into a monastery...:-( haha...but next week they'll be in Holland again and of course we (Marianne & I) are going to one of their concerts! We're gonnaPARTY! :-) Can't wait...

Change it up a little

wow, after reading my past messages, well I kind of came to the conclusion that this has been a bit of a sad blog, so I'm going to catch up this summer and change this whole thing:-P

The Fray


Last night was the concert of The Fray! I love their music. The concert was okay not that spectacular but I had a great time, so that counts:-) Here one of my fav. songs of The Fray: All at once

There are certain people
You just keep coming back to
She is right in front of you.
You begin to wonder
Could you find a better one
Compared to her now
She's in question.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
Sometimes the hardest thing and
The right thing are the same.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you started to compare
To someone not there.

Looking for the right one
You line up the world to find
Where no questions cross your mind.
But she won't keep on waiting for
You without a doubt
Much longer for you to sort it out.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
Sometimes the hardest thing and
The right thing are the same.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you started to compare
To someone not there.

Maybe you want it
Maybe you need it
Maybe it's all you're running from
Perfection will not come.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing
We'd never know what's wrong without the pain
Sometimes the hardest thing and
The right thing are the same.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you've started to compare
To someone not there.

Maybe you want it
Maybe you need it
Maybe it's all you're running from
Perfection will not come.

Maybe you want her
Maybe you need her
Maybe you had her
Maybe you lost her to another
To another.

The Heavens Declare -Psalm 19

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer

Comparing ourselves to others

Jesus will not judge me according to my superiority or inferiority over anybody. No preacher. No church. No ministry. These are not the standard. Jesus has a work for me to do (and a different one for you). It is not what he has given anyone else to do. There is a grace to do it. Will I trust him for that grace and do what he has given me to do? That is the question. - John Piper

Happy easter

Such a beautiful song....

Charlie Hall - Song Of The Redeemed Lyrics

We sing it in the darkest place
Cause love is in Your powerful name
Shine the light of beauty and grace
We’re living in the name that can save

We sing to You the song of the redeemed
You’ve beautified our hearts and made us clean
You’ve rescued us from death and set us free
We sing to You the song of the redeemed

We adore You and before You,
forgiven and redeemed
All races from all places,
Around the cross we sing

Unfailing Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”- 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

brokeness and pursuing dreams

Brokeness and pursuing dreams, a big title isn't it? Well for me those words are BIG. I have been feeling so broken over the past years and I still continue to feel that way. I can explain why and write an enormous blog, but i rather leave it with a few sentences. I think lots of people were bullied when they were younger...well I was one of them. I got bullied for all the wrong reasons...My parents were quite old, I was already an aunt, my teeth were imperfect...and so on. I was a strong girl back then and couldn't care at all. But it seems like I care now, instead of back then... I'm not happy with where I am now. Not happy with my looks, and not happy with my life. Sounds depressive but I'm not depressed. But sometimes I wish that life isn't this difficult.
But i think by not having an easy life I'm growing so much deeper in my relationship with God.
I still want to pursue my dreams of working for a ministry in a different country. I don't know if God has this dream for me too, and I don't even know where to start. But first I think I need to grow more & more in order to fulfill that dream!

"He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor."- Proverbs 21:21

Passion: een nieuwe generatie?

“Passion, Passion? Je bedoelt die film van Mel Gibson?” Dat is het antwoord wat de meeste christelijke studenten in Nederland geven als je aan hen vraagt of ze wel eens van Passion hebben gehoord. Passion conferences (kort Passion) is een christelijke jongerenbeweging in de VS. De beweging is vrij radicaal en is in de twaalf jaar dat het bestaat gegroeid van tweeduizend studenten op de eerste conferentie naar tienduizenden op de laatste. Hoe kan deze beweging zo snel groeien tot één van de meest spraakmakende bewegingen in de VS?

Passion conferences (kort Passion) is opgericht in 1996 met als doel studenten (18-25 jaar) van de diverse campussen in de VS bij elkaar te brengen en doormiddel van gebed en lofprijzing een geestelijke groei te realiseren. Er kwamen tweeduizend studenten naar de eerste conferentie in 1997. In de afgelopen 10 jaar is deze Amerikaanse organisatie enorm gegroeid. Er komen inmiddels tienduizenden bezoekers en van de cd’s die ieder jaar een muzikaal verslag doen van Passion, zijn er meer dan een miljoen verkocht. Vanaf het begin is de Bijbeltekst die Passion gebruikt Jesaja 26:8: Wij richten ons naar Uw uitspraken, wij zien uit naar U. Uw roem verkondigingen, dat is ons verlangen. Deze tekst is de kern van Passion. De studenten die naar Passion komen worden ook wel aan de hand van deze bijbeltekst de 268generation genoemd.

