Alblasserdam commemorates victims in church service: ‘It was very quiet’

In Alblasserdam, the victims of last Friday were commemorated in a church service. Two people were shot dead on a care farm, two others were injured. Two young women who died in a traffic accident in the night from Thursday to Friday were also commemorated. Both events have a major impact on the village.

The Ichtuskerk was completely full this morning, 600 people were present. The pastor told about the victims: a 34-year-old woman from Alblasserdam and a 16-year-old girl from Dordrecht were shot on the care farm. There were also two people seriously injured, a 12-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman. The victims of the traffic accident were two women, aged 18 and 19. They were on a scooter that collided with a car.

It is important to share the grief, the churchgoers say. “It was quiet, everyone is deeply impressed by this,” says a woman after the service. “I found it beautiful and intense, but also encouraging, nice to be together. I think that people look after each other very much.”

Church connects

The chairman of the church council, Sjaak Lugtenburg, also enjoyed being in the church. Friday was a black day, he said. First the apps and calls came in about the accident. “How are you going to organize it, it is very intense, and then at 11 a.m. your phone floods over the care farm. It is nice that you can hear a sound of hope from the church in all this misery.”

“People visit each other, they organize things,” he says. “Friday morning the report of the accident came and an hour later twenty or thirty people are sitting here in the church. Saturday morning there is a table with a few candles on it and a book where people can write something. You heard it in the service, the does not end at death, but of course death remains sad.”

The roar of death

For Reverend Michel van Heijningen it was also a heavy duty. “You are confronted with the roar of death. In a village such as Alblasserdam, it cuts into the fact that two young people are brutally killed within 24 hours. That is the reality we are confronted with. At the same time, in the church a word from God, I have called it a rebuttal. Jesus who has the power over death and you want to let that voice sound.”

The pastor called for prayers for relatives and the injured in the hospital:

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