January 3, 2012

Dutch Cousins Reminisce – Thoughts from Bas & Lydia

I have known Jack since our first trip to North America (1979), when we visited Jack and Lena. I remember it as a very pleasant visit. During dinner one evening, Joni was sitting and sleeping in her highchair and Sarah was sleeping in the pram.

Joni in her high-chair

Many years later, we met Jack again together with Uncle Gerrit in the Netherlands when they came over for the funeral of “Ome Dick”, Lydia’s father. Lydia’s father was sick for a few years with ALS, and died in June, 1986. Together with Ome Gerrit and Jack, we made a short trip to Germany and visited the Castle in Bentheim.

In 2002 Jack and Lena came to the Netherlands again, because Jack had to to do some work at a Christian high school in Kampen. We organized a Westerink-family reunion in Enschede, and that was a great meeting.

So many Westerink’s together in one place, it was very “gezellig” (cozy).

At the end of the evening, Ome Gerrit read the words of Psalm 68:10. That psalm has been the “Westerink’s psalter” for many years. In the past, at the end of a family meeting, the whole family sang this verse: Geloofd zij God met diepst ontzag. A great psalter, words with deep meaning.

The Sunday after the Westerink’s reunion, we started the church service with the first psalter ..…Ps 68:10. Since that time Psalm 68:10 is also a special one for me, both in the old and new rhymed versions.

During our next trip to Canada we stayed with Jack & Lena and ome Gerrit & tante Jopie in a cottage at Redstone Lake. We had a wonderful time. We learned to know the family a lot better and we are thankful for that experience. We learned to know them as people of God, as brothers and sisters in Jesus. In Jack we met the Love of Christ. In his listening, in his speaking, his interest in other people, his sense of humor etc. etc.

From our experience Jack means very, very much for the people around him and also for people on the other side of the ocean. We all feel the pain of his illness. We’re grateful for Jack’s trust in God, or better, for God’s grace for Jack. The only thing we can do and have to do is continuously pray for Jack and all his family. I wish, pray and hope that we all have that confidence in God as Jack has.

We love you all!
Bas and Lydia

Die God is ons een God van heil; 
Hij schenkt, uit goedheid, zonder peil, 
Ons 't eeuwig, zalig leven; 
Hij kan, èn wil, èn zal in nood, 
Zelfs bij het naad'ren van den dood, 
Volkomen uitkomst geven
(Psalm 68:10)

Our God upholds us in the strife 
To us he grants eternal life, 
And saves from desolation. 
He hears the needy when they cry, 
He saves their souls when death draws nigh, 
This God is our salvation. 
(Psalter 420:5)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jack & Lena
    Thank you for sharing this difficult journey with us and so many others. It's been a great blessing to be kept informed through this blog. Be assured of our continual prayers for you and your family.
    Christo & Margherita Heiberg