Henry Esselink

Obituary of Henry Esselink

Henry was taken home to be with his Lord and Saviour after a short illness in the Dawson Creek Hospital.

Henry was born in Zalk, Holland and immigrated to Canada with his family in July of 1929. They settled in the Spirit River area and homesteaded. Henry moved to Lacombe and there met Rita van Dyk and they were married on November 6, 1941. Henry continued to farm, worked for some time as a school bus driver and a partsman.

Henry is predeceased by his parents and all of his siblings. He is survived by his wife, Rita, his son Hiram (Ruth), daughter Catherine, and son Albert (Ericka). God has blessed him with four grandchildren, Roland (Elizabeth), Nathan (Deborah), Jonathan and Anna Pearl and nine great grandchildren, William Henry, Victoria, Grace, Cathrine, and Alexander (Roland & Elizabeth's children), Jeremy, Julian and Jaden (Nathan & Deborah's children) and Caleb (Jonathan's son).

Henry was a man committed to his Saviour.

When the tough stuff of life happens it doesn't take long to find out what we are made of and what it is that defines our character. Henry's life was not without tough stuff. When we face difficulties, the question we need to answer is "Is the issue one that allows no room for compromise or is this something that can be worked out?" When Henry came to those places, the one reality was that it was never the other persons involved in the dispute that defined what Henry's response would be. For him it was never a personality issue. The only issue worth the energy in dealing with tough issues was this: Is God's Word and the integrity of our Lord compromised?" When the answer was 'Yes', the response was a defined stance that wasn't going to move. This approach to decision-making and dealing with the conflicts of life, kept Henry at peace and gave him assurance and confidence to go on holding tightly to God's Word. It didn't mean that there weren't hurts along the way but peace far outweighs hurt.

I John 1:9 reads, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." As we approach the end of life we often think about the presence of angels and we pray for the special presence of our Lord with our loved one. But the reality is that the accuser of the saints is also present. Last week, Henry must have been experiencing something from the accuser as his vocal response was "I'm forgiven!" The confidence of that declaration came from knowing that God was true to His Word, knowing His Word and trusting Him. Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." East and west will never meet so that is removing our sins from us for ever. God is the only one who can choose to forget. We remember our sins and we forget how prone we are to fail. God remembers our frailty and our propensity to sin and forgets confessed sin.

On the 6th of November Henry & Rita would have celebrated 68 years of marriage. Their faithfulness and commitment to each other is an example of God's faithfulness to them. It was not a marriage of two but of the two of them and their Lord. They never differed in their commitment to God and His Word. It was central in their life and in their marriage. It was the foundation upon which they built their relationship. As they grew older together, they grew closer to each other and the Lord.

Henry left us with an incredible legacy. One that directs each of us to the Word of God and to personally apply all of God's truth to our lives. Dad taught us that to live well we need the fullness of God and to die well we need the peace of God that passes all understanding. He had both. May each of us consider his example and follow our Lord without compromise and with the same staunch determination to be true to God.

A Memorial Service was held on October 31, 2009 at the Rolla Baptist Church. For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Henry to the Gideons.

Very respectfully Reynar's Funeral Home & Crematorium.

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