In totaal werken er 14 mensen voor Passion, bestaande uit drie teams: Sixstepsrecords, het evenemententeam en het kernteam.
Sixstepsrecords is het platenlabel van de beweging. Het team van Sixstepsrecords werkt met de artiesten en aanbiddingleiders die onder dit label gecontracteerd staan. Dat zijn de artiesten Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, David Crowder en Charlie Hall. Naast het uitbrengen van de cd’s is het tevens het management van deze artiesten.
Het Passion evenemententeam plant en voert de conferenties uit, daarnaast begeleidt het de honderden vrijwilligers tijdens de conferenties.
Het kernteam bestaat uit de online winkel en de secretariële zaken, zoals accountancy en office management.

De Passion beweging is vooral groot in de VS. Elk christelijk tv- of radiostation kent Passion en weet wie de artiesten zijn die verbonden zijn aan de beweging. Deze artiesten behoren allemaal tot de platenmaatschappij Sixstepsrecords. En toevallig of niet is dit één van de christelijke platenmaatschappijen die geen verlies lijdt. De artiesten zijn op dit moment bijna allemaal de grootste in de christelijke muziekwereld. Geen Michael W. Smith of Rebecca st. James meer maar Chris Tomlin en David Crowder*band.
In deze tijd van internet kopen mensen niet veel cd's meer. Het meeste wordt gedownload via internet. Gratis downloadwebsites zoals of leveren gratis christelijke muziek, legaal en illegaal. Al is de markt voor christelijke muziek groter in de VS dan in Nederland toch is de verkoop van cd's slecht net als in de overige genres van de muziek.

Klik hier voor deel 2

Deel 2: Passion: een nieuwe generatie?

Kerkelijke kaart
De VS is het meest godsdienstige land van het westen. Overal in de VS kun je de christelijke identiteit terug vinden. Als je op de eindeloze highways rijdt kom je vaak borden tegen met ‘Jesus saves’. Ongeveer 84 procent van de Amerikanen is religieus georiënteerd. Honderden lokale tv-stations en radio’s verspreiden de boodschap. Vrijwel nergens ontsnap je eraan. Je hoeft je autoradio maar aan te zetten en de kans is groot dat je ineens een strenge stem hoort die je aanmaant God te loven. Amerika telt meer dan 140 denominaties met tenminste 5000 gelovigen. Die 140 is nog maar 10 procent van alle kerken. Er zijn honderden sekten met minder dan honderd aanhangers. Hoe meer afgelegen de streek, hoe vreemder de sekte.

Sociale dienst
Het christelijk geloof is diep gegrondvest in de Amerikaanse cultuur. De VS werd gesticht door religieuze fanaten. De Pilgrim Fathers gingen naar de VS om hun geloofsovertuiging te praktiseren waar dat in Europa niet altijd kon. Ook de immigranten die naar de VS kwamen in de 17e, 18e eeuw namen niet alleen hun godsdienst mee uit Europa, maar ook hun ondernemingsgeest. Ze kwamen naar de nieuwe wereld om een beter bestaan op te bouwen. Deze ondernemingsgeest vind je nog steeds terug in de VS, ook in het geloof. Amerikaanse geestelijken hebben een rotsvast vertrouwen in het kapitalisme. God is hun product en net als de hamburger kun je Hem op veel verschillende manieren aan de man brengen. Massakerken schieten als paddestoelen de grond uit. In Houston, Texas liet pastoor Joel Osteen zelfs een heel overdekt stadium ombouwen tot een kerk met 16.000 zitplaatsen. In de modernste massakerken kun je zo een dag doorbrengen: ze hebben fastfoodrestaurants, cafés, sporthallen, soms vind je in het kerkgebouw zelfs een apotheek en een bank.

