Pastoral and Relationship Training Intercultural couples Report ICF Utrecht

ALast January, a group of 15 intercultural couples started in ICF Utrecht. The meetings were interactive, educational, and fun. There was a lot of laughter about recognizing each other’s situation!

An intercultural relationship is different
Claude and Corina Mushikangondo and the Utrecht couples first thought together about why an intercultural relationship is different. Actual circumstances are often challenging, for example due to language and integration problems, residence permit stress, arrears in the labor market for the foreign partner, etc. This affects the interaction between partners; it can cause friction.

For example: usually the Dutch partner bears almost the entire burden of administrative and regulatory matters. Quarrels go off the rails more quickly if partners do not master the language equally well. The way partners invest in their marriage is also different. Integration requires major efforts for non-Dutch citizens. Dutch partners invest by supporting their spouse who sends money to relatives. Important to recognize that! It also became clear that there are major cultural differences in communication styles. Fortunately, most people knew their partner’s rules of communication.

Embrace Biblical culture
The group also discussed the top two topics intercultural couples argue about: gender ratio and money. Claude challenged the men to take on their role based on to let go of the Bible (Ephesians 5) and tradition and culture. It evoked many reactions and also beautiful testimonials.

Why this training?
The purpose of this group is to strengthen intercultural relationships, by stimulating mutual exchange and group loyalty and raising awareness of the challenges of intercultural marriage. The vision is for the couples to encourage and support each other. The leadership of the congregation is also involved, so that they can provide better marriage pastoral care when there are problems. Jasper de Kok, predecessor of ICF Utrecht, was there and Bert de Jong, elder and himself in an intercultural relationship. They thought it was very positive and were happy that this could take place.

Two participants about the workshops:
We enjoyed the time together and had enough material to talk about afterwards. We hope there will be more sessions with other interesting topics. I personally also enjoyed the women’s and men’s group at the first assignment.”

“We also enjoyed the training very much. It were very helpful topics and what was especially remarkable that we had so much in common with the other intercultural couples. It was eye opening to see that I often thought some things in our marriage were just issues we only have, but it is often cultural! We hope there will be more sessions like this.”

More information about ICP’s Training offer

Ask for more information about the training courses of Claude and Corina

Faith-building conference for Arabic speakers during Pentecost

During Pentecost (May 27-29) a faith-building conference will be held in the east of the Netherlands for Arabic speakers. The goal is to worship God together and share the Gospel with ‘newcomers’.

The Gave Foundation supports this initiative of ‘The Peacemakers’ – a foundation of ten Arab churches in the Netherlands. This year’s central scripture is: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The conference is open to Christians, but also to Muslims. The program is accessible and the organizers have the desire to offer everyone a home. In addition to singing, prayer and proclamation, there is a lot of room for mutual encounter. The children and teenagers (up to and including 15 years) have their own programme.

Date and location

The program starts on Saturday morning 27 May and runs until Monday afternoon 29 May. The conference includes two overnight stays and meals are fully provided. The conference center is ‘De Kroeze Danne’ in Delden in the east of the Netherlands.

Invite participants and register

Via the Gave Foundation website you can register people you know. To invite people in your area, there is a flyer in Arabic available. It is important to explain that this is a Christian conference, so that the participants know that the emphasis is on hearing a Christian message. Download a PowerPoint slide about the Arab conference here to add to your Sunday service presentation.

Volunteer children and teen work

Gave supports the children and teen work at the conference. With a team of volunteers we provide a substantive program with a biblical theme, sports and games. We are still looking for people for this. Sign up or visit our website for more information!

Arab conference summary

  • When: Saturday morning 27 – Monday afternoon 29 May 2023
  • Where: ‘De Kroeze Danne’ in Delden
  • For whom: Arabic-speaking newcomers (Christians and Muslims)
  • Costs: adults (50 euros), 12-17 year olds (30 euros), 3-11 year olds (20 euros) and <3 years (free)
  • Spoken language: Arabic and Dutch


If you have any questions about the conference, please contact the ‘The Peacemakers’ foundation: Farid Shamoen (06-40220642) or Maher Salib (06-81929916).

Looking back Network Morning Utrecht

Does racism play a role in our intercultural churches? What do we believe about this and how can we deal with it?

With a wonderful group of pastors and pioneers, a sensitive theme, a delicious lunch and deep conversations, the ICP network morning on March 17 was another gem.

Paul Hagayi was there to lead us through a time of worship. Hans Euser and Godwin Arhin took us on a story about unity in diversity, about inequality in hidden places and about handles for a problem that affects the whole world – Racism and discrimination, also in the church.

Godwin shared his personal story with us. As a man of color, as a father of white foster children, as an employee, and as a church member, he has much to say about the inequality that exists in our systems, and sometimes in our personal patterns.

Awareness and understanding are important steps in a process towards unity in diversity. But it doesn’t stop there. We want to grow and change. As an intercultural church in the Netherlands, we want to offer a place to people of all nations. And then we run into some challenges. How do we deal with that? What can we do?

ICP develops conversation material for small groups around the theme of ‘Racism and the Church’. Godwin is also involved in this. During the Pentecost conference of Opwekking we will launch the material and we can take the visitors of the conference into this story.

In Utrecht during the Network Morning, we discussed this subject in small groups. We brainstormed and shared new insights with each other. We are grateful for the voice of the pastors and pioneers. Grateful that together we form a network that has a shared mission and grows ever stronger towards the unity that God has in mind for His church.

Do you want to know more about the project on Racism and the Church? Then please contact us.

We would like to invite you to keep June 17 free in your agenda. Then we organize the ICP Network Day for the entire network and we discuss this important subject together.

More information about this day will follow as soon as possible. Keep an eye on the website.

Interview in ‘Naast’

Next season ICP will pay a lot of attention to the subject of racism. Do we see that in our environment? What can we do as a church? How colorful is our church really?

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