Monthly Archives: July 2014

Suffering

  How do you measure suffering? How do you measure the grief and the despair of the family and friends of the victims of the disaster with the MH 17.  The downing of the plane of Malaysian Airlines with almost 300 passengers—of whom 198 were Dutch—was a national disaster for the Netherlands and a national day of mourning was more than fitting. But the mourners were, first of all, those men and women who lost a partner, or lost their … Continue reading

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Rebecca

  About five years ago I spent a month in Uganda, where I taught some intensives at Bugema University. Most of the students in my classes wanted to become pastors. But they were not the only ones who found their way to the guesthouse where I was staying. Dozens of  students, of various disciplines, came to me to explain their difficult financial situation. It was not so strange that they hoped that I, as a relatively rich person from the … Continue reading

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The relative importance of penalties

  [Thursday morning 10 July]  The Dutch dream is history. The national soccer team lost in the semi-finals against the Argentinians. Undoubtedly, there will be a lot of further scrutiny of this important match. Among the seventeen million inhabitants of the Kingdom of the Netherlands one easily finds ten million experts who can explain why the Dutch should have won. I know very little about sports and only follow the major sportive events (such as the World Soccer Championships and … Continue reading

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Tolerance in practice

  About ten years ago the Adventist Church in the Netherlands held its first ‘open day’.  Since I planned this event for the first time with my colleagues at the national head office of the church, the concept has somewhat changed, but it remains an important day in the annual church calendar. When, last Sunday, I walked on the grounds around the office building, along the 40 or so stalls, I was once again struck by the diversity of the … Continue reading

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