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General awards Order of the Founder to Dutch envoys

General Brian Peddle awards the Order of the Founder to Dutch envoys Koos and Henny Tinga.

As part of the world leaders’ recent visit to the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia Territory, General Brian Peddle awarded The Salvation Army’s highest honour, the Order of the Founder, to Envoys Koos and Henny Tinga.

Henny received the award for more than 60 years of work in Amsterdam, focused on the Red Light District and the Army’s Goodwill Centre there. She worked with prostituted women, substance abusers and addicts, the homeless, struggling youth, the LGBTQIA+ community, the mentally ill and anyone else who came across her path. Henny was also active in the corps, speaking and leading worship and introducing people to Christ.

Envoy Henny (right) is a well-known and much-loved figure as she continues to serve the vulnerable and marginalised.

From the age of 17, Henny, who refuses to retire, served closely with the late ‘Major’ (Lieut-Colonel) Alida Bosshardt, who also received an Order of the Founder for her decades of work in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and beyond. Henny describes Major Bosshardt as her “spiritual mother”.

Over the decades, especially since Major Bosshardt’s death in 2007, Henny increasingly became the face of the Salvation Army in Amsterdam’s inner city. Her Christian example, love of God and humanity and dedication to service were clear to everyone.

For many years, Henny and Koos, with their three children, lived in the centre of the Red Light District. They sheltered homeless women and were on call for those in great distress or need of help.

As the number of paid Salvation Army employees grew in the district, others were available to answer calls for assistance. Henny, though, was always known as “the engine and driver” of the ministry.

Henny is still active in retirement, visiting people, organising meals for the hungry, assisting in the soup van, organising corps meetings and events, and campaigning for equality for all.

Leaders of her territory thanked her for her “commitment, example and dedication to the cause of God, who wants to provide ‘healing’ to the weakest in our society.”

True revolutionary

Envoy Koos has also served for many years in the Goodwill Centre, in finances and leading service administration. Since 1990 until recently, Koos had also been closely involved with the re-opening and expansion of the work in then Czechoslovakia and now the Czech Republic. (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992.)

Envoys Koos and Henny with the bronze memorial statue of Major Alida Bosshardt.

“All honour is due to God,” the couple said, when receiving their award.

As the events in Russia unfolded during the time of the General’s visit to the territory this past weekend, Koos said his thoughts went back to the end of 1989, when also very unexpectedly, the Iron Curtain fell, and many countries in the Eastern Bloc were liberated from the Soviet Union.

“I remember my first trip to the Czech Republic when The Salvation Army in the Netherlands was asked to resume work here, because work was banned there by the Communist government after World War II,” he shared. “There was actually no place for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and now it could be freely proclaimed again.

“I am proud that The Salvation Army has regained a place in this society and can tell people in word and deed about the revolution that can take place in your life if you make Jesus first. He is the one who can overthrow the regime that is standing in the way of your happiness and freedom. He has a plan for your life and, because of that revolution in your life, it can happen in the lives of people around you.

“I see proof of that in all those people who have joined the Salvation Army here in the Czech Republic and also in Slovakia and in over 135 countries around the world. That is much more beautiful than any reward or distinction you get for something you were allowed to do with so much joy and conviction.

“That change that God can make in a man, that revolution, I fully support that!”

Strong spiritual force

“Our visit to the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia Territory

was inspiring, encouraging as well as challenging,” shared General Brian Peddle on his personal Facebook page.

The world leaders received a warm traditional welcome at the start of their territorial visit.

“In the midst of excellent social services, attention to the needs of families and children, the Army is finding its place as a strong spiritual force and is being welcomed by city, regional and national government leaders.

“Due to the professional actions of our committed teams, there is endless opportunity to impact the needs of these two nations. Of note is our desire to work with several Roma communities as they exist, seemingly outside of the society and are often very disadvantaged.”

General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries, were also pleased to visit a new shelter for the homeless and to see the Army’s engagement with Ukrainian families and its work to meet the refugees’ ongoing needs.

The ordination and commissioning was a highlight of the leaders' visit.

A focal point of the territory’s celebrations was the Ordination and Commissioning of eight cadets from the Reflectors of Holiness session – four from the Czech Republic and four from the Netherlands.

“It was great to recognise sacrificial service, given over many years,” wrote General Peddle. “I thank God for his blessing and affirmation over these past days. Join me in praying for our ministry in this part of Europe.”


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