In Amerika is een kerk vaak veel meer dan een godshuis. Het is tegelijk een soort sociale dienst, waar vooral arme Amerikanen zwaar op leunen voor financiële steun, eten, kleding, gezondheidszorg en onderwijs. Bij een verhuizing kijken Amerikanen behalve naar een huis en een nette buurt naar de kerken in hun nieuwe woonplaats. Waar in de Europese welvaartsstaat een overheidsdienst uitkomst biedt voor veel problemen, ben je in Amerika op God en liefdadigheid aangewezen. De sociale geborgenheid en aanvullende hulp van de kerk komen heel goed uit. Velen geloven thuis vanaf de bank: voor de televisie. In steden in het midden van Amerika zijn er op zondag parkeerproblemen: zo veel kerkgangers zijn er.
Charles Groenhuijsen stelt in zijn boek 'Amerikanen zijn niet gek': “De meeste Amerikanen zijn in hun geloof heel traditioneel gebleven. Het heeft voor de Nederlandse waarnemer vaak een hoog Staphorstgehalte.” Er is geen ander rijk, ontwikkeld land met zoveel gelovigen. Veel oorspronkelijke Europese bewoners kwamen hier als religieus vluchteling. Het leven was vol gevaar en onzekerheden. Dat heeft vast de hang naar godsdienst versterkt.

Klik hier voor deel 3


Deel 3: Passion: een nieuwe generatie?

Opkomst christelijke jongerenbewegingen
De opkomst van christelijke jongerenbewegingen is vooral te zien in de laatste honderd jaar. De oorzaak hiervan zijn de culturele veranderingen. Afgelopen 100 jaar is er op sociaal en technisch gebied veel verandert. De rol van de vrouw, de tweede wereld oorlog en de komst van internet. Maar evenals in de rest van de westerse wereld leek ook in de VS goddelijk gezag aan betekenis in te boeten toen de flowerpower en vrijheidblijheid van de jaren '60 elke vorm van autoriteit ter discussie stelde. In Europa betekende dit een leegloop van de kerken. In Amerika was dit andersom. In de loop van de jaren ‘60 worden verschillende bewegingen opgericht. Zo zijn er verschillende algemene, christelijke en politieke jongerenbewegingen. In de jaren ’90 is er vooral een opkomst te zien van radicale christelijke jongerenbewegingen. Dit heeft ook te maken met de jongerencultuur van de jaren ’90 en het postmodernisme.

Het zelfontplooiingideaal is sinds de jaren zestig een belangrijk ideaal. Bevrijd van onderdrukkende structuren mag het individu zichzelf ontwikkelen. Naar buiten (emancipatie) en naar binnen (zelfontplooiing) Wat opvalt is dat jongeren veel praten over relaties, hun gevoelens, hoe ze ouders en anderen ervaren. Oudere generaties kunnen zich er zelfs ongemakkelijk bij voelen. Dit vermogen tot reflectie betekent echter niet dat ze stabiel of toegewijd zijn. Er wordt veel met seks geëxperimenteerd en bindingsvrees verraad veel onzekerheid. In de belevingscultuur zijn er door de veelheid aan stijlen en voorbeelden mogelijkheden te over om jezelf te maken. Je kiest jezelf. Keuzes worden steeds individueler. Decennialang werden keuzes in de jeugdcultuur bepaald door subculturen; tegenwoordig is iedereen zijn of haar eigen subcultuur. Jongeren willen niet in doelgroepen ingedeeld worden en houden niet van etiketten. Jongerenmarketeers krijgen dit door en denken tegenwoordig niet zozeer in termen van doelgroepen als in termen van geïndividualiseerde producten. Jongeren van nu vormen een plak-en-knipgeneratie. Ze stellen hun identiteit samen door van alles bij elkaar te zoeken.
Het wegvallen van de absolute maatstaven van wetenschap, religie en menselijke relaties heeft geleid tot een groot vacuüm. Dit is vruchtbare grond voor nieuwe vormen van spiritualiteit.

De Passion beweging heeft zo'n succes omdat het aansluit bij de moderne cultuur. Passion speelt in op de postmoderne jongeren. Veel van deze jongeren willen God voelen. Ze willen een persoonlijke relatie met God. Ze willen breken met de traditionele kerkbanden en zoeken een actievere vorm van geloven. De conferenties van Passion zijn conferenties waar expressie voorop staan. Jongeren kunnen hun geloof expressief beleven. Het maakt niet uit of je met je handen in de lucht staat of op de grond ligt of dat je gewoon rustig in je stoel zit. De keus is aan jou. Passion gebruikt muziek en pakkende preken waarin de jongeren opgezweept worden om iets te doen en niet stil te blijven zitten! Om een relatie met God aan te gaan. Om uit het veilige wereldje te stappen en actief bezig te zijn. Ze spreken de studenten met hun preken en acties op een persoonlijke individuele basis aan: jij kunt een verandering voor de samenleving betekenen!

