Karin and Eelco have been involved in church building and planting for years. In 1995, two years after the plant of a new church, God opened their eyes for his plan with Israel. They got involved in an organization that helps Jews from Ukraine to return to Israel. However, after 2.5 years the work for this organization stopped and they ask themselves if they might have misunderstood God’s voice.
In 1998 Karin, Eelco and their 3 kids move to Drenthe (Northern part of the Netherlands) and bought a farm in Hooghalen. They didn’t know that the farm is located close to the former concentration camp Westerbork. Less than 15 meters away from the farm is where over 107,000 Jews were transported to extermination camps. When Karin and Eelco realized this, they knew they didn’t end up on this land by coincidence.
Although Petach Tikvah was founded in 2001, its origin goes back a few years. In 1996 Karin and Eelco met Jip Combes-Wijngaarden and her husband Philippe in Switzerland. Jip is a well-known actress who, among other things, is known for her role as Anne Frank on the stage and in the TV-movie. A strong friendship developed and they have encouraged Karin and Eelco ever since to pursue their calling.
That’s how God filled their hearts with a desire to use the farm for God’s glory. They want to offer a place of hope on this particular spot in The Netherlands with a burdened history. This is how Petach Tikvah, meaning ‘Door of Hope’ came into existence.
the Sheep family (2010)