Sunday, December 23, 2018

An Unforgettable Meeting

The year was 1976, the month of May, and the seventh day. I received a phone call from St. Paul Lutheran Church that a Lutheran pastor from the Netherlands desired a meeting. He had gone to St. Paul’s because Ron Lavin, the pastor, had a number of koinia groups in the congregation. While there he heard about the Befrienders at the hospital, patient visitors trained in story metaphor listening.

He came and we began visiting. He had a similar lay ministry program in Amsterdam. As we talked we found our programs so similar and our learning so much alike that we began leap frogging much of the conversation to the next topic, methodology, and discovery, since we would be saying the same things. 

Toward the close of our conversation he said he had written a book about his program: In Levenden Lijve. I asked him to send me a copy. He said it is in Dutch. I said that’s okey. He did send me a copy. 

And this is what he wrote in front. 

“In remembrance of a fine meeting on May 7, 1976, in Davenport.” 

And a separate line,

“We knew each other before we met.”

Koert Lindijer

In 2016 my wife and I took the Viking Tour from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. My plan was to see if I could phone Koert. I received some help in contacting someone who knew him. Sad to say he had died several years before my arrival.

I still have the book and I have had parts translated. Palmer College of Chiropractic attracts students from around the world. A student from Amsterdam did the translating. 

The program he visited in Davenport is now 52 years old, others are continuing the training and supervision. I didn’t get a good answer to what happened to the program he was nurturing. 

Marlin Whitmer