Bless: Introduce yourself and your city?
Ed: Hi there! My name is Ed and together with my wife Alice I’m living in Rotterdam. I’m working among university students in the Netherlands, mobilizing them for prayer and mission. We are not the only one living in this city: Justin and Iris (team members Bless) and around 620.000 others.
Bless: What’s your city known for?
Ed: Rotterdam is the second largest city of the Netherlands and is known for its hands-on mentality. People in Rotterdam don’t like to fuss about, they are straight forward, the ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of people. The real ’ Rotterdammer’ is an extinct species, more than half of the inhabitants of Rotterdam are non-dutch. Beautiful people from all over the world, more the 170 nationalities. Rotterdam is the most modern city of the Netherlands, which is shown in its modern architecture and cultural events. Rotterdam is also known for its port, the largest port in Europe. Drive by the port during the night and it feels like you ended up in a science fiction movie, quite amazing!
Bless: If we were to visit, what 3 places would you take us?
Ed: I would take you to the Wilheminapier, an area with a mix of some beautiful old, historical buildings (for example the Holland-America Line) and modern architecture. It gives you a great view of the city, and there are some amazing restaurants and my favorite cinema: Lantaren Venster.
Another place me and my wife love to visit is the Afrikaandermarket on Saturday. A large market with fruit, vegetables and people from all over the world. Great if you love cooking and eating.
And finally, I would take you to a shopping area called ‘Zwaanshals’ in the north of Rotterdam. This area has a lot of small shops with design and handcrafted products, and a lovely coffee bar called ‘Lof der zoetheid’.
Bless: How are you serving your city?
Ed: Me and Alice, and Justin and Iris are part of the International Christian Fellowship Rotterdam: a multicultural church for all nationalities in Rotterdam. In our church we have Dutch, African, Kurdish and Chinese ministries. Me and Alice are leaders of one of the small groups in our neighborhood and I lead worship during the Sunday services. When we moved to Rotterdam we decided to live in the southern part of the city and we wanted to serve to people in this area. But we found out that we needed others to do this. More than a year ago we met Justin and Iris who recently moved into the same area and at the moment we’re in a season of praying and thinking what our part is in serving our city.
Bless: Where is your fave place to pray in your city?
Ed: The riverside close to our home.
Bless: Where is your fave place to eat in your city?
Ed: This is a hard one! I love eating…
For breakfast you go to Hotel New York (www.hotelnewyork.nl).
At lunchtime I prefer to go to Jordy’s bakery, where you can buy the best bread in Rotterdam. (http://jordysbakery.nl ).
For dinner (if you’ve money left) I would go to ‘matroos en het meisje’.
Bless: How can we pray for your city?
Ed: Please give thanks for all the great things God is already doing in Rotterdam: there are a lot of church plants going on and there’s a great variety of missional initiatives from all kinds of churches. Pray that God will bless this initiatives with people that get to know Jesus.
Rotterdam is a city facing a lot of crime and violence: please pray that there is peace in the city.
Please pray for all the international students who are here to study and live. Pray that they will not be lonely and pray for opportunities for them to discover more about Jesus. Loads of them are from ‘closed’ countries of countries where they don’t know Jesus that well…
Please pray for me, Alice, Justin and Iris when we’re seeking how to serve our city: pray for vision, clarity and providence.