Researcher, Mother and traveler

Jesus Christ is risen today

Jesus Christ is risen today

It happens to all of us occasionally, losing ourselves completely. In that, I mean, not being anymore who we used to be. This weekend I found a big piece of myself back after having found some fragments in the past months with help from some of my best friends and others around me.

Easter as a child

I remember Easter as one of my favourite Christian Holidays. Going to the hall next to the church to have Easter breakfast with the other members of the church that I knew since I was young. And after that, while the church bells were ringing, we entered the church where the pipe organ was cheering beautiful Easter songs and everyone was happy and dressed in Spring colours. My favourite song has always been “Christus onze Heer verrees” (Jesus Christ is risen today). I remember it was hymn 215 of the songbook that we used when I was a child.

Loosing myself

Since I left to Tanzania in 2010, I already gave up at lot of my previous life of course. But it never bothered me. I get so many beautiful things back in this beautiful country with many beautiful people. However, there are also downsides to living in a totally different culture. When it comes to religion, things are different here. It is more of a self-evident practice to believe. It is not a question, but more of a given. You just go to church or to the mosque. Apologies if I offend anyone by saying this. This is different from how I grew up. We could question our belief or our faith. We could question the bible stories. Also, some negative things happened that caused me to have a wrong image of the whole world by simply generalizing things to all and everyone. Around Christmas I was at such a stage, just lost. I felt like I wanted to give up my job which I have always loved. In the past month, with the help of some significant others, I slowly came back and a lot of motivation for my work as a researcher came back too.

Easter now

Last Sunday, I attended the Easter service in a rather internationally-focused church. I have been there several times and always realized that the service looks a lot like what I was used to in the Netherlands. Many of the same songs, the same words and rituals, the same structure and the same feeling of togetherness or community. For the first time since I am in Tanzania, I did the reading in front of the church, something I used to do a lot when I was still in the Netherlands. So, I had prepared to read the Easter Gospel. And no matter, if it actually happened, what a beautiful story it is. When we arrived at the church, we were called into the church house by a friend as there were many leftovers from the Church Easter Breakfast. After that, we entered the church. When the pastor announced the first hymn to be sung to be song 76 of the Mission and Praise songbook, I saw the title of the song. I could not be happier when the piano started playing the melody. It was “Christus onze Heer verrees” or “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”. What a joy to sing the many Hallelujahs.

Finding myself

A few weeks ago, I had a long talk with a friend who brought back some pieces of myself. It can be such an eye opener to talk to your best friend. Last weekend I had a great talk with one of my best friends here about the joy of believing, about what God means to us, and how it can bring peace in your life. The biggest thing we realized is that God is in the people around us and we should not forget about that. And then today, I did it. I submitted two proposals for which the deadlines are tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. We prepared the proposals together with my team and our collaborators in the Netherlands. We keep our fingers crossed, but what a joy to lead such a team. Hallelujah!!!