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Netherlands, Bible, Jacoba Geertruida Straatman, Harskamp, Dutch Culture, Farmhouse School, Christian Education

The Flowering Almond Rod
The Story of Trui Straatman, a courageous believer in Christian Education
by Ge Verhoog

The Flowering Almond Rod tells the story of an impoverished widow who felt strongly that the children her little Dutch village needed to learn to read. In the late 1800’s Harskamp did not have a school and even though the people were deeply religious, they were sliding into superstitious ways since many could not read the Bible. This English version is a translation and adaptation of an original Dutch language book.

In one sentence, Gertruide Straatman’s purpose in creating a Christian school was that "The children must be able to read the Bible for themselves". This conviction encapsulates two major themes that characterized the Reformed community in the Netherlands through the nineteenth century, namely a devout personal piety and a biblical-reformed worldview.

Tony Maan, Ph.D, Netherlands history

I was a teacher and a librarian in Christian schools in Alberta and BC before I retired. I found it fascinating to discover this story about the early origins of the Christian school movement in Holland. It was equally fascinating to find that my ancestors were part of the story. I was unable to find any information about the original Dutch author Ge Verhoog.

- Evelyn Sterenberg


Ge Verhoog
Translation by
Hendrika Bouw Schuld
Adapted by
Evelyn Sterenberg

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