Klik hier voor deel 4

Terug naar deel 2, 1

Deel 4: Passion: een nieuwe generatie

Bijbel boven bier
Vandaag de dag proberen jongerenbewegingen met hedendaagse middelen de jongeren weer naar de kerk te trekken. De nieuwe generatie christelijke jongeren schaamt zich niet voor hun geloof en verkiest in de studententijd de Bijbel boven het bier. Christelijke jongerenbewegingen in de V.S. en de rest van de wereld zien hun ledenaantal explosief stijgen. Begin jaren '90 was er een dieptepunt. Veel jongeren raakte los van de kerk en gingen hun eigen weg. De houding onder christelijke jongeren is nu heel anders. Jongeren raken steeds meer geïnteresseerd in God. De geestelijke openheid is groter, ook in kerken. Jongeren zijn daar de voortrekkers van. Veel christelijke jongerenbewegingen en organisaties proberen hun boodschap op een andere manier onder de aandacht te brengen om zo jongeren te trekken. Ze organiseren bijvoorbeeld concerten, cabaret voorstellingen of theaterstukken.

Toch maken christelijke jongerenorganisaties en bewegingen in de VS zich zorgen over recente onderzoekscijfers. Daaruit zou blijken dat van de generatie jongeren die nu opgroeit, over twintig jaar nog maar vier procent christen is. Deze uitkomst is recent gepubliceerd in het boek ‘The Bridger Generation’. Hoewel volgens sommige mensen het onderzoek rammelt, past de voorspelling wel bij een trend dat Amerikaanse christelijke jongeren steeds massaler afhaken. Dat concludeert de krant New York Times. Een aparte conclusie naast de groei van de christelijke jongerenorganisaties en bewegingen in Amerika. Diverse christelijke voorgangers en leiders van christelijke jongerenorganisaties zijn het erover eens dat dit getal de komende jaren nog veel verder gaat dalen. Ze merken allemaal dat jongeren het steeds moeilijker vinden om hun geloof overeind te houden in een cultuur die steeds meer wordt beheerst door cynisme over religie en vrije seksuele opvattingen, al dan niet ingegeven door muziekzenders als MTV. En daar proberen veel christelijke jongerenbewegingen op in te spelen om zo jongeren niet te verliezen.

Maar hoe bereikt de Passion beweging studenten? En hoe gebruiken ze de media? De beweging zelf zegt dat ze niet communicatie en marketing strategieën gebruiken. Ze hebben geen marketing of communicatiebeleid. Ze willen zo klein mogelijk blijven, geen extreme dingen uithalen of per definitie groter groeien. Toch is dat tegenstrijdig. Ze jagen geen cijfers na maar ze willen wel zoveel mogelijk studenten bereiken. Dit doen ze door de studenten overal bij te betrekken en ze op de hoogte te houden van Passion ontwikkelingen doormiddel van mailings, podcasts en een weblog. Daarnaast gaan ze naar campussen om te zien wat er onder jongeren leeft en spelen daar op in. De cd’s van de aanbiddingleiders die bij Passion staan gecontracteerd worden door de beweging gepromoot tijdens conferenties, via mailings en via de internetsite. Daarnaast doet een ander bedrijf, EMI CMG die de cd's uitbrengt, ook nog aan allerlei promotie campagnes.

Door gebruik van internet kan de beweging veel jongeren bereiken en speelt de beweging in op de jongerencultuur. Daarnaast is nog steeds de mond-tot-mondreclame een effectief middel. Als je jongeren zelf andere jongeren laat vertellen waarom ze naar een christelijke jongerenbeweging gaan dan is dat veel effectiever dan andere promotie campagnes. Jongeren worden sneller overtuigd door leeftijdsgenoten dan één of andere flyer waar ze niets van begrijpen

klik hier voor deel 5

Terug naar deel 3, 2, 1

Deel 5: Passion: een nieuwe generatie?

Waarom is er zo'n grote behoefte aan christelijke jongerenbewegingen zoals Passion? Het geheim van Passion is dat de beweging 3 dingen tijdens hun conferenties combineert: aanbidding, preken en een roep tot actie. Dit is een succesvolle combinatie. Deze generatie van studenten staat te popelen om iets te kunnen betekenen voor andere mensen. Het is een trend onder jongeren om ontwikkelingswerk te doen. Steeds meer jongeren (christenen en niet-christenen) reizen af naar landen, zoals Kenia of Oeganda om daar te helpen bij projecten. Passion speelt daar op in. Zo heeft de organisatie de website opgericht. Deze site is opgericht met als doel om geld in te zamelen voor projecten. Via kunnen studenten een project uitzoeken en meehelpen. Doormiddel van vrijwilligerswerk of gelddonatie.

