Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The continuing story.......

The address given for Aty van Dalen was in Delfshaven - a neighborhood where zusters are not advised to go. Thus is became marked in our map as somewhere we'd go when we get the chance.

The first chance came and the residents of Samuel Mullerplein 14A were not home. But I couldn't just walk away. I knocked the whole street, eager to find anyone who would be old and settled enough to know something over the familie van Dalen. I found no such person as all the residents where recent and very young - except for one man who vaguely remembered the name of the former owners of his neighbor's apartment. Finally a lead! With this information, we resolved to return sometime again to question 14A.

In the meantime, I felt truly driven to keep searching. Only thing was, Aty van Dalen 44 years ago was an unmarried teenager with a maiden name. Who knows what she's called now?
The thought hit me forcefully to look in the phone book under the name van Dalen. Dozens of possibilities. Several with the first initial A. I called every one of them. And when it wasn't Aty or relation, I offered the message of the restored gospel. :) It was mostly an exercise of faith because none of them, though extremely cordial and helpful, were interested. Yet I definitely felt driven to press on.

With all the van Dalen households called, there wasn't much more we could do but wait for the chance to return to Samuel Mullerplein.

When we stopped by to go again several weeks later, the current residents were home and recognized my nametag and request as the same of the zusters Owen and Stapleton from before. This time, they received more background and a request to contact their apartment owner. They readily complied. I walked away with two phone
numbers for my use. I felt absolutely triumphant.

I called the owner and he had indeed purchased the apartment from familie van Dalen. But he needed a day or two to locate their information.

A day or two later, I called him - he had succeeded! A telephone number and address - in Schiedam (a Rotteram suburb in our area). !!!!!

Zuster Hamblin and I miraculously had nowhere to be that evening and so we jumped in the car and drove to Schiedam in hopes that this van Dalen household could tell us what had become of their Aty.

And I'm sorry to make this a trilogy, folks, but my time is up. This is the Lord's work and there are two things only that are important: to love God and to love our neighbors.

al mijn liefde,

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