The frost is over and the skates have been put away. In the watery spring sunshine, the first students are sitting outside again, having lunch and chatting. Among them Gideon Koning (21). He and other members of Ichtus student association agreed to hold their meeting out of doors. The topic: the Holy Week activities Gideon is helping to organize.
Photo Anne van der Heijden
Gideon is doing a BSc in Molecular Life sciences, and is actively involved in the Christian student society Ichtus. He plays piano in a band there and spent a year on the board. Holy Week is the initiative of several Christian societies and the international church in Wageningen. In the week before Easter, participants will engage in dialogue with others, at lectures for instance, about faith and finding meaning in life. ‘We think a lot about life,’ says Gideon. ‘That makes it interesting to enter into dialogue with people with different convictions.’
It is not just in Wageningen that Gideon is helping organize these activities; he is also going to Riga in Latvia for a week. There were not enough Christian students to organize the Holy Week there, so the local organization called on help from the Netherlands and Romania. ‘It is great to get involved in organizing things outside your studies,’ says Gideon.
Gideon joined Ichtus for the social side of things, but also to be able to think about life together with others. ‘It doesn’t have to be all parties and drinking, it is also nice to have some extra depth during your student days.’ During his year on the board, he felt very involved with the members. ‘It is really lovely to see first-years blossoming in the society, and to see how everyone grows. I grew a lot myself in that time. At first I thought, “Can I really do all this?” And it turned out I could.’
Gideon is getting married to his girlfriend Irma in October. ‘I think that’s a nice moment for it. We will start a new life together. Our faith is important to us and in Christian circles getting married young is quite usual.’