Johanna deVal Molenaar -
Across Pacific Magazine
Johanna deVal Molenaar
July 5, 1922 – January
humble beginnings in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, she survived the horrible
occupation of the Japanese in WW11 – even though her fiancée
And she survived the Indonesian war of Independence, torn, with so many family and
friends on both sides of the conflict. Johanna is indeed a survivor. She
survived the long trip by ship from her homeland in tropical Indonesia, to the cold and unfamiliar shores
of Europe, in The Netherlands. She survived
the ordeal of childbirth, even though not all the babies survived.
Joseph - Dutch military, and Johanna - 1950.)
only survived some amazing obstacles, she learned how to live. Raised
in the Dutch Reformed Church
with her 5 siblings, she was the one who was known by
family and friends as "the religious
one”. She was drawn to the more
evangelical services at the Salvation
Army, thanks to her Aunt or Tante Neel in Surabaya. But Johanna claimed her “new
birth” took place some years later when she publicly went forward to
Jesus at a Billy Graham crusade in Holland.
had lived all her life in the tropical heat of Indonesia, she learned she could survive in
the bitter cold of The Netherlands.
But she and her dear husband, Joseph or Joopie,
both longed for the warmer weather. (BTW – Joseph IS still with us.
not with us enough to be here with us.) Anyway,
Joseph prayed and kept their eyes open for the right opportunity to
move to a
better place – their PromiseLand. After about ten years in Holland, the Lord answered their prayers
and they were sponsored by the Pleasant
Valley Baptist church in Camarillo, California. And the rest, as they say, is
Jonathan and Leilani,
two of Johanna’s grandchildren, will share some tributes, followed
by the reading of one of
Johanna’s favourite scriptures, the 23rd
did a beautiful dance / hula to the music of "Cover Me".
Jonathan and his Oma - Johanna)
My Dad went to be with the Lord nearly 22 years
ago. One of the things he was known for was putting together,
distributing a booklet called Singtime
Gospel Choruses. It was used by churches across America. I was looking through it last
night and noticed this chorus called: We’re
sailing home. The words are simple and illustrate both the journey
We’re sailing home, we’re sailing home. Oh won’t you come on board, Our
pilot is the
Lord; We’re sailing home, we’re sailing
home, To the land of
Another one in that chorus book speaks even
more graphically of the promise Jesus gave us:
I’ve got a mansion, Just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old.
And some day yonder, we will never more wander,
walk on streets that are purest gold.
Johanna is finally home. She’s in a much better
place. You and I have a ways to go.
Lydia has more to say about the home part. She will
also be sharing some words from her brother, Arthur, in California.
Mom – 5 January 2007
Thank you all for coming to support
during our time of
loss and grief. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. Thank
you especially to Pamela Rye who stood faithfully with
me over the years in the personal care of Mom. Thank you Pamela for
serving Mom over the many years for what you have done for His child
done unto Him. Thank you to the many of you who took time to chat with
also pray with her. I know she was deeply moved and greatly appreciated
Lydia read the following from Art:
run a good race and finished the course. Wow, God is so awesome
has allowed you to spend so much time on earth to keep an eye on your
grandkids and even a great-grand child. God was very
have me able to come to New Zealand a couple of months ago to
time with you and dad. It was a real blessing to be with you
two. The full impact of you being gone will come
through out the year. I know you will be thrilled to be in the presence
King of Kings. Where you have taught Lydia and me to be at all
times. What a
heritage you gave me and my family, not only with your good cooking but
your love for Jesus. Because of that love you will be missed by
and I, William and Alicia, James and his soon to be wife Aimee.
prayers for my kids are very evident by the life they live. They
the Lord and strive to make Jesus their Lord. One of
the things I
will always remember will be your endless back scratches to me from
to adulthood. I will always be grateful for you mom. I love you
you so much that words cannot describe. You will not be
the family you have left behind.
- Your son,
Home was always a very important
Mom. You could
tell she took pride in her home by the way she decorated it, kept it
a good Dutch woman, also by the wonderful healthy meals she cooked and
cakes and cookies she often baked. The kitchen was truly her domain.
Our home is
where my brother and I made the
most of our
wonderful and precious
were not only taught the ways of God but we had it modeled thru our
lived it. She enjoyed giving hospitality to all who came into our
About 5 ½ years ago, after
prayer with my family, I
brought Mom and Dad over from the States to NZ. It was an absolute
honor for me
to care for them. God blessed them with 56 years of marriage. When they
married 47 years we did not think they would make it to their 50th
but God more than answered our prayers. I cared for both of them about
in our home until I couldn’t provide the safety net to care for both. I
make the tough, agonizing and painful decision to put Dad in a home due
Parkinson’s dementia. Mom, on the other hand did not want to go there.
