Although Jan and Darlene Van Ee are now retired from their official ministry in Mexico, God is still revealing ways he was at work through their time spent sharing the gospel.
The former Christian Reformed World Missions missionaries recently attended a dedication service for a new church building in a small town where they used to serve.
“When the service was over, lots of people came to greet me,” said Darlene Van Eee. “The older people—like us—had been teens or young adults back then.”
And there was Maria (not her real name).
Maria met Darlene when she was about 12 years old.
“There wasn't a lot of hope,” remembered Van Eee. “Maria's mom worked as a prostitute. There was always work, and food needed to be put on the table.”
Maria thanked Van Ee for bringing the gospel to her village and shared a vivid memory with her. “Maria remembered sitting on a rock behind her house when she was 8 years old,” said Van Ee. “She cried out to God: ‘God, is this all there is to life? Is there nothing else for me to do?’”
At that moment, the wind blew Maria’s hair back. “She said it felt as if God was caressing her cheeks,” said Van Eee. “The same breeze dried her tears, and she had a strong sense that there was a God and that she could trust him.
“As she was telling me about God drying her tears with the breeze, she went on to say how good God is,” said Van Ee. “He keeps all his promises.”
Maria’s trust in God helped her continue to care for her sisters, and she was able to keep all of them out of prostitution. Today all of her sisters are married. One sister is a believer and is also active in church. Maria’s husband also became a believer.
“We give thanks to God that we have been able to see an abundant harvest in this small town,” said Van Ee.