M & M in Suriname

Our life with the Wajana indians

16 maart 2018
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Visitor, visitors and more visitors


In February Hanneke Kottier came for a period of 2 ½ months to live with us and the Wayana tribe. She is the youngest daughter of a longtime friend of Marjolein. We enjoy her kind spirit, her love for children, her laughter and her love for our Lord Jesus very much. She assists the headmaster of the local school with teaching some of his topics so he has time for administration etc.

Shortly after we arrived in Apetina John and Kathryn Baak, friends from the Netherlands, came for a three day visit. We immensely enjoyed our talks, canoe trip and prayer time with the sick and a lot more.

Before they were able to get into the MAF plane to fly back to Paramaribo, Bruce and Julie, two Canadians, got of the plane. Julie, the daughter of Bruce stayed only one week, her father returned to Canada just last Saturday. Bruce came to visit the Wayana tribe because God told him to do so. He had no idea why he should come and meet life in the jungle.

The end of February Jetteke came to visit for a week, after teaching at a bible school in Paramaribo. After Jetteke got of the plane, Marco and Bruce got in to fly over to Lawa and visit the people and see what God is doing there. So in Apetina we had a women’s week, while Marco and Bruce had a men’s week at Lawa. It was a very blessed week, really a gift from God we really treasure. In the middle of the week we had an outing to the Tebutop. We never climbed such a steep and naked rock, but our great guides pulled us up with their ropes. A swim in one of the rapids was a great cool down moment. An unforgettable day it was indeed.

Marco and Bruce had a special week at Lawa followed by a couple of days in Paramaribo. Bruce left for Canada with a head full of possibilities how he could be of use for the Wayana tribe. Just in the days they were in the city, our youngest grandson Quinn turned two. Very special that grandpa could be at his birthday party and… his new sandbox really needed a bulldozer. Last Monday Marco flew back home to Apetina. With Bruce we look out to our Lord and expect His guidance for the follow up of this visit.

Every time Marco leaves the interior and Marjolein stays behind, one of our ‘tech’ stuff breaks down. This time it was a little before he left, so Marco could fix our washing machine and a couple of hours later our laundry was hanging on the lines. Sunday night I was charging my telephone and all of a sudden the phone broke down. Marco came late in his hammock that night after he tried several things to make the phone work again. Later in town it appeared a software problem that was easy fixed in the shop. On such moments we have to choose not to let our peace be robbed.

Next to the school the men are working hard to build a building for the women. In our luggage we brought two sowing machines and a spinning wheel we had send from the Netherlands. Now we could show it to the women. We plan to train the women to work the spinning wheel in order to improve their processing of the cotton. After more cotton has been planted they will be able to produce hammocks to be sold to the tourists. In the women center a number of cassava mills will be placed in order to help the women process their cassava more easily. They will also build a number of ovens to improve the backing facilities of cassava bread. The smoke will be led through a smokehouse in order to smoke fish and meat. An ingenuous system as far as we can see, build by a number of 15 men working daily in order to finish the project.

The village is working hard in order to be prepared for the coming Easter Conference. Roofs are constructed under which the guests can put their hammocks. The women are busy backing cassava bread. Next to this we brought 100 kg rice, 50 kg sugar, coffee, thee, onions, garlic etc. in order to feed the people. We expect this again to be a great celebration in which we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



2 februari 2018
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Just before we left Lawa people came by for last minute shopping. This happens every time. A last time to buy beads for the coming months, or a last due payment of the clothes sale. Mothers come with their children. While mother is talking with Marjolein the little kids wander off to see what there is to play with. A few photos to show how a little boy entertained himself.


As usual we want to fit as much activities in our Paramaribo days as possible. We already bought some of our supplies for Apetina. Some boxes had arrived from the Netherlands containing 4 hand sewing machines. These needed service but a friend gave Marco a quick lesson how to do it himself. One machine needed more attention so we took it to the repair shop. It hopefully will be ready next week. We learned some new addresses in the city to fix the sewing machine.

On our flight to Manaus we celebrated Marjoleins birthday. After arriving we first attended the four day conference of our partner organization. It was our first time and a very good experience. So good to get to know the local leaders and the coworkers. Marco gave one of the devotionals. Earlier made agreements were affirmed in a face to face meeting. Building trust is key when partnering cross culturally. Portugese is not a language we master, so sometimes we felt frustrated not being able to communicate well. This week we have been planning and working with our World Team workers here. We wanted to encourage them in building their ministry. We also have been working on a recruiting video. Tonight we fly back to Suriname. Our time here flew by realy.



