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Newsletter February 2023 Looking back…

Looking back…

PETACH TIKVAH has turned 20 years old! We completely forgot about that… That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to take you with us on our life journey…

In 1987 Karin and I were in Israel for the first time and at the end we said to each other: ‘We never come back here.’ We were young and found Israel quite overwhelming. We felt the tension, people were stressed, we got cheated, it was chaotic, hot, I got sick and laid in a hotel room (East Jerusalem) with right underneath a megaphone which called muslims to pray for 5 times a day, starting at 4.30 in the morning! Life can turn out strangely, because who would’ve thought that we would get a heart for Gods plan with Israel and the church and that we would take groups to Israel on a yearly base? Certainly not us!

In 1994 God began to open our eyes by reading a book that went about Biblical prophecies and the return of Gods people to Israel from all the nations. I was perplexed that they totally skipped this in Bible School. I casually mentioned to God: ‘If You can use me, here I am’. And so we have experienced! Less then three months later we came in contact with the English organisation Good News Travels, which helps Jews from Ukraine to return to Israel. Exciting with a young family and also painful because many in our church didn’t understand what drove us. These were the times of character forming because after 2,5 years our role within this organisation stopped and we asked ourselves whether we had heard Gods voice wrongly.

As a child I dreamt of a farm and after my high school I went to study farming. In the ‘letting go process’ of what we thought was Gods plan this dream popped up again and in 1998 we bought a former farm in Hooghalen. Calling of God? That one was in the fridge, because to be honest we didn’t understand God anymore…


But what we didn’t know is that this farm was near former Camp Westerbork and our land was bordered to the former rail, where in the past 107,000 Jews were deported. Also Karin’s father told that he had lived in the camps Amersfoort and Westerbork! He had never been able to talk about it. How extraordinary are Gods ways! We realized that we didn’t just buy a normal farm. And that is how, in 2002, Petach Tikvah, which is Hebrew for ‘Door of Hope’, was born. ‘Israel meetings’ arose in our living room and God brought Jewish believers and leaders from all over the world on our path. Still this was also a search. Because these evenings were mainly visited by elderly people and we asked ourselves: ‘If this is really important to God, then where are the younger people?’.

Youth work and education

That is why we started youth work together with friends. On Saturday nights our living room was ‘rebuilt’ to a place where coziness, safety ánd Jesus were central. Through the years many young people have visited our home. Besides that we started organizing the Israel Experience youth trips. In 2012 we took a leap of faith by quitting my payed job and partly live by gifts. Later on, from the youth work a community arose which nowadays comes together on our property as ‘Door of Hope’. About 5 years ago we passed over the leadership of this community to a young couple. Every week a group of mainly young families come together around Gods Word. Thanks be to Him!

Discipleship and Israel

Though the years many friendships were built with Messianic believers in Israel. It is special to see what God is doing in our time: the beginning of the foretold restoration in Israel! From Petach Tikvah we try to join with faith projects which have a connection to youth in Israel. Also for years now we support soup kitchens in Ukraine, for help to Jews there. This work came forth from our contacts with Shalom Ministries in Oswieçim, Polen (close to former destruction camp Auschwitz).

Camping  Tikvah

Re- creation means recreation! The Kingdom of God in heaven ánd also on earth! That is our slogan, but it is also fought. We offer a place to catch a breath and together with God that means being recreated, restoration. And who knows what the future will hold? Every year we also organize the ‘One New Man’ youth conference. Sometimes non-believing people ask us: ‘This place is different – there is a certain energy. What kind of place is this?’ Haha, yes, thén it is not difficult to tell about Gods great restoration plan (Jesus) in contrast to the dark things to which people are capable (like Westerbork and Auschwitz) ánd why there is such a battle around Gods people!

Gods plan?

With this review we first and mostly want to give Him all the honor, but also encourage you. Possibly you sometimes do not see things clearly and there appears to be a ‘thick fog’. But God is faithful. When we persevere together with Him there will be fruit! And eventually it is not about us, but about His will in us. Just like it is not about Israel but about Jesus’ return and the coming Kingdom: the restoration of all thing (Acts 3:21). How great to be able to help in that!