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Every spring break, Eastern Christian students travel the world to serve, learn and play. This year, one group of students travelled to the Netherlands as part of a newly developed exchange program with Van Lodenstein College, which is a group of 5 Reformed schools in the Netherlands. Eastern Christian School and Van Lodenstein College share a commitment to excellent Christian education, an institutional Dutch heritage, and a global perspective for our students.    

Our students had the opportunity to join Dutch teenagers in all of our activities. We toured Amsterdam by foot and Utrecht by canal boat; ate Dutch pancakes, fries with mayonnaise, kroket and licorice; attended school and internships; and worshiped in Dutch. We biked through Vathorst and visited a cheese farm.

We are looking forward to ongoing cooperation with our new friends, and are hoping to host a group from the Netherlands in the fall. Our English/Dutch poem and some photos may give you a good sense of our adventure:

Driving is easy if you know the rules,
But yikes…
what is with all those bikes?
Helaas pindakaas

We were welcomed to church with worship sweet
But hardly knew what to do with the treat
And watched everyone leave biking down the street
While off to dinner we drove.

At school we learned to wrap up gifts
And worked with mechanics with cars up on lifts
VLC even flew our flag for us
We took tours of the school and rode on the bus

We learned some Dutch
– the days of the week and such –
Maandag, dinsdag, woensdag and hallo,
all those g-sounds, we love you so!

We on bikes gave our Dutch friends a laugh
but biking we did, all stylish and suave
to explore Dutch architecture old and new
so much to see and time just flew

Off to Utrecht we went
Where we visited the Catharijne Convent
Homeless are remembered there
dignified and fair

Our last night together was all about stories and food
We had pancakes and brownies for dinner – it tasted so good!
It was so gezellig to share our highs and lows
We were all sad about leaving – that’s how it goes.

Next year we hope to return
So that across borders and cultures and language we learn
How God’s Kingdom extends far and wide
And we’re called to be salt and a light not to hide