M & M in Suriname

Our life with the Wayana indians

13 mei 2022
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Where are Marco and Marjolein?

After two years of hardly any travel for World Team, a number of trips are planned this year.

Last week we had our leaders conference with colleagues from the Americas. It was so nice to meet one another again in person instead of online after two years.

It also gives us the opportunity to visit our friends and colleagues Roy and Margaret Lytle. This week Marjolein is staying with them while Marco traveled to Italy for meetings with the Global Leaders last Sunday. He hopes to fly back to Orlando from Florence coming Sunday. Tuesday May 17 we will fly to Manaus to meet the team that works among the ind*genous people there.

In the meantime, the English classes online each Saturday continue. It is great to see the commitment of the Wayana Canada Outreach Team and hear their progress in the language. The week after Easter we booked our tickets for the trip to Canada in faith while we were babysitting our youngest grandson in Paramaribo. Together we checked the names and dates of birth we needed to enter the process in correctly. The next morning Marco put all the copies of the passports from different files together. As he went along, he checked the expiration date of Melissa’s passport again. What we hadn’t noticed the night before, he saw now! Her passport expires on December 13, 2022. We have booked tickets for June 14.

This means that her passport is not valid longer than 6 months upon departure. The next bump in our preparations. Since then we made an effort to apply for a new passport. This has been successful. But as we were informed our request to connect her old passport to the new one had not been followed up by the authorities. She now has a new passport but since her old passport was not attached to it, her visa for Canada was no longer valid.

Yesterday we received the message that her ‘old’ passport has finally surfaced and that the page on which the Canada visa is depicted has not been declared invalid. What a relief. In the meantime, we are busy filling in all kinds of details of our travel plan. Arrangements are made to be picked up from the airport, where can we spend the night in Trinidad when we go from Suriname to Canada, where will we visit when we drive for a week by car from Calgary to Winnipeg, all kinds of questions where we come to now. Our colleague Pamela will accompany us on the trip. Her Canadian background is of great help in filling in these details.

Before we left for the US, we sent the corrected version of the teenage bible to the printer in the Netherlands. It was quite a ‘birth’ but it is finished. We are now waiting for the digital copy so that we can correct typos again, followed by the printing process, transport to Suriname and distribution to the various villages. We already hear people say that the church leaders also want to use this Bible in their sermon preparations. Marjolein is now translating again. This time it concerns forms that have to be filled out on the plane for immigration and customs. She alternates this with translating Bible studies from Francine Rivers’ book about the women in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus.

Itinerary until December 2022 – M&M’s on the move

May 17-31: Manaus in Northern Brazil     –   June 1-13: Paramaribo       –      June 14 – August 16: Canada   –   September 6-16: Paraguay for Marco, Marjolein in Paramaribo

September 20 – December 4: The Netherlands, with Marco the first week of October in Cambodia and both three weeks in Peru in November.

8 maart 2022
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Challenging

On Saturday March 5th, Marco left Schiphol in Amsterdam for Harare in Zimbabwe to enjoy a training course by Foundations for Farming. This is a challenging time with the war in Ukraine going on. What will the world look like in 9 days?

It was also challenging a few weeks earlier when we received the results of our Covid PCR test on February 21th. It felt like waiting for the results of an exam. We were very happy that this result was negative. This allowed us to fly to the Netherlands the following day. Considering the age of Marjolein’s parents, we think a year is a long time to be out of sight. In this way we can make the most of our time in the Netherlands.

We are happy we had only some mild effects of Corona, like having a cold. That was also the reason that we didn’t take a test in the first place. We planned to fly back to the city February 9 and meant pay a visit to Apetina to see the test garden together with the two visiting board members of Foundations for Farming the Netherlands . When Marjolein had a sore throat that same morning we thought it wise to be on the safe side and get a Covid test. At the clinic of the Medical Mission it soon turned out that three of the four of us tested positive, this meant the trip to Apetina was cancelled. MAF was willing to fly us to the city. The three of us then stayed in quarantine for 10 days. Number four flew to the Netherlands the next day. So, the training for Foundations for Farming ended a little differently than expected.

Marjolein will spend a few days with her parents next week in a cottage in the east of the country. This is a very special occasion. We usually have a long weekend with our children and grandchildren. This time it will be a midweek with her parents. We know that we are so privileged !

Monday March 21, we hope to fly to Suriname again.

