Leaving her native Holland in her late teens, Fineke worked for a short spell with the homeless in London but it wasn’t until on a holiday visiting a Dutch missionary friend in Bolivia that God’s specific call on her really began.
Fineke is down-to-earth, courageous and visionary.
In 1989, she would be on the streets of La Paz with friends, high up in the Andes, helping homeless and addicted young people. They reached out to 17 gangs, often taking men to adult centres. But there was nothing for teenagers, and that’s how Adulam, her first home for boys, opened in 1994. Since then over 500 teenage boys have passed through it.
Adulam was followed by a girls’ home, Talita Cumi, and then another, Jesed (‘loving kindness’) initially for addicted couples, now helping vulnerable children.
You can’t quench the passion of this inspirational woman.
There have been heartaches as well as joys – sometimes tragic early deaths, sometimes boys or girls falling back into addiction when they return to dysfunctional homes. But many have found Jesus. For Fineke, rehabilitation doesn’t simply mean ditching bad habits and learning a few skills. It means having a life project that a young person can do something with. And that’s happening.
The homes are therapeutic communities staffed by trained carers and professionals. A major focus is working with families and helping children in schools. The municipal authorities have expressed their gratitude.
In 2022, Mission Adulam celebrated its 30th anniversary. It is now managed by Felina, but Fineke still has oversight. Her longstanding prison ministry is increasing too.
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