I was born and raised in the Netherlands and studied Spanish, French and international (European) law at the University of Amsterdam.
Since that time, my love for this country and its passionate, lively people has grown ever since. After a discipleship training with YWAM in Madrid in 2004, my desire to be involved in missions got a boost.
Starting to search for mission opportunities in Latin America, where I had spent 2 years working with street children years before, God surprised me by calling me as a missionary to Europe: Valencia in Spain. Initially, I started with the mission organization YWAM in 2009, moving there with a befriended Spanish couple from YWAM Madrid. This ministry came to an end after 4 years however.
Yet, I had a strong impression that I had to stay put in Valencia so I kept on serving in several churches and started Serve the City Valencia.
In 2013, I found out that a new church plant from Communitas came to Valencia to start in Ruzafa, a centric neighborhood. And yes, it seemed to be the perfect match! Today, after 6 years building community with our church Poiema Colectiva in this city, we are entering a new phase. Our team is changing, a few have left and we are praying for new team members to join us, so we can continue to serve here. Our vision remains the same: being Jesus´ hands and feet in Ruzafa, building friendships and showing Jesus´ love and grace in daily life. We love to use creativity as well to tell Gods story, transmitting the gospel in a culturally relevant way that inspires our neighbors.
Since 2012 I am also running a Bed & Breakfast in my apartment, which has been a fantastic opportunity to offer hospitality, to have life-giving conversations and bless a wide range of guests passing through 🙂 Therefore, I consider it to be a part of my ministry here as well.
A fun fact about me is that when I just moved here, the use of the bike as a way of daily transportation, was not common yet in Valencia. Being a Dutch woman, not able to do without a bike (I brought it from Holland), I found out that in the neigborhood where I lived, a lot of people referred to me as ´the girl with the bike´. It was impossible not to notice this tall foreign woman with her big bike going everywhere!