January 6-7, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

By Nate Wybenga

This weekend was a lot of fun.  The class split into 2 different groups, one group going to Groningen and the other group going to Aduard.  The towns were only about 15 minutes from each other, but both were in the northern part of the country, in the province also named Groningen.  This was about a 2-hour drive from our home near Amsterdam.  The group that went to Aduard left on Saturday morning.  Professor Hoeksema has a second cousin, Robert Hoeksema who lives in Aduard.  Robert organized swimming at a large indoor water park in Groningen with the entire group as well as some of the youth from his church on Saturday afternoon.  At dinnertime on Saturday, the half of our group that was staying in Aduard had a potluck at the church where we met and had dinner with our host families for the weekend.

After the potluck Saturday evening we went to our host families homes and settled in.  English is a language that is taught to everyone in school, and most people are at least somewhat fluent, so it was not at all difficult to communicate with our families.  Many of the host families lived near each other, and there were 2 students for each host family.  Later on in the evening we participated in their annual New Year’s celebration at the church with 60 or so people from the community.

On Sunday morning we woke up bright and early for morning church.  The church service was in a format very similar to what we would consider “traditional” services back home.  Although the service is normally entirely in Dutch, the Pastor did a very nice job of incorporating some English to engage us Americans in the service.  After the service, we went home and relaxed with our host families.

The church normally also has a service in the afternoon.  Because this service would be entirely in Dutch, most of our host families offered for us to do something else.  The family that I stayed with and their neighbors who were also hosting some of us went into Groningen and walked around downtown. 

On Sunday evening my host, Neeltje, lead an English bible study for the youth of the church.  She and the rest of the group did a very good job at communicating almost entirely in a language that they never have bible study in, but it was very generous of them be willing to speak in English.

We then met up with the entire group again on Monday morning.  After taking some group pictures, we left Aduard for Monday’s “field trip”. 

Page 1 of 1 pages