We are the Heemstra family: Jakob Jan, Boukje, Manoah, Jiddo and Kamiel. A young, dynamic and enthousiast family living in Maseru, Lesotho. We’re Dutch missionairies sent from our church in Groningen.
Jakob Jan Heemstra is a male nurse working at Loretto Health Centre in Maseru. He also works for the NGO Medical Mission Ministries International (MMMI) that provides medical mobile clinics in the poorest areas of the world, sharing the love of Christ. The organization is registered in South Africa as a section 21 charity organization.
In the year 2009 we went with a medical team to northern Lesotho to do mobile clinics and saw the healthcare challenges in this rural area. We spoke a lot of people and also met the chiefs of the different villages. The nearest clinic is a 5 hours walk and a lot of the people can’t afford to take a taxi.
The thing that struck us was the lack of knowledge by the people of basic hygiene, sanitation and healthcare. People don’t know how to, or don’t have the facilities, to wash their hands after going to the toilet, or how to get clean drinking water and so forth.
Our organization likes to work with governments and other organizations to bond and join forces. We don’t want to create something new but to enforce the structure that’s already present. That’s why we want to start a clinic in this area, do more mobile clinics and to educate and equip the public healthcare workers.
If you would like to know more, want to go with a mobile clinic or want to sponsor us, feel free contact us!
We could tell the lot about our family, but will keep it short! We would love to invite you for a nice cup of coffee (a Dutch one if you’re lucky!) if you’ld like to get to know us better. You are welcome!
Since we met, we knew we would be missionaries as we shared the hart for people in need overseas, in the poorer areas in the world. After being married for a year we prepared ourselves by attending a bible school at Youth with a Mission, in South Africa.
The years after that we have been preparing to move overseas: find a organization to work with, getting our support in Holland (financial, emotional, practical & prayer), a 4 months trip to Southern Africa to prepare ourselves etc.
In april 2010 we said goodbye to Holland and live now at the capital city of Lesotho, Maseru. Our kids, Manoah and Jiddo, love the country life and so do we. Boukje studied law, but doesn’t practice since she is a mom at home. She supports the work of MMMI practical where she can, and is certified to teach English. Currently she is studying Theology as a second degree to be able to prepare teams, as well as bible school students and cell groups.