Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

In Memorium: Mrs. Froukje Noordegraaf

Written by Rev. C.A. Schouls
Mrs. Froukje Noordegraaf
September 25, 1907 - March 21, 1999
ÒAs for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.Ó Ps. 103:15, 16
These words stand in sharp contrast to the text chosen by Rev. Hamstra for the funeral of Mrs. Noordegraaf---Isaiah 40:8, ÒThe grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.Ó Perhaps it is better to say that these words complement each other: man is like the grass which withers, but the Word of God stands forever.

Mrs. NoordegraafÕs place, at one time well noticed in the churches, had, especially in the last years of her life, become very small. Since her husband, the Rev. Cornelis Noordegraaf, died on December 15, 1968, she had lived the widowÕs life. Although she remained active in some inter-church social activities for a long time, the later years of her life were marked by solitude, sorrow and diminishing abilities. Her son, Leko, who had so steadfastly cared for his mother for thirty years, was really her only companion. Less than a year ago, both her only daughter, Matrijke and her son-in-law, Jake Lennips, died within six weeks of each other. They left one daughter, Jeanette, whose only child is seriously ill. We are not sure whether Mrs. Noordegraaf ever fully realized these losses.

Indeed, man is like grass that withers; like the flower that fades. Once cut down, it is hard to tell where he lived. This is especially so in the case of one as old as Mrs. Noordegraaf whose only living descendants number just three.

At the funeral service, attended by about thirty people (this took place during the week of committee meetings and Revs. Bilkes and Schouls represented all the ministers), Rev. Hamstra pointed out that the only comfort in this comfortless world is to know that the Word of God stands forever. This is known only by people whose faith has, by grace, been placed in the Lord Jesus Christ. For them it is true, as Isaiah also points out in the 54th chapter that even though Ò... mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.Ó

Mrs. NoordegraafÕs life was not an easy one. The demands of immigration and of occupying a parsonage bring with them sometimes difficult circumstances. She knew of that. But she also knew the gospel of salvation. As was pointed out in the closing remarks of the funeral message: Whoever believes that gospel and whose only hope is in Christ who is now at the right hand of the Father, praying for his people, will find comfort.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to brother Leko Noordegraaf, his niece Jeanette and her child. Our concerns also go out to the little congregation of Toronto, whose number is now even further reduced. May our covenant-keeping God remember you all in His wonderful grace.

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