With the loving support of my husband and children we all took part in
of Mom and frequent visits to Dad. There is no possible way I could
it without them! I would like to think that we have become the ‘dream
While living with us for 5 ½ years Mom always talked about going
In July of 2006 on her 84th
birthday she ended up
being at MiddlemoreHospital
with a G.I. bleed, instead of the planned luncheon we had for her. That
be the beginning of several more trips she would make to the hospital.
pulled us aside and told us that we were looking at about 24 to 36 hours
her. We all said our good-byes to her because we believed that she was
home! She was so ready! Yet amazingly she pulled thru and was sent
see, I believe God still desired to bless Mom while here on earth. For
starter, she got to meet and hold her first great grandchild, Josiah,
born the end of August. In October she had quality time with her son,
for 3 weeks. In December she celebrated
Christmas with us and got to open up all of her presents filled with
favorite things: clothes and chocolates!!!
She even stuck around to welcome in
New Year 2007. In
fact, she peeled all of our pistachio nuts for me so I could enjoy them
next day after she was gone!!! That’s my mom!!!
Johanna and great-grandson, Josiah)
I had the privilege of being with
her coronation and
transition into glory. One day we will have a glorious reunion that is
we have as Christians.
Mom was a woman of faith and prayer
passionate about her
God whom she served with all her heart and much joy.Her legacy will continue to live on in her
kids, grandkids, great grandkids and the generations to come.
Josiah and Johanna)
I can hear her saying now:
“I have fought the
I have finished the
I have kept the
Now there is in store
A crown of
righteousness.”II Timothy 4:7-8
To which I believe God responded:
done good and
faithful servant! Matt 25:23
Mom has reached her final
One of Johanna’s favourite songs
is just a simple chorus. I think it would be good if we stood together
it. It’s called “He’s All I Need”.
Will you stand with me? I’ll give you the words, there's only four:
He’s all I need, He’s all I
need, Jesus is all I need. He’s all I need He’s all I need. Jesus is
need. Let’s sing it together.
I think it would be good for us to do what
Johanna did on many occasions, that is to make this simple song a
can do that by just changing the words slightly to: You’re
all I need. It’s not only a prayer; it’s a statement of
commitment. We could lose things. We could lose precious relationships.
could loose all our money or even a limb, or even part of our mind. But
reality is, if we have Jesus, that’s all we really need. Will you open
heart and make the same commitment that Johanna made so many times?
it to Him, You’re all I need.
We’re going to conclude with a song, by one of
Johanna’s favourite musical artists, our friend, Andrae’ Crouch. Sorry
he's not able to be here in person. The name of the song is: The Power of Your Love. As we listen,
open your heart, and let the Power of His
Love minister to your spirit.
Closing prayer: Pastor David Walker
join us for some tea and coffee.
is scheduled for
at ManukauMemorialGardens. You’re all welcome to come, but
you’re not obligated to. It will be very short, with a closing prayer
As we’ve already heard today Johanna had a lot
of good qualities. Let me share briefly about three of them:
Johanna was a giver. She gave
and gave. And she taught her kids to give. She gave
so much that I think eventually her kids decided they ought to do a
screening of their Mom’s mail, because of all the appeal letters that
coming. I think they eventually concluded Mom didn’t always know how to
Prayer Warrior– I lost track of the number of
times I heard Lydia tell about how she and her brother
decided they better behave, because they could hear Johanna in the
her knees, crying out to God for Lydia and Arthur. Storming heaven.
Somehow that helped put the “fear of the Lord” in both of them. And
them have done quite a job staying on the “straight and narrow” path.
Johanna, for being a prayer warrior.
She also had a missionary
heart. She introduced all 5 of her siblings to the Lord.
Some times she would even go door-to-door in the neighbourhood, to tell
about Jesus. She prayed for years that God would use her children as
missionaries. And when God answered those prayers and sent her daughter
to Samoa , Indonesia and Singapore, Hawaii… and even way down under to the
Land of the Great White Cloud - New Zealand,
Johanna released her and blessed her and even helped support her.
Three qualities Johanna had, that
all could use a bit more of: Giver, Prayer Warrior and a heart for
people reached for Christ, whether it’s across the street or across the
time to close this chapter. It’s not over for Oma. We rejoice and
graduation. We’ve been so blessed by her. Now it’s time for us to be a
to as many others as we can. Another song she loved:
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus Life’s trials will seem so small, When we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face, All sorrow will erase. So bravely run the race Till we meet Christ.
Saphy’s Grandma requested we sing How Great Thou Art
She did beautifully; we followed along, some singing in English, Lydia in Dutch, some in Samoan... Peter
Kim closed in prayer in Korean. We all put a
flower on the
casket and said our goodbyes. Then the casket was lowered. At the
the funeral director we sang He Lives,
Christ Jesus Lives Today. Then we enjoyed fellowship before being
off the property.