BUILDING BRIDGES STRATFORD, APRIL,2016,
It has been more than twenty years since we first felt called to get involved with working on a field as missionaries. God had blessed our business and we wanted to give back a portion of His blessings. Max had been to the Dominican Republic with a group from our Stratford church in 1991 and in 1993 Max encouraged me to go and the rest became history.
We took our four youngest children there as our oldest daughter was married and had started her own family. Thinking that our funds would last for a year, we settled in Santo Domingo where we house -sat for missionaries on home service. During that first year, we were approached by other missionaries asking us to join them in their mission work and not leave when our funds ran low.
Visits were made with staff and the twelve families there at that time in 1993. Shortly after our first return back to Canada, we visited with Christian Reformed World Mission staff in Grand Rapids and in Burlington. Both offices agreed to hire the van Tils full-time and off we went to the field.
I had been home-schooling in Canada already and school came with us to the field. We were given a newly renovated home where we lived for the next 14 years. Max, being the coordinator and organizer of work teams and Kina the teacher and home maker, has caused many people to visit us while working with Max. Hospitality is one of our gifts and the children participated in serving the guests. Thousands of guests have been to our home for a meal, a snack or a time to heal after a fall or other health issues.
In November 2013, Kina had a serious accident in Edmonton and therefore hasn’t been able to function as before. Even visiting a mission field causes too much strain on her injured brain. Struggles with balance, short-term memory loss, no taste and no smell are all side effects of these brain injuries. Needless to say that Max has had his hands full with extra work, but at the same time missing Kina and all the little things she takes care of. It’s been a rather trying time for our family.Age is also playing a role in our ministry work and we would like to leave this with the Lord. He has a plan and we don’t have to decide for Him. Somehow, it always works out and therefore we are not concerned about this part at all. We do know that our time has come to a close and we have grateful hearts for all these years the Lord has allowed us to work in His field.
There are no words that would properly express our thanks to all of you. Our hearts are overflowing with gratefulness to the Lord for the great memories, the fun times with all of you, the support and your prayers. The power of prayer is a great tool and is used often when all else fails. As we slow down with our mission endeavors, Max has still a few commitments until April 2017.He will follow up on these, but as far as your financial support is concerned, this will not be necessary anymore. There are enough funds for Max to finish his commitments thanks to your generosity.
In closing, we want you to know how much we have enjoyed and appreciated your part in our mission work for 23 years. God has been faithful and has brought this ministry to a satisfying closure for us. We can only look back and praise Him for taking care of us during all these years.
In His grip, always,
Max and Kina
Matthew 5:16 To God be the glory; great things he has done.