Maandelijks archief: augustus 2016

The last day……..Albania part 4

Today is our last real day in Korce, Albania. So it was early morning, because we needed and wanted to be at church at 8 o’clock to join the devotional time of the nurses and social workers. And after this we were going with the nurse to do the home care; what a poverty we have seen! So many elder or terrible sick people, living with their children to take care of them. No hospital will allow these people to come in, because they are too old and they are not of any value anymore. No special hospitalbeds, so they just lay on a couch day and night, no special materials or technique to lift them out of bed to get them in the shower. A lot of decubitus wounds, we have seen. And thank God there are these lovely nurses that give really everything they can to take care of these people.

Once we got back to the clinic we went with a driver to deliver meals to people who cannot affort to buy a meal or who do not have the capability to cook theirselves. Once again we saw the poverty, but also we saw the most wonderfull, warmhearted and open old men and women. A man of 99 years old reading books all day, so glad to get his meal because his wife died and he does not have any children to take care of him, telling us he is reading a book about Kennedy………in English with a dictionary to explain the words. Almost nobody (especially not the elder people) speaks or understands the English language but this man spends his day reading and translating an english book. And what a joy we saw in his eyes when we were so proud of him……… We got a kiss on the hand when we left…… 

After lunch on a quiet balcony of Marleen, with a magnificant view, we just visited some of the elderly home that were being creative with clay…… Wonderfull!

So many impressions, but so many really committed caretakers, volunteers and social workers, doing all kinds of stuff for the people in this city Korce (and some of the surrounding village). Great to see they really want to be the hands and feet of Christ, looking after their brothers and sisters! What a blessing they are! 

This evening we will go to a little village to chat a bit more about the future and my commitment to the Kenedi Foundation during dinner. Because one thing IS clear: I NEED, WANT and HAVE to be part of this foundation, because there is such a huge need and so many people that deserve to be taken care of, one way or another.

My heart breaks………Albania part 3

Sundaymorning……churchmorning! This morning we went to the local Korce church,  which all the Kenedi Foundation projects are part of! Adrian Snell and I got to sing two songs in church to contribute to the service. Wonderfull to do and great to hear the message of being the salt and light to this world. How well fit to what we are doing and seeing here in Albania: showing His light by being a light ourselves.

After church we had a lovely coffeetime at a cafe-bar, just to get ready to go the house where the state of Albania puts away all the disabled and handicapped people that cannot live at home anymore. In this country those people are not of any value and are completely neglected and seen as an outcast. The Kenedi Foundation wants to do something for them, but more then just passing by, giving some medical help and teaching some of the people is not possible because of the state and government of Albania! There are no words to describe what I saw in this house: for more then 15 years I have been working with mental handicapped and disabled children / young adults and although the work is tough and there are so many things that could be better in Holland, I cannot imagine there is anything worse then what I saw this afternoon. 48 people in a smaller then small house, only 4 caretakers who are not used to helping the people with going to the toilet, showering or other stuff we were so used to do (and so they are expected to do it by theirselves). I did not see 48 beds and there is no room to place those 48 beds, so you can maybe imagine what the situation is. And still those wonderfull people jumped into my arms, took me to “their” bed and were so happy to see Adrian and me. My heart broke into pieces when I saw the situation and the people. They are so worth taking care of, their need and they deserve a good home, good caretakers, medical care and love as a human being.

Back at the hotel some tears were shed, because we see the need to do something, but we do not know where to start! Only money  is just not enough, they need people with a vision, people with a heart and guts to go to Albania and start building, rebuilding and starting this project! And how I wish that someone, somewhere, someday soon will stand up and go and be the light of God towards the world. And especially to those people. 

This afternoon and evening we have some time off! And as we are sitting on the balcony of the hotel with fresh water and chocolate, the only thing we can do is pray and be thankfull. Pray for those people to feel worthy and of value, for people to stand up and take action and for the government to have opened eyes to the situation!

I fell in love………Albania part 2

Oh my……… I competely fell in love with this beautifull country, its warmhearted people and the more then lovely kids and elderly in the projects!

