Perhaps it's that I've been reading a collection of Dorothy L. Sayers' old letters. Perhaps it's that my grandmother published a volume of love letters my grandpa sent to her in WWII, shortly before he died. Perhaps it's that this is one of my favorite blogs. Perhaps it's that I'm out of anything original to say. Or perhaps I'm simply narcissistic. But I've decided to type out for posterity the emails sent between my mother and I while I was living in Amsterdam.
I don't presume that anyone out there will be whatsoever interested - these certainly aren't "Letters of Note" - so feel free to skip any posts thus labelled. But reading through several of these letters has brought back such memories and emotions that I want to remember them.
A little background: When I was in college, I was part of a church that was all about church planting. As freshmen, we dreamed of starting a church somewhere in Europe, like Italy, London or Amsterdam. Shortly after graduating, plans were laid to start a church in Amsterdam. We spent a year as "The A-Team," learning Dutch and studying culture and missions. I made plans to study for a Masters in Literature at Leiden University.
In the meantime, I had started getting to know Michael, a quirky, intelligent younger brother of a friend of mine. This considerably complicated my carefully laid plans of being a European missionary. I remember telling my life group on the A-Team that this guy I had started talking to was somehow special and different - but I was only interested in friendship. They looked at each other knowingly. I had also begun to have a crisis of faith at the time, brought on in part by the various readings and experiences I had with the A-team.
So I left for Amsterdam in August of 2002, torn between my longtime conviction and desire to be a missionary to Europe, my knowledge that Michael fit the description of Amber's husband eerily well, and a niggling doubt about and disillusionment with the church.
And so, here is my first email, sent after I'd first arrived in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Centraal Station
To: Mom, friends and family
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2002 1:47 p.m.
I don't have much time to write. I'm here at an e-cafe it's 9:45 at night and I haven't slept for 24 hours.
My apartment is adorable--way nicer than I thought it would be. I have my own room on the second floor by the kitchen and the living room. The other girls are on the third floor. (it's three floors, but the first floor is just a foyer and a bathroom. The stairs are steep and windy! I'll send you pictures when I can.
We went to a pizzeria for dinner in Central Amsterdam. It's very bustling! Tomorrow we'll go to Leiden to start figuring things out. It took us about 15 or 20 minutes by bus to get from our place to central station.
I hope you guys are doing well. I'm about out of time so I better send this!