History ISC Delft

Ecumenical Community Delft
English Service in Delft
Mohan Radhakrishnan

Mohan Radhakrishnan

2 min read

14 September, 2016

If you go to the Raamstraat church on Sundays 11:30 AM, you will meet many students from different countries, following different studies, and from different Christian denominations. All of them, despite their differences, worship together the Christian faith. Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month we can listen to the Catholic priest fr. Avin from India. On the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the months Rev. Waltraut, a Protestant priest from Germany, leads the service.

[gallery size="medium" ids="457,459,458"] Studying abroad is for many students at the beginning very hard. The courses at IHE and the TU are difficult and the pace is incredibly high. It takes time to get used to the Dutch customs and culture and even more to the Dutch cuisine and climate. And then we haven’t mentioned the hardest part of all: living far away from family and friends. For many students, church is a place to meet new friends and to stay closely connected to God. And that is what the ISC Delft offers already since 1981:

A home away from home.

We are proud of that tagline, because many student really feel they have to leave home again when they go back to their countries. It is also quite exceptional how active and alive ISC Delft is for more than 35 years. Especially because most students go back after their studies, exchange programs or PhD programs. The composition of our community changes almost entirely every two or four years. Nevertheless, Delft is one of the few cities in the Netherlands where the International Student Chaplancy is still very active, not only offering Sunday services but also various activities throughout the year.

To give you a bit of insight how this is possible, we spoke to Henk van der Vaart, a native Dutch, retired KLM employee and volunteer for ISC Delft from 1981 to 2014. Also Ruben Abellon, a native Pilipino, teacher at the TU/Delft and volunteer since 1981, father Piet van Dongen, the first Catholic priest from ISC Delft, contributed to this historical overview of ISC Delft.

For the next four weeks, starting from the 21st October 2016, we will publish a little part of our interview on the ISC Delft history weekly. Click below to follow our story from the beginning, and come back next week to check out the second part!

Thanks to Gijs for conducting the interview, and Henk, Ruben and Fr. van Dongen for letting us know more about this community.