Veel jongeren verlaten de kerk omdat ze godsdienst stoffig vinden. Het hoort bij het verleden. De Passion beweging laat zien dat godsdienst helemaal niet stoffig is, dat het niet moet worden weggestoken in kerkbanken. Ze sluiten aan bij de jongerencultuur door het gebruik van allerlei vormen van media: internet, video's, muziek en mooie grafische vormgeving. Daarnaast laten ze zien dat godsdienst niet alleen voor ouderen is, dat iedereen het kan begrijpen. Dat doen ze doormiddel van heldere preken gebaseerd op hedendaagse keuzes van studenten, in bijvoorbeeld relaties. De preken zijn theologisch goed gegrond maar ook begrijpelijk gemaakt doormiddel van hedendaagse voorbeelden en eigen ervaringen.

Uniek karakter
Als je naar het landschap van christelijke jongerenbewegingen kijkt in de VS kun je zien dat Passion een uniek karakter heeft. Veel christelijke jongerenbewegingen zijn of te veel gericht op muziek of weer te veel op goede doelen. Door de combinatie van muziek, preken en een roep tot actie trekken ze veel studenten. De combinatie van deze drie elementen is goed uitgebalanceerd. De muziek is er alleen ter ondersteuning van de preken. Jongeren worden tot actie geroepen en kunnen zelf iets betekenen. Daarnaast is Passion een organisatie die je een familiegevoel geeft. Hoe groot de organisatie ook is toch is het heel makkelijk om persoonlijk contact te leggen met de mensen die voor Passion werken. Je kunt altijd terecht voor een gesprek of een bemoediging en dat versterkt het familiegevoel.
Veel christelijke jongerenbewegingen in de VS volgen nu in de voetstappen van Passion. Ze proberen hun conferenties ook zo in te richten dat het jongeren trekt. De sleutel naar succes is om luisteren naar jongeren en te horen waar zij mee bezig zijn en daar verder op in te spelen.

Passion heeft de juiste combinatie van elementen gevonden om jongeren (studenten) voor zich te winnen. Ze blijven dicht bij God en bij de kern van hun organisatie. De beweging wil Gods naam groot maken onder studenten en dat lukt ze. Zo lang ze dicht bij die kern blijven zijn ze succesvol maar zodra het allemaal te commercieel wordt, de focus meer op de artiesten wordt gelegd en de jongeren zich niet meer persoonlijk aangesproken voelen heeft de Passion jongerenbeweging zijn beste tijd gehad.

Terug naar deel 4, 3, 2, 1

Passion 2007!!

Happy new year to all!!!

I have been praying and wishing and hoping that God would give me the opportunity to go to Atlanta to be at the Passion conference on jan 1-4 2007! Unfortunately I had to stay home, but God did answer my prayers and I was able to watch most sessions online!My blogfriends Donna, Gail, Jess, Kim, Silke and Lisa were able to go! All were volunteers! And I thank them for letting the ones that stayed home know how things were going! Thank you guys! I found something on the 268blog that I wanted to share...Favorite Passion 07 moments! Those moments are definitelt the heighlight for me:-) All honor goes to:
tired volunteers, Donna, Gail, Jess, Kim, and Silke and to Miranda (FoG) for the pic:-)

Favorite P'07 Moments:

* everyone getting on their knees to pray (in an arena with not so flexible seats)

* the visualization in our minds of the Throne of God (thank YOU, FATHER, for Francis, this picture has been on my mind since)

* Matt's "Praise the Lord and Chris is short" (why does Matt win every time? :)

*"Matt Redman cannot change strings on a guitar; he says it's an honor for other people to change his strings on his guitars."-Chris Tomlin

*"Glorious, gutsy guilt"(Piper)

* Charlie's opening night, leading us in worship THROUGH past hurts, pains, stolen things, and lack of approval

*the cut of the Amarillius - it cut deeply.

* watching 24000 walking around in complete silence

* WAITING for God when there was nothing to do

* Beth asking us to "put our tape-measures away" because we know who we are in Christ (Yeah!)

* Global awakening...

* many many new songs about broken lives being fixed, and ourselves being rescued... oh, and better than just the repair jobs... the fact that despite our brokenness we SHINE

* Travis' drumstick breaking and flying off stage, and to the lyrics of "'Cause I know that You're alive/You came to fix my broken life" and realizing that not any human can fix a broken drumstick, really. Yet God fixes broken lives, hearts... and drumsticks with ease.

In 2008 Passion hopes to go abroad...there won't be a conference but there will be Passion:-) I'm excited!