Today after breakfast (which by the way is fabulous and really Albanian) we went to a small village named Vlocisht, where the Kenedi Foundation has been working with the kids of the village for years. Adrian Snell was going to work with the kids in a small music therapy kind of session and asked me to join in. What a wonderfull and joyous time: we danced, sang, clapped, played instruments, cuddled and showed them the love of God and that they are special! Before Adrian arrived I started singing songs with them: in English, in Dutch and even in Albanian (well, not me, but the kids). So great to see they know a lot of the same songs we know, only the language is different. But in music and singing that doesn’t matter ?

After a quiet and sunny relaxing time we went to pick up one of the Dutch workers here, to show us around in Pojan; another village where they now have there own building and they are able to give biblestudies, teach english, have kids activities and be a very important part of the social relationships in the village. When we walked around in this beautifull city it seemed like time stood still; people don’t have the luxury of a good house, a full refrigerator and machines to help them with their (farmers) jobs. Horse and car is what you see here, people doing all by hand instead of with a machine is very common.

To close off the day in style we had a nice BBQ with all Dutch (and Belgium) people. We ate together, sang together some Christian (and non christian) songs and had a great time! And the it was time to go to our hotel, after 10 hours of sightseeing, impressions and womderfull things!

Tomorrow morning we will attend the churchservice and Adrian asked me to sing a song with him. So we will be doing that! Untill then: goodnight and have a blessed sunday!

Wow, Albania………part 1

What can I say? We are in Albania and I LOVE the nature of this country! Our first day was filled with so many visits and impressions.

Yesterday we arrived after 12 hours of travelling. Almost directly we went to the cd presentation of Nardi, a talented Albanian singer we met when he was in Holland this Easter! Wonderfull people, wonderfull food, wonderfull evening. Completely dishausted we went to bed, because today, friday, would be a very busy day!

At 10 o’clock Marleen (one of the wonderfull people of the Kenedi Foundation and dutch speaking) picked us up to furst go and see the streetchildren in their daycare. A warm and loving welcome for us, by the kids and their caretakers. We were able to give them the presents we boight (liceshampoo, Betadine, schoolbags and all the other schoolstuff) and what a joy it was for them to see that so many people in Holland are praying for them, but also practically helping them! So thank you, on behalf of the streetchildren! We played games with the kids and then it was time to say goodbye.

Our route continued with a visit to the girlshome. What a wonderfull (little and bigger) girls arr being given a safe shelter and home! They welcomed us with open arms and kisses and then asked me to sing a song. What greater message there is to share then the amazing Grace of God and Jesus, so that’s the song I song to them. The room was silent, thr mouths were open and eyes were filled with twinkling stars. Music is such a strong medicine and binds people together. No matter what barrier there is (in our case, language barrier). We sang “you raise me up” and “Oceans” together, all songs they know from church! Wow, what an amazing time! And after cuddles, kisses and “kouvanjouw” (dutch for I loge you, by Albanese girls) we continued our trip after to the elderly home; a house where 28 elder people live, and that is built by money raised through Eo Metterdaad. We just looked briefly because we were expected to be at a meeting with Adrian Snell and some social workers about the need to use music therapy!

After some appointments that had to be made concerning the upcoming days, we went back to the elderly home. Our first visit was too short (and Marleen left her phone there ?). What a wonderfull and quiet house, what a space and what a view!

On our way back Marleen drove us through the gipsy neighbourhood; people,living on the street during the days, with only a small and old house for the night and the winter, mothers pregnant with their 9th child, but no money to take care of the other 8……..nwhat a contrast with the other neighbourhoods we had visited untill then and most of all so different from our own situation! And what a gunshot when later that evening, during our ahopwalk for a bottle of water, we saunone of the gipsykids with her little babybrother, crying and begging the corner of the street. My heart broke and I really wish I could do more!

So many impressions, so many people in need of someone to take care of them, so many beautifull poeple taking care  and so much goo work! But still so much to do! I feel so blessed to be able to just give some of my talents and the lots I have…….. Even if it is just a little bit!

