The Organisation of Faith Integration
The Organisation exists of a board, of which the members work pro bono. Additionally, the organisation has a Minister-Director who works for migrants on behalf of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. She leads a multicultural team of paid volunteers who are involved in subdomains, such as the country teams. Below you can read more about them.
Revd. Esther van Schie
My name is Esther van Schie. I am married to Harm and mother to three daughters. I am born and raised in Gouda. Since I was little I have been drawn to other languages and cultures. I studied general language science and German, lived in Congo, in Germany and the US. For 15 years I worked as integration teacher and Dutch as a second language teacher, with much enthusiasm! Harm and I have been active for years as ‘churchplanters’ in a multicultural setting.
In 2015 in finished my Theology degree at the Protestant Theology University. Right from the start it was clear to me that I wanted to devote my time and energy to the many migrants who have arrived or will come into our country. Especially as a minister I want to be available to them.
From September 24, 2017, I work as minister with a special assignment. For the church in Nesselande, District Congregation of the Reformed Community in Zevenhuizen, I have been sent to the Organisation for Faith Integration. Dutch citizens can learn an incredible amount from migrants and migrants can use all help with their integration. I find it beautiful when Dutch and migrant Christians work and live together. Only together can we get to know the length, width, height and depth of the love of Christ.
My name is Huang Liang, but call me Amber. I am born in China and grew up there until I my 24th. In 2003 I came to the Netherlands. Together with my husband and two children I now live in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel. I became a Christian in the Netherlands. The vision and mission of the Organisation of Faith Integration really speak to me as I am Chinese and a migrant; I know the feeling of being so far away from your own family. I know how difficult the constraints of language and culture differences can be in daily life.
Through my faith I know that God has a plan for everyone. He will give us a hopeful future. This good news I want to tell my own people and everyone living in the Netherlands.
Mehret A. Ashengo
I am Mehret. A. Ashengo and I was born in Ethiopia. In 2009 I came to the Netherlands. In Ethiopia I studied Agricultural Engineering and I gained experience in giving lectures to students in an agricultural school. I did a follow up study at the University of Applied Sciences of Rotterdam in International Business Management. I have experience in administration. In customer relation management in Christian organisations and in market research.
I am married to Semere W. Enamo and we have two children. Semere and I serve in the Ethiopian Evangelical church in Rotterdam. My husband in the minister, and I support people in the church and am a member of the choir and a coordinator.
I am passionate for missionary work, I love to help people share the gospel and I too like to show Jesus to people. I was immediately interested in the Organisation of Faith Integration when I heard of it. I find Faith Integration essential for all immigrants living in the Netherlands. Being integrated, including in Faith, helps in your daily life, helps integrating in culture and the system around you and also helps you follow Jesus here now and later.
I am Margriet Shein, married to Dah Dah Muh and 23-years-old. I am an artist and love trying out new things. Ask me anything and I will probably have given it a go. From hennah-tattoos to pastel paintings; from creating miniature people in polymer clay to needle felting little animals of their own hair. Within the organisation I am responsible for the creative part and this speaks to me enormously! The vision and mission also fit me well. The majority of my friends are not born in the Netherlands, but this is not something to show off with or to mark as strange. I never really think about it and barely notice it. I am of the opinion that we are all people and we can learn so much as well as enjoy people from a different country. Within the Organisation of Faith Integration I am responsible for the bread sharing project, together with Seng. The goal is to build and facilitate a community among Dutch Christian-women of as many nationalities as possible. From day-to-day I work a lot with social media and run my own company named Shining Art. Because of this I have a lot of experience to use in our friendship bread-project. Do go ahead and take a look at our Facebook or Instagram Page!
Hi, I am Jemima Chandoe, 25 years old and together with my family, I live in Moerkapelle. I was born in Zevenaar and grew up in Dordrecht. I am of Dutch-Surinamese origin (my dad is Surinamese and my mum is Dutch). I find different cultures fun and feel at home amongst them. My partner is from Myanmar. Partly because of him I understand how difficult a cultural difference can be sometimes, especially relating to Faith. It motivates me to see him grow. What the organisation of Faith Integration does is incredibly valuable and I support the mission and vision fully.
In 2018 I graduated as a graphic designer in Rotterdam. Besides being a mum and working two days a week at the Omoda in Rotterdam, I currently design one day a week. Within the organisation I will be responsible for design of things such as flyers and one-pagers.
Seng Hkawn Sumlut
My name is Seng Hkawn, I am 29 years old and of the Kachin nationality. When I arrived in the Netherlands there were a lot of difficult things in my life. I did not have a lot of friends, had a culture shock and I found the language very difficult. It is not easy to arrive and live alone into a new country. Sometimes I feel lonely, but God is always with me; he holds my hand.
After two years I met Margriet. Together we started the Instagram account Sharing Bread. I would love to help women who, just like me, feel alone here in the Netherlands. Together we are all sisters of each other, in Christ.
Hoi, I am Arjanna Honkoop. I am 23 years old and live in Nieuwegein. I just graduated as a history student and now teach history. Besides teaching I have a passion for composing songs, drawing, theatre plays and traveling. Last year I travelled with Organisation of Faith Integration to Greece to visit refugee camps. This left a big impression on me. In the camps we met Christians who were unsafe and lonely, but despite everything had a strong faith. Their faith inspired me and I hope migrants in the Netherlands get to hold on to this faith and hopefully will feel less lonely. I think it’s beautiful that the Organisation of Faith Integration is committed to this. Within the organisation I assist with a variety of administrative tasks as well as fundraising.
My name is Ng Bee Hiong. In 2011 I came to the Netherlands with my 4 children. Via my husband, I became a Christian in Malaysia. Because my friends in my Malaysian church showed me many good examples, I was convinced. They showed me the love of Jesus through their relationships with the people around them.
I would love to follow in their footsteps. The love I receive, I would love to pass on. As I myself have experience as a new Dutch citizen I understand what it feels like to start from scratch in a new country, with a new language and a new culture.
I hope this is part of Gods plan for me.
My name is Loek Balvers. I have made a beautiful journey, literally as well as spiritually. After graduating at University Twente in Electrotechnique, I left on a world trip for three years: through the Middle East, Iran and Pakistan, finally settling and living in Malaysia. Here I married Ng Bee Hiong, a Chinese Malaysian woman and we received 4 beautiful children.
I left the Netherlands as an atheist, but in Malaysia, a Muslim country, I started believing in Jesus. And now I am a man who talks about this full of passion.
I work at Spotler BV in Zoetermeer. At the Organisation of Faith Integration I assist with the webite and I am responsible for (online) fundraising.