31 december 2017
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Happy New Year 2018

The time with our son André and his family flew by. Was it really ten days? It means we had a great time together. They all slept in a hammock, which surprised us from the children. We went fishing and hunting for a day by canoe with Vankeina and his son in law. A real jungle experience next to bathing in the river and celebrating Christmas with the Wajana’s. A very special time to create memories with our grandchildren.

We look back on a busy year with a lot of traveling to different countries, having a television crew over to make videos of the Wajana’s and of us for four programs by the Dutch Christian Broadcasting Company, teaching and praying with and for Wajana leaders, a furlough period in which we could meet a lot of family, friends, supporters and churches. We surely are blessed people. We look forward to the new year in which we may visit missionaries of World Team in Manaus, Brazil, we expect visitors from Canada and Holland, hope to see the launching of the Bible College for indigenous church leadership and much more.

We’re sure it will be a special year because we serve an awesome God. We celebrated New Years Eve with the Wajana in Lawa. We enjoyed a meal together which was a gift from the government. This is also Suriname. We wish you all a happy, healthy and blessed new year with new adventures.

17 december 2017
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December in Lawa

Friday, December 1st we flew to Lawa. The people were glad to see us again. The next Monday we received friends from the Netherlands, who were also missionaries in Suriname in the eighties and nineties. They only came for three days but we enjoyed their company and they enjoyed the beautiful view from our house, nature, seeing our life with the Wayana’s. Of course we went to Maripasoula by canoe, which was a joyful trip.

That weekend 5 canoes went downriver to visit Kayode. Since we just returned from the Netherlands we didn’t want to go with them for the whole weekend, but we went early Sundaymorning. Marco was invited to bring the message from Gods Word. We enjoyed being there and seeing the growth of the body of Christ in Kayode. Their building is beautiful, but like the other new churches, not finished yet. When they have again enough money they will continue building bit by bit.

CAMA in the Netherlands asked us to take a 360 degree camera with us to take footage for a promotion video they want to launch during the conference at Pentecost weekend. It took quite some time to learn all the features of this camera, but now Marco knows how to use it well. We used the opportunity to make some videos ourselves and post them on Facebook. In the following link you can see the churchbuilding of Kayode in a 360 video Church Kayode

Last week Alampia came over for his early morning cup of coffee and some crackers. His sight is getting so bad that he can’t read his Bible anymore, so when he comes over Marjolein will always read him some verses. This time we read in Luke 1 about the angel Gabriel telling Mary that she would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and would receive a son. “How did that happen?” asked Alampia. “Did the Holy Spirit come to her as a man? Did they sleep together? A long time ago the Holy Spirit came to me as a Wayana” he said. Well, I never thought about the details of how this miracle of God was performed, so I could not give him an answer. It made me think again about Gods great, great love for us. He sent His only son to earth to be born as a little baby. Jesus left his home, heaven, and all the joy he experienced there behind to become a mortal man.

The last few days we had a lot of visitors. They came to buy clothes and beads and toys. We had 10 stuffed boxes, but after three days only 1 ½ boxes are left. it still amazes me how quickly neatly folded clothes turn into a big heap. It reminds me of the time when our kids were little and we would rebuild the Lego trains and houses at night, only to see them dissembled the next morning.

Monday, December 18th , our son Andre, his wife Wimke and their three children will fly in from Paramaribo. We’re looking forward to see them! It has been four years since they visited us in Lawa for the first time also in December. A lot has changed in these past years: we know the people and the language better, we now enjoy having internet and mobile reception in Lawa.

The day after tomorrow people will go to Maripasoula to buy icecubes for their freezers to take along during their hunting days for Christmas. They plan to hunt and fish from Wednesday ‘till Saturday so there will be enough meat for all the guests who will come for Christmas. This is a matter of praying and trustig that God will give them enough game to shoot.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

25 november 2017
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Back to Suriname

We enjoyed a great time in the Netherlands the last 8 weeks. First we joined 2 conferences. After that we travelled all over the Netherlands and two days in Belgium meeting family and friends, having good conversations and ministering in different churches.