Tomorrowmorning we will go to a village where they have already accomplished so much and we will see Adrian working in one of his music therapy sessions. And what the rest of the day will bring, we  will just see………………..

Thank you for praying for the caretakers, the people we meet, the work we can do and all those who are involved in the projects of the Kenedi Foundation ❤️


Just overwhelmed…….. That’s the only thing I can say…….

During the last weeks I have shared with you my ultimate joy to become a ‘singing ambassador’ for The Kenedi Foundation and the plans for my trip to Albania, Korce. Thursday August 25th I will be travelling to Albania to see the projects The Kenedi Foundation is supporting and building. Together with Adrian Snell (and my dear friend Marlies) we will bring the people joy, music and Gods love!

To support the foundation in every way I can, I needed your help; there is a desperate need for some home-medications, but also for schoolstuff for the kids. Earlier this week my pianoplayer made a remark that it would be great if we had so much to take that an extra suitcase would be necessary………  Well, I can tell you: I think we are heading that way ?

There are so many enthusiastic people that donated money, schoolstuff and so on. Tomorrow I am heading to the drugstore to get all the home-medications. And afterwards we will have to see if it fitts into the suitcases we will bring. And if not I will be happy to apply for another suitcase to bring all these necessary gifts to the people in Albania.

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It feels so warm, appreciated and loved that so many of you support this foundation and my “work” for them! Necessary support that I need, but that will also give the people a feeling they are welcome and cared for! Thank you!!

Thursday we will leave to Albania. And if WiFi and the time allow me, I will try to keep you posted (daily) through the blogs and messages on Facebook and Instagram. So, if you want to stay informed: watch the website, Facebook or Instagram.

In the meantime we can ofcourse still need gifts, but especially your prayers. Please pray for this Foundation, for the founders that work so hard to give the people a better situation, support and medical care. Please pray for strength, an open heart and open ears and eyes for us, as we visit the projects and see the need there is. That we may be a warm bath to them, filled with the love of God. And most of all: pray that people may feel His love and that Gods name may be glorified through everyting we do and say.

I am looking forward to what God will do in these days in Albania!

With love


Saai? Allesbehalve dat…….

Gisteren stond, na de ochtenddienst, in het teken van de voorbereidingen voor het “muziek-maak-momentje” later deze week met mijn pianist. Vanwege zijn baan moeten we tegenwoordig dit soort momentjes ver van te voren en in recesperiodes plannen en zo is deze week een middag gepland.De bedoeling is dat we mogelijke nieuwe nummers en ideeen gaan doorspelen en zingen, want alleen dan kun je ervaren of iets goed voelt en werkt.

De hele middag zijn liederen en vertalingen die op de plank lagen geluisterd, kritisch doorgelezen, aanpassingen gedaan. Terwijl ik daarmee bezig was, schoten ernieuwe liederen voorbij: nummers via YouTube, flarden van teksten, druk op een verkeerd knopje waardoor er “ineens, zomaar” iets anders in mijn oortjes klonk………”dat is mooi voor een vertaling, oh wow, die wil ik zingen……… “. Kortom: een heleboel ideeen, veel enthousiasme en………… een slechte nacht tot gevolg. Alhoewel, of je het slecht moet noemen weet ik niet, maar lang was ie in ieder geval niet en diep geslapen heb ik ook niet. Ik heb alle liederen herbeleefd, doorgezongen en bekritiseerd in mijn “slaap” en er is zelfs een nieuw lied ontstaan. Helaas heeft mijn hoofd tijdens mijn “slaap” niet onthouden welk lied of welke vertaling……das dan weer een beetje jammer ?

Wie dus zegt dat muziek saai is mag best een dagje meeliften in mijn hoofd………zo’n voorbereidend dagje……… Ik kan je zeggen: allesbehalve saai, maar juist enerverend, zegenrijk en vol energie…….oke, de volgende dag wat minder maar daar hebben we het niet over.