News Update from Mark
and Diane Vanderkooi
family, friends, and supporters;
on Good Friday, this update brings together our current events with the
celebration of Christ’s resurrection and the hope we have of eternal
life and eternal glory. As the following news items will explain, these
beautiful truths are more poignant than usual for us this year.
servants, Mark and Diane
believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Jesus’
words to Martha when her brother Lazarus died.
1, 2017 marked the end of the earthly life of Diane’s father, Donald
Stocksdale, at 82 years of age following a short but deadly bout of
pneumonia. We grieve the loss of a father, husband and brother but we
also celebrate, knowing that he believed in Christ and has the
resurrection hope of eternal life - life that is truly life. Diane was
able to talk with her father on the phone from Chageen just a couple
days before he died. Then, from N’djamena,
she was able be with the family via Skype when in the hospital room they
encouraged each other and their dying father with hymns of hope and
Scriptures that spoke of the eternal glory awaiting him. Diane, her
three brothers, an uncle and others from their church each shared at the
memorial service later that week, clearly proclaiming the hope that
Donald Stocksdale had expressed in a poem he wrote in his earlier years
of faith: “Help me, Lord, to keep my eye fixed on none but you alone.
That my life may signify Jesus Christ is on the throne.”
the hope we have
the funeral, Diane was able to spend a few weeks with her mother,
Patricia, at the assisted living facility where her parents had just
moved at the end of December. It was a blessing to have them already
established there so that Diane could simply help her mother set up new
routines to carry on with life without her husband of 57 years at her
side. As it is, she is battling with a cancer which continues to
progress and is now attacking her liver as well as her bones. But as she
says, “God must have a purpose for me to still be alive,” and
in that spirit, she and Diane enjoyed getting to know several of the
other 30 residents of the facility and sharing the hope and comfort
which only the God of all comfort can bring.
the Kwong the Words of Hope and Life
we write this update, Diane has returned to Chad, and we are in
N’Djamena for most of the month of April before returning to Chageen.
Mark and our translation team have been working for the past week with
Antje Maass, a translation consultant with Wycliffe Bible Translators,
to make the final quality control check to assure that 1 Corinthians is
translated accurately and clearly for the Kwong people. They
hope to finish in a few more days after which we also hope to check 1
Timothy. These books will be an important addition to our Bible
school’s corpus of materials for the equipping of Kwong pastors to
“to teach, to reprove, to correct, and to train in righteousness.”
“The Lord has risen indeed!”
May bree yee,
Kumoyn jilin Kris dá dongodda ka mati wet mala, may uu tusi na jal ute
pa’h dá dongodda ka mati pet kán Kumoyn ma da jaliy pata. (1
But indeed, God
really truly has resurrected Christ from among the dead and he is the
foundation/root/origin of all those dead whom God is going to yet raise.
(1 Corinthians 15:20 – translation back into English from the Kwong)
poem Diane’s father wrote on Jan 15, 1955.
and Patricia Stocksdale
Maass with Mark, Laurent, François and
Joseph check every word and phrase in their
Kwong translation of 1 Corinthians.