Snapshot – Jan Willem and Marlinde Tamminga
Jan Willem and Marlinde Tamminga
WE WERE BORN in Holland. Jan Willem studied Tropical Forestry and Marlinde studied English to become an English teacher. We met while studying and got married in 2004. In 2005 Jan Willem went to Borneo, Indonesia, for an internship for his studies. Marlinde joined him after two months. During these months at Living Waters Village, a children’s village for poor Dayak children, God really touched our hearts. We both got baptised and went back home completely changed.
After our trip to Kalimantan, our view on mission changed. Mission was no longer ‘far away’ and for ‘other’ people. Every time we heard something about missions, we felt God spoke to us, that He was calling us back to Indonesia. It was like we knew it was going to happen but we didn’t know when.
Eventually we started our missionary life with the Nations course in Penang in January 2009. To leave our home country with two young children age two and zero, to give up our jobs that we really enjoyed and to say goodbye to family and friends and get on a plane to the great unknown was by far the biggest and scariest step of faith we had ever taken. Therefore we felt it was so good for us as a family to start our missionary life with the Nations course. By the time we had finished the course, we felt much better prepared for the field. It also helped us get to know our bigger family, World Outreach International. It has always been very helpful and encouraging to be surrounded and supported by our WOI family and to learn from people with much more experience.
What was also very helpful for us as a family to thrive on the field was going to language school. We went to Bandung Language School for six months and it was definitely worth the investment! Not only did we learn the Indonesian language but by living amongst locals, we also got to know the Indonesian culture much better. Learning the language is like opening a gate for understanding another culture. After language school in 2010, the birth of our youngest, Sifra, completed our family.
Our three children have always been such a blessing to us and to those around us. With children you need to slow down; you cannot do all the things that you could do alone. Even though it sometimes might feel like a burden, it is often a huge blessing to have to make time for our children! There is more time to enjoy the moments that often pass quickly. They have been a great example for us in the way they interact with other people. With children, language and other differences are unimportant; they just want to enjoy the blessings of every day.
In 2012 God told us it was time to leave Living Waters Village. Four months of not knowing where to go followed. We knew He was preparing us for something but we did not know what this was. We trusted God. He had to do something new and He did! We were asked to move to the New Hope Ministry in Sanggau. We have been the Operation Managers of this amazing ministry for almost two years now and are very thankful for being here.
As a young family we definitely had our highs and our lows over these last six years. God always pulled us through and how He has blessed us! We would need several pages to describe His goodness in our lives. We have grown in faith, we are stronger in life and we have a bag full of experiences that we never thought we would have. Most of all our perspective of our Father in Heaven changed. We know for real that God is good all the time and that He is 100 per cent trustworthy! He is so much bigger than our problems. Through all these personal experiences, we know that He will be the same in the future!
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Jan Willem and Marlinde Tamminga moved to West Kalimantan, Indonesia in January 2009. They were the operation managers of New Hope Ministries in Sanggau, West-Kalimantan, Indonesia until their return back to the Netherlands in July 2015. They have three beautiful children; Anna-lynn, Yanoah and Sifra.