14 februari 2022
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Intensive

Let’s start with the less positive detail: last Wednesday we tested positive for the corona virus. This was not such a problem for Marco and Marjolein, but for one of the Foundations for Farming men it was. Would he be able to catch his scheduled flight back on Saturday, February 12? We now know that this was not the case and we are waiting for the moment that he has a negative antigen test. Fortunately, we only have to deal with mild illness effects. The other ‘Foundations for Farming-er’ tested negative on Thursday so he was able to fly back to the Netherlands. We would have liked to end this wonderful month in a different way.

We look back on some special weeks! It gives great joy to see people working with enthusiasm. Discovering new things together in the nature they have been living in for many years. Full of awe for our Creator who designed everything so beautifully. We enjoyed our Wayana trainers who enthusiastically introduced people into the theory and practice of Foundations for Farming. In each village we saw a number of people who understood the concept and started working with it. Every village has worked very hard to clean and plant the test garden.  A lot of work has been done to build a compost heap in every village.

In Apetina and Lawa we received support from Serge Lauzon from Canada. He taught the people tons about seedlings and preparing the soil for planting various vegetables. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. They worked hard in the blazing sun.

Some Wayana said that they even had a sunburn. In Lawa we were visited by two board members of Foundations for Farming the Netherlands. Next to the work in the garden, we also had meetings to report about the progress of the entire project. It was very nice to spend a few days together meeting face to face.

Despite the fact that we are now in quarantine, we look back on beautiful weeks and we are curious which of the Wayana will embrace this new method and apply it in their own vegetable gardens.

16 januari 2022
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On our way to new adventures

As we cruise the river at a leisurely pace, I see our Wayana and Trio scanning the trees. Would there be a fat iguana? It is a mystery to us how they discover such a green animal in the midst of all shades of green, but with their trained eyes they see much more than we do. We enjoy the different trees and flowers while we talk about the past week.

We enjoyed our stay in Palumeu! It was so nice to visit again after 20 years. Our days started early. At 04.45 am the alarm went off every day so that we could be in church at 5 am to pray with the sick. Then we quickly ate a sandwich to start work on the test garden or compost heap between 7 and 8 o’clock. It is very encouraging to see how people want to try the new planting method in their own garden, after having participated in the pilot project. About 45 people attended. A nice group when you consider that the entire village has 360 inhabitants. They prepared delicious food for us and the dishes were also done. Such a luxury!

After lunch we could rest in the hammock. Then we had time to answer emails and do other administrative work, if we didn’t get a visit from one of the leaders. From 4 pm on our team would teach for an hour or two so that theory and practice were well understood. We were able to show a movie almost every evening. People could watch the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Leah and Rebekah, Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. This way they could see how a journey through the desert went. They marveled at windstorms and the lack of trees and water.

We had beautiful cloudy weather all week. While we were in church early Friday morning, we got a heavy shower of one hour and a half. It cleared up around 9 am. Would we be able to fly to Tepu? Landing in Palumeu is no problem, but will Tepu’s airstrip also be open? The pilot of MAF had to come any way since our food supply was almost finished. After the plane had landed we hear that there is no flying to Tepu. We decided to try again on Monday. This means that our time in Tepu will be much less, almost half of what we would need.Then Marco proposed to leave for Tepu by canoe on Saturday. This worked out fine. The people of Palumeu arranged it very well and so we went on our way to Tepu and can start the training there tonight.

We would like to ask your attention to the

Wayana Canada Mission Project

at the top of our homepage.

 

6 januari 2022
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A Good Beginning

A week before Christmas, Nanajeu comes to visit us. She would like to know who may fly to Palumeu and Tepu for the Foundations for Farming training. We indicate that we really want her and her husband to come along as trainers because they put everything they learned into practice. If they are away from home for two weeks, this means that she has extra work to do for the next three weeks. Her daughter went to Paramaribo to study at a young age and is not yet able to bake the cassava bread. Her mother is old and can’t make it anymore. In the coming weeks, extra wood will be chopped and prepared so that a fire can be made for cooking and an extra amount of cassava will be harvested to make cassava flour from which cassava bread is baked. What a caring woman this is! We appreciate her very much.

On Christmas Eve we showed photos and videos of the game day on December 24 in church. After this we showed the Nativity story in Wayana. Suddenly a deacon came to us that a boat with Maroons had arrived and they brought a duro tank for us. We thought it would be a gift to the church and postponed the whole thing to Sunday.

