Pair of Centenarians Share the Bible


Although there are plenty of Bible apps and Bible DVDs, the experience of listening to a friend read Bible passages aloud is hard to match.

That’s why for several months now, Minnie Mulder, who turned 101 on December 28, has read aloud to Gertrude Tesselink, who celebrated her 103rd birthday on December 10. Both women are residents of Good Samaritan Society in Corsica, S.D. Mulder, a lifelong member of New Holland (S.D.) Christian Reformed Church, lives next door to Tesselink, a member of Corsica (S.D.) Christian Reformed Church.

“I went up to her one time and—because she is blind—asked if she would like me to read to her,” Mulder said. “She said she would appreciate it, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Currently Mulder is reading a book of psalms complete with a meditation each morning to Tesselink.

“We talk about the message when I’m through reading, and we talk about different things in the passage,” Mulder said. “[Tesselink] is very deaf as well; I have to sit right next to her so she can hear me. But she says she can hear me real well.”

Reading has been a passion for Mulder that she has carried through her entire life since she was very young.

“I always enjoyed reading, even growing up,” Mulder said. “I always read The Banner. My mother got it so I would take it from home along to where I was working. I read The Banner for many, many years.”

That is a fact her son, Arnie Mulder, can attest to. “As a kid I can remember her reading the children’s page to us—the old programs page,” he said. “She read all the time. Before television that’s what you did.”

Mulder said that while Proverbs 3:5-6 holds special meaning to her, so many passages in the Bible are precious. Tesselink, meanwhile, often quotes Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“I have a lot to be thankful for, all by God’s grace,” Mulder said, her health in good condition. “I am so blessed.”