On this last day of 2020, there are many things on which to reflect as God's pilgrim people in this world: the pandemic with all the changes and trials it brought to our lives looms large, of course. And no doubt, all of us can recall the personal events in our lives, from the joyful (births, anniversaries, etc.) to the sorrowful (losses and crosses).
Especially, on this December 31, 2020, do we wish to remember those PRC members who died and were received into glory by their Savior Jesus Christ. And we know that many of our members also lost other family members who were believers and members of other churches and who have entered into their everlasting reward. With all the lockdowns and restrictions that came because of COVID-19, it was a difficult time to lose a loved one. Often their final days were spent in isolation and loneliness; family and friends could not reach out as they normally could; even pastors and elders were severely limited in what they could do to minister to their members and families. And then the visitations and funerals could not be conducted as usual. Sorrow was added to sorrow.
And yet the presence and work of our sovereign, faithful Father was not hindered or halted. In His abounding mercy He remained with us and with our loved ones. In His irresistible power He broke through all restrictions with the light of the gospel and comforted us and those about to die. And by His gracious hand He delivered our loved ones out of this vale of tears and into His presence of endless joy! All praise be to our great and good God! May we humble ourselves before Him as we remember His work in the lives and deaths of these precious saints of His.
In Memoriam: PRC members who died in the Lord in 2020 (by month)
- Adriana Ophoff, age 88, SE PRC, Grand Rapids, MI
- Albert Buiter, age 81, Crete PRC, IL
- John K. Feenstra, age 84, Hope PRC, Redlands, CA
- Jordan Gritters, age 18, Hull PRC, IA
- Betty J. Kamminga, age 92, Hudsonville PRC, MI
- Fran Leep, age 82, First PRC, Holland, MI
- Lily Bleyenberg, unborn child, Grace PRC, MI
- Elizabeth A. De Jong, age 99, Peace PRC, IN
- Julie DeJong, age 51, Peace PRC, IN
- Gordon Wassink, age 87, Georgetown PRC, MI
- Charles Doezema, age 86, First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI
- John Dykstra, age 90, Hope PRC, Walker, MI
- Clara Lou Hanko, unborn child, Lynden PRC, WA
- Herman Schipper, age 98, Faith PRC, MI
- Donald Aardema, age 88, Doon PRC, IA
- Vernon Klamer, age 84, Hope PRC, Walker, MI
- Donna Lubbers, age 89, Hudsonville PRC, MI
- Louise Ophoff, age 90, Byron Center PRC, MI
- Hermina Veldman, age 94, Faith PRC, MI
- Verna Buys, age 94, Edgerton PRC, MN
- Edward Holleman, age 83, Crete PRC, IL
- Wilmina Lanting (widow of Rev. George Lanting), age 99, Crete PRC, IL
- Bea Talsma, age 91, Byron Center PRC, MI
- Jeanette Voss, age 95, Faith PRC, MI
- Doris Baas, age 97, Faith PRC, MI
- Alice Kaptein, age 65, Faith PRC, MI
- Henry Niewenhuis, age 79, First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI
- Wilmyna Jansma, age 93, Hull PRC, IA
- Frank DeBoer, age 90, Lynden PRC, WA
- Dave DeVries, age 57, First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI
- Robert Schrier, age 86, SW PRC, MI
- Joan Stalsonburg, age 95, SW PRC, MI
- Gordon Van Overloop, age 93, Hudsonville PRC, MI
- Lois Wigger, age 93, First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI
- John Buiter, age 88, Hope PRC, Walker, MI
- Lucille Kooienga, age 86, Hope PRC, Walker, MI
- Ardith Oomkes, age 82, Grandville PRC, MI
- Alan Van Bemmel, age 59, Calvary PRC, IA
- Alice Van Ginkel, age 90, Doon PRC, IA
- Rev. Bernard Woudenberg, age 89, Georgetown PRC, MI
- Frances Woudenberg (wife of Rev.B.), age 87, Georgetown PRC, MI
- Donna Boven, age 71, Hudsonville PRC, MI
- Cornelius Doezema, age 93, Grandville PRC, MI
- Bernard Driesen, age 83, Calvary PRC, IA
- Rev. Jason Kortering, age 84, Grandville PRC, MI
- Chris VandenTop, age 52, Grace PRC, MI
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15)
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:25,26).
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world (John 11:25-27).
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19-21).
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:18-20).
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:14-17).
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13).
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:1-4).