Second hand clothes

The next morning it turned out to be 2 barrels of gasoline and 20 roof plates and 9 water barrels (duro tanks). We said again that we did not order this and had no idea who this would be for.An hour later they came back to us. It had to be for us since a pilot had said for ’those whites’ Buurman (mixed-up for Schuurmans). Marco checked his email and saw a message from the owner of the cargo. The boat arrived a day early…. The entire load is on its way to Tepu for a project over there. The idea was that in Apetina we could ensure that the things were stored for a while. Only… the stuff arrived before the message. It is in front of the house now. We wonder when the entire cargo will reach its destination. From December 27-29 we had a visit from one of the MAF families. It was nice to get to know each other a little better. The people in Apetina also enjoyed their arrival because it does them good when the pilots show an interest in their language and their way of life. This is how relationships are built.

On Tuesday, Marjolein discovered that part of her molar had broken off. That meant an unexpected trip back to the city. Fortunately, we were able to fly with MAF to Paramaribo. Unexpectedly, we celebrated New Year’s Eve in the Paramaribo area and were able to visit our youngest daughter and her family.

Marjolein was able to make a last minute appointment with the dentist on January 5, but a day earlier we received a call that the dentist had Covid. Fortunately, a day later she was able to see a colleague who ‘patched up’ the molar nicely.

Friday January 7, we fly to Palumeu and start two weeks Foundations for Farming training. We are looking forward!

23 december 2021
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On the brink of Christmas

Last Monday 2 canoes with men left to take care there will be enough meat and fish for the whole village to eat at Christmas. The men are expected back on Thursday or Friday. Then the next big job for the women begins: cleaning and preparing all the game and fish. The women have been baking cassava bread and cooking cassava drink for days. Furthermore, the high grass is mowed in various places in the village. These are all preparations for Christmas. We pray that people also prepare inwardly for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus.Tuesday 21/12 we suddenly saw two boats filled with empty barrels and men coming downstream from Palemeu. We learned they were going down river to collect barrels full of diesel for the village generator. These barrels are brought up from Albina with a large canoe and then one has to travel for days from the different villages, through rapids, to ensure that electricity is supplied to the village. The village generator runs for a few hours every evening. We are happy that there is again a working village generator in Palemeu because in recent years they had no electricity at all. In Apetina we also enjoy a few hours of electrical power in the village every day. We heard that a reconditioned generator has arrived that is reliable and more economical than the previous older one. Now we can enjoy a few hours of electricity every day without having to use the capacity of our solar panels and batteries. Everyone is busy preparing for Christmas.

That is why it is very special to us that the group that was trained in the principles of Foundations for Farming in Lawa last August was motivated to work on a 1.5 cubic meter compost heap and a 10×15 meter testing garden last Saturday and Monday.

Many hands make the work light which we experienced together. This is a good preparation for the training given by Canadian trainers from FfF in Apetina in mid-January 2022, if the visa etc. all go well.

 

11 december 2021
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Back Home in Apetina

Last Monday we landed in Apetina with MAF. Four weeks in the city turned out to be a good time in which, in addition to the usual shopping for the coming weeks, we were able to meet a number of people.

After arriving at our jungle house, two main taps broke down. Plastic suffers from the climate. One of them was the main tap from the water tower, so we had to work with river water. MAF provided a solution by buying us a tap and PVC glue in the city. Last Thursday morning these were sent to Apetina with a Gum Air flight. That same afternoon Marco went to work so that the water system in the house was working again in the evening.

One of the MAF families surprised us with a Christmas present in the shape of a bamboo star with Christmas lights. In the dark evenings the star shines bright. Great to have some Christmas lights the coming weeks.

At the end of our leave, we wondered whether the trip to Canada in 2022 was feasible. While we were waiting for our suitcases after arriving in Suriname, a message came in from Canada from a Church that would like to provide us with shelter, food and transport for a month while we would be in Calgary. What a great encouragement.

2019 Prayer at ’the Forks’ in Winnipeg

We started the applications process for two visas for Wayana who join our team to Canada next year. This is always a lot of work. Downloading and filling out forms, scanning documents, etc. Next to this we pray for the funds we need for this trip.

World Team Canada Office has opened a project fund for this trip so that donors can transfer their contribution.

