Remember that God is faithful through every season, and let go of your frustrations and trust in Him. —
Nienke: Thirteen years ago, I used to say that I would never marry, I would not stay in The Netherlands my whole life, and that I did not want to have children. I was hurt and scarred; I did not trust people, let alone God. Around that time as well, I met my husband.
Daniel: I had always wanted to become a father because I love kids. I am a teacher. Also, I used to say that I would never leave The Netherlands to live abroad. Though we do not sound like a match made in heaven, God intervened in our relationship; we got engaged and eventually married in 2011. All the while, He confirmed our dreams.
Throughout the years, we learned to treasure our dreams and talk about them, but to not put pressure on each other to make our own dream happen. We did not want to settle for less than the promises we knew God had given to us. We did not see it or feel it sometimes, but we learned that God was to be trusted and He had everything under control.
We decided that our dreams were not more important than our marriage, so we kept giving our dreams back to God. Also, we found ways to pursue our dreams in different ways. I surrounded myself with kids at school. Nienke started working for an international NGO and traveling a lot for work.
Nienke: All seemed well, but, after about 10 years, our frustrations began spilling out. We kept asking God why the dreams He had given us were not actualising, especially when things got difficult. We did not know that God was working in secret. He was placing the right people in the right places, and softening our hearts in the areas that needed work. From the advice of people of faith who surrounded us, we learned to again let go of our dreams and give them back to God, constantly in the season of trusting and waiting.
In 2018, I traveled to Hope City Church’s Annual Women’s Conference “She is” in Sheffield, UK. Through a God moment, I got healed of my fears, scars and brokenness, and I started desiring motherhood. Daniel was so surprised at my change of heart because I had never wanted to have children.
A few months after the conference, I traveled to Ghana, where I grew up, after 25 years. While I was here, I realized that Accra was the place God was preparing for us to move to. When I mentioned this to Daniel, he was skeptical because he never wanted to live outside The Netherlands.
Daniel: In November 2018, we became pregnant. During that time, God started to put Ghana in my mind and heart. So, I decided to visit Ghana with Nienke before our child was born. We contacted the pastors of Hope City Church Accra, Ali and Karen, Monika and Eddie, and visited Accra in February 2019.
During that visit, God worked in both our lives, confirming our dreams and revealing to us that the time for fulfillment had come. We had waited and trusted Him, and He was faithful. We decided that we were moving to Ghana.
Lamentations 3:22-24 : 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
Nienke: When I was 7 months pregnant, we came to Ghana with no idea of how to make this place our new home. In that season, God provided exceedingly. Daniel got a job at American International School. We sold our house in The Netherlands within 2 weeks, which is a miracle. Our church in The Netherlands funded us to ship some personal items to Ghana. In due time, we were blessed with a healthy baby girl.
Today, despite circumstances, we are married and parents living in a foreign country together. God is faithful, fighting battles that we are not aware of and causing things to happen for us. In the waiting for the fulfillment of His promises, beautiful things can happen.
We do not know what will happen in the future. There are many questions we have about how long we will stay in Accra and what we will do, but we know that God is with us. Without Him, this story would not have been possible. We cannot wait to see what He will do in the coming years.