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09 November 2021 |Huis ter Heide, Netherlands [Meity Bodenstaff with tedNEWS] 

ADRA Netherlands is celebrating its 30th anniversary with three special community service projects.

As part of ADRA Netherlands’ anniversary celebrations, a team of volunteers organised three community service projects to support a local primary school, a community centre, and a residential nursing home.

On 23 September 2021 a team of volunteers donned ADRA’s apple-green T-shirts, ready to be the message, ready to show love, justice, and compassion. Bright and early, they made their way to Oud Zandbergen Primary School, in Huis ter Heide, Netherlands. The mission for the day was clear: painting the blue walls with a fresh coat of white paint, and deweeding the patio. After their work was done, an army of “inspectors” arrived. A group of about twenty children curiously looked at the volunteers and examined their work, before pronouncing it, to everyone’s relief, ‘a job well done’.

 

herb garden 500x300Volunteers working in the herb garden [Photos: ADRA Netherlands]

About midday, the team left for ADRA Care & Share, a community centred opened two years prior. The centre runs a variety of activities for children and arranges Dutch lessons for newcomers and refugees. As the volunteers entered the building, they were welcomed by a beautifully set table with a delicious lunch spread. Meity Bodenstaff, ADRA Netherlands’ Communications and Advocacy Officer, sat next to Musu Kromah, an energetic 57-year-old lady. Musu spent her younger years in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 1983 she fled to the Netherlands and married a Dutchman. For over twenty years, they ran a mini-camping site in Hungary. However, COVID-19 pushed the family out of business. The risk of bankruptcy forced Musu to return to Holland, where she joined the Huis ter Heide Adventist Church and started working as a volunteer at ADRA Share & Care -yet another example of how the centre is transforming lives! “My heart squeaks. I am thankful that ADRA Netherlands can help this wonderful woman”, said Meity, who over the course of the day discovered just how challenging Musu’s childhood had been, and how much she had survived.

Fortified by lunch, the team got back to work. Some painted the outside walls of the centre, while others worked in the herb garden, and the rest removed stones from the front yard and planted flower bulbs. By the end of the day, “Our apple-green T-shirts didn’t shine as bright anymore and our trousers were a bit mucky,” commented Meity. “But when I looked around, I only saw smiling faces.”

The team will visit Vredenoord, a residential nursing home in Huis ter Heide, in December, to continue celebrating their anniversary by serving others and giving back. “We look forward to another special day!” said Meity, obviously experiencing the joy of giving.


 

tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Vanesa Pizzuto, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division. Readers are free to republish or share this article with appropriate credit including an active hyperlink to the original article.



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