Here is the link to the Project # 40546 Wayana/Canada Missions Project

We invite you to draw attention to this special project in your area. In Canada there are a number of churches that support us locally with accommodation and food. Travel costs in particular require a considerable amount of money. The participants do their best to pay for part of this themselves. However, the high costs of boarding school for the children, increased fuel costs, etc. make it hard to provide for their own contribution. Hence the fund to contribute to this project through World Team Canada.

 

28 november 2021
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Back on track

At the end of August, we left Suriname to support Marjolein’s parents after her father’s heart attack. Fortunately, they are doing well, but as the saying goes: ‘old age comes with flaws’ and that requires a lot of energy. It was really good to visit and spend more time with them. In addition, we were able to meet a lot of people and we enjoyed that too. We were present celebrating the 40th anniversary of our sending church in Veenendaal. At such a moment you have extra time to reflect on God’s faithfulness through all these years.

November 9th we boarded a plane back to Suriname. The intention was to fly on to Apetina after about ten days, but a loose crown changed our plans. We have now made reservations with MAF for Monday 6 and Monday 13 December. We depend on the speed of ‘aunty mail’ from China for Marco’s crown. We experienced a number of times how convenient it is that we have extra time in the city. We are networking again. We also found a number of contacts near Paramaribo that are valuable in relation to future events for Foundations for Farming.

We already called a number of times with people in Apetina. We would like to organize a training session for the whole village before Christmas. We are curious if that will work, especially if we don’t arrive in Apetina until 13/12. During our leave in the Netherlands, Marco was asked by the Dutch board of Foundations for Farming to become their coordinator for future projects in South America. We see this as a great opportunity to train with the Wayana trainers in other countries of South America and to share God’s love for His people.

 

28 augustus 2021
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Wayana Training Foundations for Farming

From August 10 – 25 we had a group of 9 people from Apetina visiting Lawa. They came to participate in the Foundations for Farming training. In the weeks before we had been busy with Asiloikë and Temikailoe preparing for this training. They would be the trainers for both theory and practice. Together we translated the PowerPoint presentation in Wayana, after which laminated sheets were produced in the city on A3, so that they can also be used while visiting the villages in the coming months.

The beginning of a proving ground in the middle of the village had been built and now the students could come. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of this group and the trainers. The discovery that a number of Bible stories contain principles that can be applied in their lives today made them extra motivated to work in everyday practice. It was hard work, but many hands made light work. Working together, eating together and enjoying each other’s company, we enjoyed it as much as they did. We set up the first proving ground together, where we regularly gave instructions. This also applied to making the compost heap. A totally new way of dealing with garden waste and grass clippings! The surprise on their faces when we took the iron bar out of the compost heap to check if the temperature was already rising and they could feel that the bar felt quite hot. The time to turn hope. Two days later they were able to redo the whole process. After a week you already see how hope is dwindling. The second proving ground was set up in Babun Olo by the students and the trainers. Now we were not allowed to help except mowing the grass and carrying wheelbarrows with grass. The Wayanas started to build the garden independently so that they could get the picture and would be able to do it later in Apetina by themselves. Great to see that they claimed ownership for their own learning. Nice detail was that they decorated their faces with red stripes as they do during parties. One of the people from Apetina is a Tareno. During the training weeks he was able to translate the PowerPoint presentation into the Tareno language. We now plan to train Wayanas and Tarenos along the Tapanahony River at the end of this year and early next year.

25 augustus 2021
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Flight rescheduled

Saturday morning Marjolein looked in her WhatsApp and read that her father (87) had been 
hospitalized with heart problems. That is scary news. All the more so because, together 
with a number of signals we received earlier, an acute demand for care has arisen. The messages 
from Marjoleins siblings confirmed this. They have done lots of work and care in recent days. 
At such moments you feel the distance.
Sunday morning we decided to change our KLM tickets from September 23 to August 30. 
We can stay in the apartment of dear friends in Veenendaal for the first few weeks. 
We can rent a car from day 1 through 'Cars' (especially for missionaries on home assignment). 
We are so grateful for this help!

We will find out in what way we can be of assistance. 

It appears that Marjoleins father had a heart attack. He made it through very well and has since 
been released from the hospital. How thankful we are to have him home!

An update of what we have experienced in recent weeks will follow shortly.

Sincerely,

M&M