For our final two full days in the country, we experienced the Dutch culture and missionary life from different perspectives. Wednesday started out with a bus ride out to Keukenhof to see where over 10 million tulips have been planted and are coming into full bloom. The tulip crop is in the top 10 of export revenue for the country. Returning to the city in the afternoon, the team ventured out on a canal cruise, viewing buildings that were built before America was a country. The evening topped off with a wonderful dinner at Amsterdam Café providing a more traditional Dutch menu.

 

Thursday started with an amazing look at Dutch art and culture. We visited the Rijk’s Museum which opened its doors in 1800 and includes the largest library for Art history in the world. We viewed paintings from Rembrandt, VanGough, Vermeer and others. It was truly incredible to see these world famous paintings, including depictions from the Bible. We stopped for lunch and had traditional Dutch pancakes with ingredients like apple, cheese, bacon, onions, or mushrooms. Following lunch our missionaries gave us a list of items and sent us out to experience normal life. It took 2 teams of 5 people working together over an hour to complete their list of 10 simple things that could have been purchased at a Walmart in less that 10 minutes. The realizations of adjusting to a different culture (and in this case with no car for transportation between stores) really hit home. The evening wrapped up with dinner at the O’Gradys and time spent sharing personal “take aways” from the trip. Corey helped us talk through the needs we can look for and deliberately be a part of in our own missional community.

 

The week concludes a great time spent with Corey, Kaylee, Lyla and Eloise. We appreciated the opportunity to love on this wonderful family. The team enjoyed the several chances we had to spend time with the members of Grace Church Amsterdam in worship and fellowship. We also received a clearer view of missions from the perspective of a missionary family. Please join us during the service Sunday evening as we share pictures, videos and take time to report back on the trip.

 

We will be traveling tomorrow (Friday) and ask for your prayers as we fly from Amsterdam to Chicago and take the vans back to St. Charles.