Dear friends and acquaintances,
We are already halfway through 2018, and as such, it is high time to let you hear from me once again.
Let me begin by heartily thanking everyone for all of the support in the past months for our children and youths in Cochabamba, Bolivia! Without all of your support, we would not be able to achieve as much as we have over there.
Sadly, it is still the case, however, that I am still in the Netherlands. I will not bore you with various stories about doctors and hospitals, because I would not have enough space to even start…
I do want to thank my family very much, as well as the people of my congregation, in addition to all the other people who have helped me so kindly, and for such a long time! It is truly amazing to me, just as all the letters, messages, and e-mails and other such things, which I am fortunate enough to receive. All this support really helps me in my recovery process.
Let me also take the immediate opportunity to announce that I have not given up hope, in relation to my return to Cochabamba – I will not give up hope, because my heart is there, and I simply wish to return as soon as is it reasonable to do so.
Moreover, many thanks to all the people who have supported me on the way! Back pain is not an easy thing, and that’s why it has been taking so long. Nevertheless, I will continue fighting, and I remain optimistic and hopeful! I have many books to distract me in the meantime. Not to forget the World Cup which is going on right now, so I can watch a lot of football! Even though that is not what really concerns me. I would much prefer to do what I truly want to do: return to Bolivia.
There is always good news, but also some sad news. For instance, recently I heard that one of those very youths, Cristian, who regularly used drugs, was brutally murdered. Our people – in our two houses and those who work with the children – there really have a difficult job to do right now. While they always do a good job, they will, of course, come to me asking what to do regarding this tragedy. The difficulty is enhanced by the fact that I am so far away, and cannot fully oversee the goings-on and the consequences there.
Though we also have good news, of course, for we now have several of the youths we take care off who are going to enroll into university – a massive opportunity. One of them is now operating as a local guide for tourists, something he had wanted to do for years. Without help, there are many children and young adults who can now attend schools daily, which is a crucially good development which makes us very proud of course. It is heartwarming that, despite all of the problems these young people deal with at home and on the street, they are still able to succeed in life and make something of themselves.
In other news, we had several visitors from Boxtel’s Jacob-Roelandslyceum, who came to look at the projects there, including our night-shelter and the work we do for people in the streets. These students were very impressed from what I gather. You can read their reports for yourself on the lyceum’s web-page.
It is certainly also an important for our organization that people from the Netherlands – and other countries – see what we do there and the impact we have. So that you can see how we can help those children and young adults, who usually have little, achieve many great things and give them an opportunity; a new lease on life.
Dear reader, these are but only some of the events that have transpired the past half year in Cochabamba. I could have written you a book about all the other developments, and this has been true for every half year, in fact. We are very grateful to all those people who believe in our project and support us in any way they wish to do so. I would personally like to thank those who have supported us through donation, those who wrote to us in Cochabamba, and all the people who have wished me good health in the past months. Not to forget, I also thank everybody who is involved in this project in one way or another. Our project would not exist if it were not for your support and care wherever it may come from and in whatever form. So thank you, all who support us, it is very much appreciated.
I, myself, am continuing the fight back to health, in the hope that I can return to Cochabamba, which I hope to do with all my heart and soul. On a personal note, thank you to those who have lit candles, and said prayers for my health, and all your kind thoughts, all of this is very much appreciated.
With the very best of wishes, and the kindest of greetings. Until next time.