A dream to live for

 

Ever since my earliest youth I had a dream: to go to Africa ever.

That dream came true in 1969 when I first set foot on the soil of the country of Ghana.

I had been following a training to be a priest and missionary. The education I followed in the south of the Netherlands and became a member of the SMA Fathers, the Society of the African Mission in Cadier en Keer.

In many aspects, my dream came true and still is proving itself.

 

I'm fascinated by the rich cultures that I found, the vitality of the young population and the impressive religiosity that lives through the entire African life. But I also had been painfully struck by the paradox that I found there: the country that was so rich in raw materials and talented people struggling with poverty and inequality issues. That reality has never abandoned me and became a missionary commitment to look for a contribution to resolve these issues.

 
         
 

So I became involved in social issues and I came into contact with many people who were looking for improvement of social reality,  through social action and politics.

It yielded the necessary tension in religious and political circles but at the same time deepened my contacts with many dedicated people.
 
         
 

Around 1995 I got an eye disease that brought me to the preliminary decision to return to the Netherlands. I have been working for refugees from Africa for the diocese of Rotterdam. Ten years ago I accepted an appointment as pastor in Rotterdam South.

 

At the same time a community of Holy Ghost Fathers was settled there. Together, we wanted our vision to work: the promotion of inter-cultural nature of the religious communities in South Rotterdam and contribute to improved interaction between people from many cultures in Rotterdam.  That ideal is the soul of our activities and the richness of what is happening in the church.

 
       
   

My dream is being read as an exciting book and I'm going on to open a next chapter.

On 05 January 2009 I return to Ghana. I would like to settle there and share (again) the future expectation of the population. I also would like to offer a warm welcome to people who want to come in contact with the local population in that beautiful country Ghana, to spend some time with them and close friendships across the world.

 

A dream to live for!