dinsdag, april 28, 2020

Finding hope!

The first time I realised how serious the corona virus was, was when we saw the press conference with our prime minister, announcing the lock down. Before that, I followed the news and discussed the virus issue with friends, family and colleagues. The conclusion was often that we must take it seriously, but keep in mind that it is like a normal flu. However, it was more serious, I suddenly heard stories from family members who are working in the hospital. They shared how intense the situation was. They saw the numbers of patients growing every day.

As we stayed safe in our homes, or enjoyed the sunshine in the past few weeks, it is hard to believe that there is a pandemic, and that people are really struggling.

As a student worker for IFES I had big plans for the coming time. I was organising a conference day for different organisations and suddenly everything was cancelled. In Leiden we had a good number of students joining our activities but that also suddenly stopped. So, I had to adapt to the new situation. I needed to cancel all appointments with students and work from home together with my wife. In the beginning we had to get used to it. Both of us at home, both needing to work, but also having a little daughter to look after. I realise that compared to many people we are very blessed. I think of several students who are struggling, alone in their room, getting bored, feeling lonely. Some don’t have an income anymore because they can’t do their student job. I talk to some of them and it is heart breaking to hear their stories. The only thing I can do is listen, talk and if they allow it, to pray with them.

This pandemic makes me realise what I have, and I start appreciating the little things in life. The dinners together with my little family, the chat with neighbours on the street. It also reminds me of the valuable connections that I miss with friends and family. During this time, we celebrated Easter. For me, Easter is a story of hope. A story that started with suffering but ended with life. New life for us all through Christ. This story makes me hopeful for the future. Many questions cannot be answered now, in this time of losing control and not knowing what is coming. The story of Easter gives me hope and I pray that we all find glimpse of hope in this time.

Stay safe!

Jan Joost Snoek