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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 29, 2009

Trip to Suriname, Day 3

[with comments]     Filed under UCG-Holland

Today we spent the entire day counseling and answering questions about the Bible and the United Church of God.

Suriname trip
 Mr. Siegfried Heynes and I during our chat.
Suriname trip
 From left: Stan Braumuller, Claid Dalfour and
 Claid’s wife Marcia.

Our visitors arrived at around 11 a.m. this morning. They were Mr. Siegfried Heynes, a former long-time member of the WCG who is now with United, and Claid Dalfour and his wife Marcia. I was surprised to be greeted this morning by Mr. Heynes in German! His German is pretty good, and Stan also speaks some German which he learned as a boy in school.

Marcos and I spent a couple of hours talking with Mr. Heynes about his experiences and his health. He was seriously ill a couple of years ago and had to have surgery, but he has recovered well. Then it was time for Marcia and Claid to ask us questions about UCG. Claid’s story is unique. Originally raised as a Catholic, he was part of the Pentecostal church for some 20 years. In the 1980s he came across a copy of "De echte Waarheid" (the Dutch PT) and started reading it. He began to see that what he was being taught in his church was not according to the Bible. He wanted to know about the church that published the EW, but he was unsuccessful in doing so. He was even on a trip to the Netherlands and only had the Post Office Box number of the magazine, and no one could help him. It was on this trip that he learned that Herbert W. Armstrong had died. Back home in Suriname he found "De echte Waarheid" in the theological library of the "Brüdergemeinde". They had complete years of EW copies. However, when Claid wanted to borrow some issues, he was told that they did not allow that because the ideas in the EW were false. So he told them that he needed to be informed about false teachings so he would be well prepared, and they gave him permission to read single copies on library premises and to photocopy any articles he wanted to keep. (With the help of the internet, Claid is now able to read a lot of old WCG literature in Dutch and UCG literature in Dutch on the internet.)

As time went by he saw more and more that his own church was not teaching according to the Bible. Gradually he distanced himself from them. Since 2002 he has been receiving the "Good News" magazine with our Dutch supplement. He began keeping the Sabbath on his own, and in 2007 he terminated his affiliation with the Pentecostal church. At first, his wife Marcia did not keep the Sabbath with him, but she is now convinced that the Sabbath is the right day to keep and she now keeps it with her husband and their children. Claid and Marcia had a number of questions about what UCG teaches, and we were able to answer them to their satisfaction. Our conversations were a mix of Dutch and English. Claid understands English quite well but does not feel comfortable speaking it, and at times Marcos or Stan translated what I said into Dutch for Marcia.

Marcia had prepared a delicious lunch for us at our lodging place, so had a break for lunch and then more questions. In the evening we had a break while the Dalfours put their children to bed, and then Marcos and I had a baptism counseling wit them. They were well prepared, having studied our Dutch literature. We called it a day about 11:30 p.m. Tomorrow we will visit the rented hall where Claid and Marcia have a "Sabbath school" they provide as a community service for children from low income families.

Comment from Jesmina Allaoua:

How exciting to read your latest blog. I am so glad you and Marcos made it to Suriname!

Comment from Peter Eddington:

Glad to hear the trip to Suriname is going well, despite the initial delays and visa problems! How exciting to read your latest blog. I am so glad you and Marcos made it to Suriname!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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