July 7, 2012

Condition Update

I want to give you an update on how we are doing on our journey, especially for those of you who we don't see too often, and who live far away.

We are grateful for the cards, emails, calls and visits we receive on a regular basis. Your prayers and thoughts are a great encouragement to us. Our church has initiated a home cooked meals on wheels service for us for as long as we need it. We receive much love and care from our family, the
church and school community. We often wonder how people ever manage through trials without God and without fellow believers walking alongside.

My ability to speak is basically gone now. Even Lena is having trouble understanding my mumbling. I am also having more difficulty in breathing, especially on a full stomach, since I use stomach muscles to breathe. I use
a bipap machine at night now and sometimes during naps to help in breathing. It took me a while to get used to it, but I know that I need to use it now.

I can still eat almost everything by mouth, but I am very slow because chewing and swallowing is difficult for me. Lena has to feed me, because I can't use my hands anymore. I use a straw for all my drinking, yes even for coffee. The PEG tube is working well for me, and I use it every other day or
so, just to keep it open.

Transferring from lazyboy, to wheelchair, to commode, to the bed is getting very risky using my legs, so we are beginning to use a sling and hoyer lift. It is also getting hard on Lena's back to do all that heavy lifting, even though I lost 30 lbs. My hands are getting so weak that I am having trouble controlling my computer mouse and wheelchair joystick.

My biggest problem is that I have great difficulty sleeping and I am very restless through the night. I have a sleeping pill, but it is not helping that much. I might sleep a total of two hours per night for several months now. This is keeping Lena from getting her rest, so we have begun to schedule family members taking turns for the nights. Please pray that I may sleep at night.

Despite all my physical problems, I must confess that God has been faithful. I have His Word and the many comforting promises to lean on. I may trust His covenant faithfulness to never let me go. His providences are sufficient to my needs. His people are a daily encouragement to me. I pray for daily
submission to His way in my life, and that I might not dishonour His name in any way. Oh for a rich measure of the Holy Spirit to apply the words and works of Christ to my heart.


  1. jeanantuma @sympatico.caJuly 8, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    I pray for you all every day...I am amazed at your perseverance in all this ...may God continue to give you peace and convidence in His abiding presense in you trial!!!

  2. Paul & LaurinaJuly 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Hi Jack and Lena --Laurina and I pray for you and your family many times every day. May the LORD continue to up-hold you and take you step by step in HIS arms--as the footsteps in the sand!!! HE is FAITHFUL and you hold you in HIS arms!! your farmer friend Paul VS

  3. Dear brother Jack,
    Sometime ago I heard a pastor quote the following” As we run the race in this world for the great prize, Jesus Christ, we have brothers and sisters cheering us on to complete the race. Jack I am sitting in the stands to cheer you on, to complete your race in Christ, we are praying that you will continue to be a blessing to many and that God will use your journey to draw and redeem sinners.

    I must add however that you are also sitting in the stands to cheer on others in the race for that great prize. May God continue to bless you and Lena on this most difficult part of your race, traveling through deep valleys, yet this is where you will find the refreshing streams of the Gospel and Jesus Christ himself. Endure brother, Until the race is run, until the journey's done,Until the crown is won.

    In Christ, John Van Woerden

    1. Teach me Thy way, O Lord, teach me Thy way!
    Thy guiding grace afford, teach me Thy way!
    Help me to walk aright, more by faith, less by sight;
    Lead me with heav'nly light, teach me Thy way!

    2. When I am sad at heart, teach me Thy way!
    When earthly joys depart, teach me Thy way!
    In hours of loneliness, in times of dire distress,
    In failure or success, teach me Thy way!

    3. When doubts and fears arise, teach me Thy way!
    When storms o'erspread the skies, teach me Thy way!
    Shine through the cloud and rain, through sorrow, toil and pain;
    Make Thou my pathway plain, teach me Thy way!

    4. Long as my life shall last, teach me Thy way!
    Where’re my lot be cast, teach me Thy way!
    Until the race is run, until the journey's done,
    Until the crown is won, teach me Thy way!

  4. Thank you for the update, it is wonderful for us to be able to receive your thoughts via the computer even though so much else has been taken away from you. We continue to praise God for the amazing witness your family continues to be for us all. We continue to pray for you and love you both. In Christian love, Rick & Diane Postma

  5. Uncle Jack,
    We are praying for you for peace, strength, comfort, and even joy in these days. Love you, Rosanna and Jacob

  6. Hi Jack, I'm starting to get a complex about writing on your blog because I've had them disappear many times after I push publish or preview.... Well I guess the important part I wrote was that God has so many thoughts of us. Psalm 139:17&18 "How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you." When you see the sand and how many tiny grains they are and imagine each one representing God thinking about you. What a loving, personal, attentive God we have. When the tempter comes to take away those comforts we can take those thoughts captive. "For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have DIVINE POWER to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ..." 2 Cor 10:4&5. We are praying for you and I keep bumping into people who say that they are reading your blog and are praying for you and being blessed by you. What a ministry! Thank you Jack. Thank you Lane for all you are doing for Jack. I am overwhelmed and thankful for the amazing communion of the saints that shows the love that reflects our God.

  7. You are daily in our thoughts and prayers. B & M Vandermaarel

  8. I believe it was 29 years ago that you taught me science in RCS! I recall performing science experiments on frogs, soap and other things! You were my favourite teacher of all time and I regret waiting this long to tell you. I have thought of you often during those (almost) 3 decades. You made an lasting impact in my life with things you said to me personally, to my classmates and the spiritual leadership you showed. You need to know that you were and still are a gift that was given to me and continues to give in my life. I have not spoken to you in all those years but I want to take the time to say thank you, Mr. Westerink. For everything. It tears me up to read your blog. But again, you are a true witness for your Saviour. We will continue to lift you and your family up and pray that God continues to give you the inward strength to finish your race. -Lisa (Kwakernaak) Versteeg