Maandelijks archief: juli 2018

Albania 2018………. the last day

Yesterday was our last day in Albania, this morning I woke up in my own bed, in Holland. No hills, no cathedral bells waking us up, no Atty and Dick, no………….

Yesterday morning we went to the old bazar and had a “goodbye-coffee” with Eni (from the girls house) and Marleen (from the elderly home / the villa). I hate saying goodbye and although this goodbye is not a real goodbye and we know we will keep in touch, still it is not my favorite thing to do. After a small walk through the old bazar and the city we went by the girlshouse to say goodye and to bring them the beachball. And they loved it. Again saying goodbye, after a game of beachball hitting, but promising them to come back next year.


And then, after lunch and packing the last stuff, our beautifull 3 hour drive through Albania started. Amazing views and breathtaking surroundings. I love it……… a little comfort for all the goodbyes.


Our work in Albania is not finished, even not when we come back in Holland. I am still supporting the Kenedi Foundation from my position as a singer, plans for a benefit evening are being made to get money for expanding the villa (the elderly home) to give shelter to more elderly and deserted older people. And I really want to work out more ways to support the Knedi Foundation. So if you can do SOMETHING financially, in a structural way, even if it is just a small amount, it would make me (and them) so happy. I know there are lots and lots of projects that can use your money, but these people and this foundation have my heart…… Everything you need or want to know I can tell you through email (info at, Facebook, whatsapp or a call. Let us do what God asked us to, because “what you do to the least of My brothers, you do to Me”……..

Our trip has ended, our work has not! We will continue and with Gods help we WILL succeed and He WILL work out His plans for the people and the country!

Albanie 2018………. fourth day

Today was our last full day in Albania……..we’ve been waiting so long for this trip and before we know it, it is already over.

This morning we went to the project where the streetkids stay. Because of the holidays, they had a full day program, but normally they are only there after schooltime. As most of them do not go to achool, they live on the streets,  try to “earn”money and come here after schooltime. They get a shower at least once a week, clean clothes and a proper meal. And after the day is finished they go back……. to the street or the small house (which cannot even be called a house). But because it is holiday now, they have a full day program and get some extras.

When we arrived they were playing football in the burning sun and as we brought a beachball we made it ready and played with some kids kind of volleybal / football game. As we played more and more kids joined. So much fun with a beachball Jeshua brought from his class at school. The compliments you give the kids made them grow and shine and the moren we yelled “bravo” (which means well done) the more they were smil8ng, trying even harder to make a good move the  ball.


After 1 1/2 hour playing in the full sun Jeshua was really tired of all the impressions and a bit sad because he would like to do so much more and feels a bit powerless. We had a relaxing afternoon, ate nice pancakes and when it started to rain we just planned to go for a walk through the old bazar in Korce. Just walking around, drinking some coffee and wine was relaxing and just what we needed for this day.

Our plans for tomorrow are made. Early morning calling, because we want to make the best of the little hours we have left untill we leave fo the airport of Tirana, tomorrow afternoon.


A little bit later then I usually post, but we had a busy and very impressive day.

The morning started at the elderly home, also known as “Villa Kenedi”. The elder people that stay there all come from bad and poor situations in which they had no family or relatives to take care of them and no money to buy or restore anything. And although they are there to spend their last days, they have to “work” a bit. When we arrived they were doing morning gymnastics and ofcourse we had to join. With these temperatures even sitting still and moving your eyelids makes you sweat, so we lost a lot of lazy sweat this morning. But so much fun to see them trying to join in, especially a practice with a big gymball made them even a bit agressive to get that ball away from them.


I had the honour to sing with the elderly and they sang for me (or maybe I should say Romi, one of the people, sang for us).

After this time we went home for a quick lunch and then went to a little village, about 40 minutes drive from Korce. We wanted to visit a 15 year old girl, Simrela, who got raped when she was 12 years old, got pregnant and now has a little girl of 3 named Endi. Bcause she comes from a muslimfamily she is seen as a big blame for the family and her parents do not want her to get out of the house. That means no school, no education, not having fun with kids of her age, no people around her…….no future. So, with five bags full of clothes, basic meal stuff like rice, macaroni, flour, sugar, etc. we started the trip and finally arrived in the middle of nowhere in a small village. Parking the car I realized it looked like we were back in Middle Ages; donkeys to carry the hay for the winter, brother and father working hard to get ready for winter (although it is hot and winter is not coming for many more months) and a very small house. Grandma, the neighbours, everyone was awaiting us, not to greet us but to see and espcially hear what we were saying to Simrela, the outcast of the family, the one that made their family a shame.


Because of all the family around, trying to steal time with Simrela and Endi away from us we prayed there would be an opening to really get to talk with here. At that point we discovered strange marks on her hands and wrists and though about a parasite infection. Immediately we knew what to do: we had to take her to the doctor, because that way the little girl would be treated AND we would have time alone with them. Simrela did not get immediate permission from her father (who really rules her life) to leave, she had to clean the house first and talk, talk talk and finally she got away. The doctor was not there, but we called him and during the time we were waiting we prayed with Simrela and Endi. To make a long storie a little short: the doctor sent us to a dermatologist in Korce, so we went all the way there, talking in the car about our relationship with Jesus, trying to encourage her and make her feel loved by us and by God. We had to wait for the doctor and finally got the news it was not a ringworm infection, but a very dry skin which started to get infected, so with a prescription we went to the farmacy. Unfortunately not after the dermatologist made a clear point and confirmed how everyone else treats Simrela, speaking the words: “are you her mother? How can that be, you are only a child yourself”. It broke my heart to see her come out of the docters room, depressed, feeling ashamed and not loved. But at least we know the little girl has no bad disease. Then it was time to say goodbye, because we were not going back with her to the village. I do not know how her father has reacted when she got home, but I can imagine he was not happy and has punished her, because she had been away far too long. Saying goodbye she grabbed me and did not let go, she cried and hugged me again, with tears in her eyes she said goodbye, hugged Jeshua and got in the car. The only thing that gives us a good feeling is the fact we left a lot of stuff at her home and we know that God knows her and loves her. And where we cannot do anything further, He will take care of her.

