Sunday, February 11, 2007

Visit to Urk

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at a women's conference in Urk with approx. 350 participants. (Please read the next post if you want to know more about the topic of my presentation). I doubt if anyone of you has ever heard of this place, but Urk is a beautiful fishing village that used to be an island until it was connected to the mainland by a dike in 1936. Later in the 20th Century surrounding areas were reclaimed from the sea. Compare the map (from 1773) and the aerial picture below - you can still see the shape of the old island on the photograph!

In our country Urk is famous for its fishing industry, its rich tradition and mainly orthodox Christian population. Just like in other places of the Netherlands, the youth of Urk is partying in the weekends and many of them are using alcohol and drugs to have a "good" time.
It is good to know that many of the men and women of Urk remain faithful to their beliefs and that they are praying and working hard to share God's love in words and deeds. Some young people from Urk are also turning (back) to God and they organise meetings in their own youth church Naie Start (local dialect for New Beginning). The people of Urk are also well-known for their extraordinary generosity and hospitality - and I certainly experienced that myself, yesterday!


Carolanne said...

Is Urk far from where you live? My friends asked where you lived and I said, "Somewhere in Holland". They laughed at that. :)
Sounds like the conference was a blessing.

Panda said...

Well, compared to Australia all places in our country are 'just around the corner'. We live in Hoofddorp, near Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam.

Vicki said...

I wondered the same thing! I'm glad Carolanne asked! Australia is pretty spread out. So is the USA, but the states narrow that down quite a bit. I'm in Central Florida. Thanks for narrowing down your location, Paul!