We enjoyed autumn in the Netherlands


Today we travel back to Suriname. The next few months we look forward having visitors from the Netherlands in Suriname.

We continue our adventure in the jungle of Suriname

13 oktober 2017
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Time Flies

More than two weeks ago we landed at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. Marco flew the next day right on to Florence for a Global Leaders Conference of World Team. Interesting topics were treated there. World Team stated an objective to grow in 5 years time to 500 workers worldwide. A great challenge involving everyone in the organization.

Marjolein got the opportunity to visit a number of people in the Netherlands. Also nice to get used to the traffic in Netherlands from day one.

The past week we were attended a symposium of Chinese CAMA churches in Europe. The meetings were in Amsterdam. We traveled every day up and down from Delft. We could share the World Team plans to start a new missionary work among the Chinese population of Lima. Networking was the common thread this past week.

Now we begin our leave with ‘home assignment’. The next few weeks our calendar is filled with various appointments. We look forward to meet many people in order to share about our life and work in Suriname.

16 september 2017
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This week two grandsons, the sons of our son André, came on facetime to announce that they’re coming to Suriname for Christmas. October and November we plan to visit the Netherlands to meet with family, friends and churchmembers. We’re looking forward to the coming months.

First we have another two weeks in Paramaribo. We’ve been buying outboard motor parts, cans with oil for chainsaws (to build two Church Canoes in Apetina) and diapers for the Wajana. A gasoline tank for a generator needed some welding. Now we’re looking for an opportunity to get these things on a flight to Apetina.

We had a good time with the Dutch film crew. The two weeks were packed, so they could shoot lots about the life of the Wajana and about our life and ministry with these precious people. Special to see that television is about story telling. In the course of the weeks we became more and more aware how we could present our life to the Dutch viewer. In the past five years we became so accustomed to our jungle life. We’ll have to be patient until March 2018 to see the results in 3 tv programs of 25 minutes each.

In order to give you some idea we show some of the pictures Daniel de Wit, photografer, produced during their visit.

We’re using our time in Paramaribo to dry vegetables for the months after our furlough. We also want to dubb some films with a Wajana voice over. For this purpose Michel, a young Wajana who lives in Paramaribo, comes to our house and translates with voice-over into Wajana. Marco puts the voice under the pictures. We’re glad that they both can use their talent to serve the Wajana.

We also take time to visit our daughter and friends. We’re having meetings with the board of the unie of Baptist churches and other World Teamers. It is holiday time in Suriname and this also means that there is less traffic on the roads. We appreciate this with our shopping rounds.

29 augustus 2017
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Apetina back on track

After a little more than six months away our missionhome really needed a good cleaning! Some years ago we already bought two rolls of linoleum of sort to replace the cracked old ones. It didn’t happen untill last week. We put it on the floor in two days. Not bad at all. It really makes our nice home even nicer don’t you think? It makes sweeping the floor much easier. It feels so good to walk barefeet in our house now.

In Suriname it is holiday time untill the beginning of October. Most teenagers, who were in Paramaribo for their education, flew back home to enjoy village life in the jungle, time with family and friends and sports. Next to our house there are two poles to attach a volleyball net to. Almost every afternoon it is playtime.

We had some boxes with clothes with us, so we had a sale on our kitchentable. People were eager to buy clothes for themselves and their children. There are no shops nearby so they need to pay a lot of money to get to a shop in the first place. Prices have gone up dramatically. The surinamese dollar is worth only half of its value a year ago.

We made an appointment with the elders to give a training again on how to use the concordance. It is such a valuable tool, but for them it is very hard to comprehend how to use it. The first Friday afternoon only one elder showed up, the second Friday we had the amount of two. It was such a blessed time to explain the alphabets order and how it is used in the concordance. For them it seems like magic how we know how to find the word we’re looking for. We plan on continuing this training next year from February – June.

Our neighbor Letu shot 5 wild pigs while he was hunting. He brought two of them home himself and sent one of his sons and his nephew to pick up the other three. That was a lot of dehairing and cutting for his wife Tepi and their granddaughter Rosalien. The bigger pieces were smoked to preserve it. We also got a piece, so Marco was our butcher and made nice pieces of meat to put in our freezer. It was enough meat for at least six days. The bones and fat and skin returned to Tepi who boiled it all in water with kasili and peppers.

