Alibarba & The Bitners

No – it’s not some new funky band, it’s a list of our August visitors here in Nieuw Vennep. First came the Bitners. Jim and Carol are Americans who lived near Belfast for a few years and attended Windsor Baptist when David was pastor there.  They are now ‘retired’ back in the US but have taken up a part-time pastoral role caring for mission workers. This involves them travelling to Europe twice a year and driving through parts of France, Germany and Switzerland where they visit mission staff members from the US and help support and encourage them in their work and everyday lives. Actually, this is pretty much what they did in Belfast when they befriended several Windsor families and encouraged and helped in so many practical ways. Their ministry continues and their rich life experiences (including having 17 grandchildren!) make them valuable mentors as well as all-round good friends to many, including us. What a great use of retirement years! When they left us, we paid a flying visit to NI for David to have some dental work and got back just in time to welcome Alison Bingham and Barbara Johnston – old friends from Windsor, Belfast – for a weekend.  There was much laughter, chat and a few late nights as we reminisced and caught up with all their church and family news, after they had walked their feet off around Amsterdam all day. We all took the bus to Haarlem to sample the Jazz Festival and some yummy Mexican food, went to the English Reformed Church on Sunday, all shared lunch with another US friend Lauran Bethell.  Now our August visitors are all gone and we carry on writing blogs, editing journal articles, discussing plans and getting stuck into work with our new boss… it’s been a good summer!

Weather Song

(Tune: Danny Boy – an Irish Air)
Oh Davy boy, the pipes, the pipes are frozen,
pipesThe temperature is nearly minus eight.
The Eastern Beast is roaring at our windows,
Put on your coat, throw more wood on the grate.
We said we’d go to work at IBTSC
In Amsterdam – with weather just like home.
Did BMS say Holland or Siberia?
Ah well, the summer will come soon, we mustn’t moan!

Oh Dotty girl, the pipes, the pipes are baking,heat-wave
It’s 35 degrees, ain’t that a treat?
The grass is brown and all our plants are dying,
We Irish were not built to stand such heat!
We said we’d go to work at IBTSC
In Amsterdam – with weather just like home.
Did BMS say Netherlands or Africa?
Ah well, the winter will come soon, we mustn’t moan!

Dear Dave and Dot (the email says from BMS),
We’re sorry you’re too cold/hot (please delete). images
The Dutch saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather,
Only bad clothing’ – works for cold and heat!
You said you’d go to work at IBTSC
In Amsterdam – with weather just like home.
Please understand we don’t control the weather,
Take heart – autumn is coming soon, so please don’t moan!

© McMillan & McMillan Inc.