Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Memory of John Van Woerden

I mentioned in a previous blog that one of the "highlights" of our furlough was a funeral. This might sound strange to some, but it really was. I have attended quite a few funerals, especially here in Guatemala, and I would dare to say that this was by far one of the more memorable and special ones. It was sad and heart wrenching like most funerals are, but it was filled with hope and joy, as we knew that the deceased had passed from earthly life to eternal life. What a blessing it was to be able to be there!
It was several years ago that we had the privilege of getting to know a couple from our home town in Chilliwack named John and Henrietta Van Woerden (some of you might have read about him through Jack Westerink's blog). Although we knew them from years earlier, because they were from similar church and school circles (we knew their children), we did not know them that well. However, we had heard that they were interested in missions and that is what first connected us. It was not much later that John was diagnosed with terminal cancer and that is what connected us even more because of my wife Lia's battle with cancer when she was 17. Of course living in Guatemala did not allow us much contact with them, but every time we went on furlough we would visit with them, talk and pray together. The visits were always special and uplifting. One of the things we did do regularly was pray for him and his family. When John passed away our kids were disappointed since they believed that by praying for him God would heal him. We used this opportunity to teach our kids that God did heal John, although not here on this earth. John is fully healed now and enjoying the presence of the Savior. We ask that you pray for John's wife Henrietta and his children who have to "limp" through life with a void in their lives.