It is dry season, so we’re bringing in riverwater in buckets for doing the dishes and flushing the toilet. Our rainwater is only used to filter it and then use it for drinking and cooking. We see the rocks surfacing, so for us it is much more fun to bathe in the river.

Tuesday August 29th the crew from the Dutch Christian broadcasting company arrived early in the evening. The next morning we fly with MAF to Lawa to start recording there. Monday September 4th we plan to fly back to Paramaribo, where they want to take more footage. September 6th we plan to fly to Apetina to make our last program there in five days. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share what God is doing in the lives of the Wajana’s and to present some projects that will benefit the Wajana’s in return. The three programs of twenty five minutes each will be broadcasted in the first three months of 2018.

13 augustus 2017
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Short Stop in Apetina

After six weeks of city life we returned to Apetina last Tuesday.

Our time in Paramaribo was filled with meetings with the team of World Team Hindustani ministry. The Kelley’s helped to envision the next years and think about action steps to reach our goals. As the director of Pioneer Ministries Marco is responsible for the Hindustani ministry in Suriname. We enjoyed our time with the Kelley’s, Shiwdat’s and Pamela Walford very much. We’re happy with the outcome of these weeks of hard work and are looking forward to see who God will bring to the Hindustani team to reach the last of the unreached.

Three Wayana couples flew from Kawemhakan to Paramaribo and later to Kwamasamutu. They thought from Gods word for three weeks there, and continued their mission trip to Mapuera in Northern Brazil. We could assist them during their stay in the city. We hope to meet them again after they return from Kwamala end of December / beginning of January. We look forward to hear their stories.Marjolein and Ilse van Dijk were busy correcting the Wayana translation of a bible for young children. We sent the corrected version to the printer and are now waiting for the first print. With this print we want to do the last correction in the villages of Kawemhakan and Apetina. People of Pelele Tëpu translated the same bible in the Trio language. We hope to present a bible for children to these two tribes in 2018. We still need funds for the transportation of the bibles to the different villages in the interior.We also had time to meet our daughter and son in law, Elisabeth and Rafaël, and their children. Quinn even stayed a night with grandpa and grandma. It was good to meet several friends in Paramaribo.We were looking forward to our stay in Apetina. It has been 7 months since we’ve been here, due to several trips abroad in the first part of this year. The people came to greet us and asked us why it took us so long. Our neighbor Pasakili came the same day to share about his visit to the Apalai in Northern Brasil. Their trip back home took them one week more than their trip to the Apalai. They had to drag the canoe for long stretches because of low water in the river. Sometimes they had to cut through sunken trees. They had lots of opportunities to share the gospel and they saw fruit on their work.We planned to be in Apetina from July till end September this year, but plans changed. First for the meetings in the city and now for a television crew from the Netherlands who want to make three programs about our life with the Wayana’s for a Christian broadcasting company. So we will fly to Paramaribo at the end of this month to pick up the crew, fly with them to Kawemhakan, then back to the city, then to Apetina.

16 juni 2017
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Visitor from the Netherlands

Last week our director from C&MA the Netherlands payed us a visit us at Lawa. Together with him we visited several places along the Lawa river where churches are or will be build. It is such a blessing to see how the Church is growing here, tucked away in the jungle! Building is expensive out there, so they’re asking assistance from brothers and sisters in the Netherlands and the USA.

It was great to show him around in our world, to have him meet some of the elders. We’ve been praying and talking about steps we need to make now in order to reach our goals in the next ten years.

Marco experienced, after returning from Canada, that he isn’t twenty any more. He needed some rest to digest all the information from his 4 weeks long trip.

For this period in Lawa we’re in our last week. This means finishing things, cleaning the house, washing hammocks etc. to leave the house in order untill we return in December.

We had our last meetings with the elders. Marjolein completed her verse by verse study of the first letter of Peter with four women. This is done to learn them how to study their bible and ask questions after reading. They all are teaching women, teenagers and children, so they want to know how to teach them right. It has been a start, so Marjolein is planning to continue in December.

Alumpia enjoyed his coffee time with Marjolein so much that he continued with his visits after Marco’s return. Often we read from Gods Word together, which means that Marjolein reads because Alumpia’s sight is failing him more and more.