May 27, 2013

Dental Work Needed

People often ask me what my needs are for prayer, and usually I answer that I would be faithful to glorify God until the end of my journey. But now I have something specific that I would like to ask you to pray for. On Friday, May 31st at 2:00 p.m., I will have a molar extracted by a dental surgeon. Big deal, you might say. Those kind of things happen every day. But for me, it is a big deal. I have great difficulty opening my mouth wide enough, and long enough for a dentist to work on me. Added to that, I worry about being able to breathe through the entire procedure.

I will have to stop eating by mouth until my gums heal up. In the meanwhile, I will have to be tube fed. My hope is that I will be able to eat again afterwards, as enjoying the taste of food is one of the last pleasures that I have left.

This week I turn 59 years old. I didn't expect to live to celebrate this occasion, but God has a different plan, and He makes no mistakes. He only does good, because He is good. Praise be His name!



  1. We will be praying for you here in Texas! in a long dental procedure I had, my dentist inserted a small triangular block in my mouth between my upper and lower jaw, because it was too tiring to hold my mouth open wide enough for such a long time. Perhaps your dentist could do the same on the side of the jaw on which he is not working. It was such a help to me in my situation. We'll pray that The Lord takes away all anxiety and allows the extraction to go very quickly, and for healing to be swift afterwards.

    Love in Christ,
    Nick and Anita Higgins (née VanDoodewaard)

  2. Praying for you my dear brother.

  3. We'll be praying for you Friday at 2pm. Reciting Scripture over and over in your mind provides a comfort and peace you never knew you could receive: God is my refuge and strength. A present help in time of trouble. Though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam. We will not fear.

  4. We hope all will go well with the dental work. Enjoy your birthday cake today! We are thinking about you today as you celebrate another year of life. The Lord has been with you. In all your affliction you can still praise Him for all the wonderful works He has done. We pray daily for you and yours, that He may give you grace and peace. We must all remember that the Lord doesn't necessarily give us an easy journey, but He promises His children a safe arrival to meet Jesus. What a glorious day that will be! May the Lord bless you and give you His peace.
    love and greetings from Margaret and Pieter

  5. We are praying continually for you. Your strength and faith are an ispiration to many. We will pray for a quick procedure as well as quick healing.

  6. We will be praying that all goes well and that you can have some measure of peace about the whole procedure.
    We sang a Psalter on Sunday that is based on Psalm 77, and I was thinking of you. I think were I in your situation, I'd be stuck in the first 9 verses, but God has blessed you with a heart that has reminded us constantly of the last 11 verses, and I am so thankful of His voice through you! "Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people."

    Tanya B.
    p.s. Short ribs comin' up tomorrow!

  7. Prayers for your procedure and many thanks for each day the Lord has given you! Praising Him for you this week!

  8. Praying for you, Uncle Jack. We hope all goes well with the surgery and that you will feel a sense of calm through it all. HAPPY BIRTHDAY :) :)!! We love you!
    Sam, Cara and Conrad Jack

  9. Happy Birthday, Uncle Jack! We think of you, the Wielhouwers

  10. I will pray for you that the procedure will go smoothly and that you will be at peace throughout it.

    Mary VanDoodewaard

  11. 28 May 2013,

    Dear Mr. Jack Westerink,

    Hearty congratulations on your birthday, Mr. Westerink. It has been such encouraging moments to see you walking with Jesus Christ even in the midst of affliction. This must be one of the occasions when the pearl is produced by faith, not by sight. May Our covenant keeping God be with you every day and even the day when you have to remove your molar tooth. May God's love be shed on you in your heart according to His Word: "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5.

    Yours sincerely,

    Young Jae Lee

  12. Happy Birthday Uncle Jack!
    We celebrated Dillon's 8th birthday today.
    We continue to keep you all in our prayers.
    Dwayne & Catharine

  13. Congratulations on your birthday, Mr Westerink, and praying for you and your tooth procedure!! May the Lord continue to give strength and peace!!
    I understand that the students from your school came and sang happy birthday to you today!! How very special! Do you think you or a family member could put the video of it on your blog????? It would be most appreciated as some of us don't have TV or facebook, but do have internet,but can't find it:(
    Thanks and all the best!!

  14. Happy Birthday Jack!
    We are praying for you and will pray on Friday also. If they are able to give some kind of conscious sedation you might want to consider it but if not God will help you. God helped you last time you were at the dentist too. God is so good and so able. I totally agree with Brad and Megan about reciting God's words in your mind. I know I've mentioned this text before because it is the one that I fill my mind with in order to have God's peace guard my heart and mind in my anxiety. When our thoughts of fear and panic fill our minds we don't have peace or strength. But when the Lord is near through His word we can rest in His ability as creator of our bodies (even our epiglottis Jack:)
    Philippians 3:4-7
    "Rejoice in The Lord always and again I say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
    Love Ineke

  15. Dear Jack and Lena,

    Congratulations with Jacks birthday, we were glad to be able to contribute
    to the als walkaton as a birthdaypresent.
    We also saw the moving film broadcast on television!
    We will pray and think of you especially this week.

    Love Anneke and Bert

  16. Hi Jack,
    I am a dental assistant and I want to reassure you that all will go well. My father died of ALS 5 years ago and I know where you're at. If you work out a sign with the dentist before the procedure that he might know when you need a break that will help. Do not fear taking a moment every minute if need be. I suggest taking a deep breath just before the dentist goes in and trying to hold your breath while they are working if you can. I'm not sure of your lung capacity at the moment...
    And don't worry about your not being able to open you mouth wide-- we have many patients who have no health issues that often do not open their mouths :)
    The dentist can put an apparatus in your mouth to help it stay open without you expanding energy but not everyone likes that so it's a personal choice.
    I will pray for you.
    I don't read your blog often because it's hard for me to remember my father's illness however I just was reading about your very special birthday. Praise the Lord for your birthday.

  17. Dear Jack,

    We will be praying for you today at 2pm that all would go well with the procedure, but we're praying this morning already that the Lord would settle your mind and give you His peace.

    With love,
    Susan & family