how I went to Uganda

Cor is born in Den-Helder the Netherlands in 1960. His parents moved to Lisse, the town where he grew up till he was 16 years old. Then they moved to Haarlem, the town where he lived when he was introduced to the saving Grace of the One who has the Power to forgive sins.

This radically changed Cor who now prayed for God to ‘give him something serious to do in his Kingdom’… Beware of what you pray for!

It was some weeks later that Cor’s brother invited him to help him operate the sound system for a tour in Holland. Doing sound was not new for Cor but a tour would mean missing his church which he had grown to love. He tried to decline but he brother Peter insisted: “just come and help with the first concert, then we will see…”. So it was agreed.

It was at that first concert in Aalsmeer at the “Levend Evangelie Gemeente” where after the sound equipment was set up which usually involves a lot of mugging and hard work, when he finally was able to adjust the sound levels. This was when a long row of small African children marched in while singing “It’s a highway to heaven..” and Cor wondered okay, so it’s a children’s choir..? “Oh yes, didn’t I tell you?” Peter replied.

After adjusting all the sound levels and Cor was finally able to relax, that is when the Lord spoke to Cor: “this is what you prayed for!”.  In shock he told his brother that he would do the rest of the tour, no problem. “What just happened?” his brother asked. Difficult to explain, so he kept the answer for later.

Cor served the African Children’s Choir on their full tour through Holland. After that tour he was invited to join a team of volunteers on a trip to Uganda. It was on August 1996. He joined the small group and went to do some painting and do whatever they could find. There was not a lot of work that could be done, there was nothing much prepared for them to do but Cor was able to spend a considerable amount of time listening to the stories of the children. Most of it you could not understand as the children barely spoke English but they seemed to enjoy that someone was taking the time to listen to them.

Due to some neglect on the part of the team they way back had some complications as the members had forgotten to reconfirm their way back. Not easy when there were no working telephones in the country by then. At the last minute before the closure of the gate Cor was allowed as the only one of the team to go with this Uganda Airlines Flight.

Cor was disappointed. They were not able to do much in the 4 weeks they were there at all. Nothing was prepared. No paint. No paintbrushes. No materials to work with. Almost no work done. That is not easy for a task oriented Dutchman. In the middle of him having a pity party almost as a complaining to God in his thoughts is when God reminded Cor of the moments he sat with these little children, just listening to them and giving them the attention they so desperately needed from a father figure.

Just like that earlier time, Cor responded quickly and without hesitation: “Okay Lord, if that was what it was for, then it is okay!”. And continued: “Show me the next step Lord”.

Upon arrival in London, Cor was asked by the choir director who was organizing another tour if he could join as the sound man for another tour. After hearing from God he complied and toured with the next (3rd) African Children’s Choir.

From there he followed a Discipleship Training School at Heidebeek The Netherlands and flew out again to Uganda to help provide technical assistance to the ministry there.