To my son, Christian Andrew,
God knit you together in your mother’s womb, you were fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that full well. God ordained your days in His book to be 16 weeks.
The first time we saw you, you were already a very active busy boy. We had a strong feeling you were a boy. Your sisters and brother were so excited to see you as you moved around your little space. God had created another beautiful gift for us. God silently opened His arms and gathered you into heaven to be with Him before we even knew you were gone.
Your mother found out first that your heart was silent and your body still. When I heard the news I prayed to God that it wasn’t true. But the ultrasound could not lie; it was true. God had taken you to be with Him.
Keeley spoke up and told me, “I know why our baby went to be with Jesus, because Jesus loves babies and He wanted to have our baby.” Your sister is pretty wise for being only 5 years old.
What a day of contrast. At 5 p.m. we found out about your death and at 7 p.m. our church voted to purchase land for building a church to minister to the Holland-Zeeland area. Everyone at church was so loving and caring. They just poured out their love and promised to pray for us as we grieved your loss and as your mother needed to deliver your dead body.
In the next two days, family and friends continued to life us up with their love and prayer support. On Wednesday, August 27, after 10 hours of labor, your mother gave birth to your lifeless but perfectly formed beautiful body. God is so good. His creative handiwork was again revealed in the incredible detail and design of your body. You were so small. Your body fit in my hand. God allowed us the opportunity to touch you and spend a little time holding you. You were perfectly formed from your blue eyes to your ten little toes. Our God is an awesome God!
Ross is your brother. He is a tender-hearted boy with a love for Jesus and you. He has a sharp mind and a very athletic body. He looked forward so very much to playing with you, teaching you how to hit, and run, and slide, and how to hug your Mom. Jessica, Ross, & Keeley all love you very much and will always miss you. They also understand that you are in heaven.
Friday, August 29, we buried your body by your Uncle Danny Vanden Huevel. Ross was so proud to carry your little casket to the grave site. Jessica and Keeley, your sisters, sang with us and we read from God’s Word and proclaimed our comfort and strength in Jesus Christ.
Christian Andrew, your name has much heritage to it. Your first name comes from tow very godly men. Your great-grandfather Christian Vanden Huevel and your grandfather Thomas Christian Vanden Heuvel. They both faithfully preach the Word. Great-grandpa is in heaven with you. Grandpa is still here on earth and loves the Lord. He has a zeal to spread God’s Word and turn people’s hearts to God through the Holy Spirit. Your second name, Andrew, comes from your great-grandpa Docter. His grandfather was named Dries (Drew in Dutch). He is also a man of God who was a strong spiritual leader in his church and community. We are very proud to have you carry these names.
Christian, we are so thankful to have a wonderful church family that loves and cares for us. The body of Christ manifested in the church is a beautiful thing. We are part of the church militant. We will strive to use this experience as a way to witness and proclaim the wonderful comfort that Jesus and His church can bring in times of sorrow. Your life and death also has given us a keener insight into life as created by God. We will certainly be more passionate Christians in the fight for the sanctity of life.
Christian, we long for the day that we will be with you in the church triumphant. We claim the promise that God has prepared a place for us. God speed the day that we will all be united.
With love, your father Drew
Mr. Jelgerhuis, the husband of Jane, is an engineer at Prince Corporation in Holland, MI. He and his wife have three children, Jessica, Ross and Keeley.