At home we just freshed up and went up to the hill where Jeshua and I walked to the cross and a little chapel and could talk about our impressions of that afternoon.


We ended the day in a restaurant, thinking about all the impressions and the Blessings and testimonies we got this day!

”We are here for a reason…….”

“Whatever you do for the least of My people, you do to Me”

Albania 2018………. second day

  1. Yesterday evening we met with Eni, Klodi and their kids and Marleen. People I met last year and we had a lovely meal and could chat about schools and education in Holland and Albania.

After a long day and a good night rest we went to church this morning. So good to see familiar faces and to have the girls from the girlshome jump into my arms even before I even saw them. What always amazes me is that Gods love and His message goes beyond language and culture; even though we could not understand a word in church, the love and joy of God was to be seen and felt. Wow!

This afternoon it was time to go to the girlshouse. They could not stop holding, hugging and kissing me (and later Jeshua also). We were singing together (their favorite song is Oceans and You raise me up). I was able to share an encouraging word of God and then it was time for the bags full of schoolstuff; colorbooks, pens, pencils, eraser, crayons, notebook, etc. Disney and Frozen are also “hot” in Albania, so the colorbooks were a good choice. Hard to not be able to really communicate by ourselves with them, although I do know some words, but we had some good translaters (thank you Delvina, you did a great job)!  Everybody left, but the girls did not want to let go of Jeshua and me, so we sat there a little longer talking about school, work, singing and “being famous” (because that is how they see me)….

My heart is overwhelmed when I see what just small gifts and a small amount of money, but most of all a whole lot of love and attention, can do for these kids. If only I had the chance………


Albania 2018…….. first day

Finally, after weeks waiting, preparing and planning, yesterday was the day we had been waiting for. Our trip to Albania…….

Suitcases were loaded and at 15.30 o’clock we left for the airport. Checkin and security was so fast we had time enough to have dinner and just sit and look around a bit. After a delayed flight we arrived at Tirana airport late in ghe evening and could finally meet Atty and Dick again.  They arranged a hotelroom where we could spend the night and have a well deserved rest.

One thing I always look forward to, travelling from Tirana to Korce, is the amazing view of the mountains, green valleys and beautifull creation God has made. During the 3 hours driving I could not stop looking outside. And as Jeshua loves mountains just as much as I do, we both had a great trip.

It is so good to be back, to know that we bring so much stuff they need and encourage them in the work they do!

Albanie……. Voorbereidingen in volle gang

Zoals elk jaar hoop ik ook dit jaar weer naar Albanie te gaan. Niet om vakantie te vieren, maar om als ambassadeur de projecten van de Kenedi Foundation in Korce en omgeving te bezoeken; mensen bemoedigen, kadootjes uitdelen, medische benodigdheden op d enuuste plek afleveren en vooral “er gewoon ZIJN”.

Over 9 dagen, op vrijdag 13 juli, hoop ik met mijn jongste zoon Jeshua te vertrekken. En dit jaar gaan we, naast de bestaande projecten, een jong meisje met haar 3 jarige dochtertje in een dorpje verderop bezoeken. Hoe “gewoon” is het voor ons dat we na een groeispurt of in een nieuw jaargetijde even de winkel inlopen om nieuwe kleren voor ons kind te kopen. Dit meisje kan dit niet doen voor haar dochter, daar is simpelweg geen geld of gelegenheid voor. Ik kijk er naar uit om haar te ontmoeten en te helpen in de basisbehoefte, namelijk schone kleding!

Dankzij velen van jullie heb ik inmiddels een heel mooi bedrag binnen waar ik vanmiddag en dit weekend allerlei benodigdheden van ga aanschaffen; kleding voor dit 3 jarige meisje, maar ook betadine potten, spatels, brandwondenzalf en zoals elk jaar een nuttig kadootje voor de meisjes in het meidenhuis in Korce. Dit jaar worden dit gepersonaliseerde etuitjes met schoolspulletjes erin, maar natuurlijk ook lekkere tutdingen die meiden leuk vinden. Kortom: ik kijk uit naar mijn bezoek, maar zeker ook naar de voorbereidingen.

Mocht je jezelf nu voor je kop slaan omdat je nog niets gedoneerd hebt en dat wel wilt, het kan nog steeds! ? Stuur me in dat geval even een bericht zodat ik je de juiste bankgegevens kan doorgeven.

Via de blogs op de website en via Facebook en whatsapp status ga ik jullie op de hoogte houden van de voorbereidingen en de reis zelf. Genoeg mogelijkheden om op de hoogte te blijven, als je dat wilt.

”Wat je doet aan de minste van mijn broerders, dat heb je voor Mij gedaan”