It is with the joy of his victory and with sadness for our loss that I write of the passing of our respected friend and brother, John Overdijk.
I remember one of the first times Jean and Allan brought John to our fellowship, as John energetically walked in he handed me his cane as if to say, ‘Here, take this, I don’t need it any more!’ Next, after giving me his coat and hat, he accepted a hot coffee and made himself right at home becoming a permanent fixture of our family fellowship. John’s love for God and Israel was written all over him. On his lapel, he wore the flags of Canada and Israel and proudly adorned his apartment window with the same.
Stepping into John’s apartment, his energetic love for God and life flowed through. Parked right in his front entrance was his bright red scooter, which I understand he would rev like a racing teenager around his complex. On his wall and furniture were pictures of loved ones, including his wife, of whom he would speak often and longed to see again. To his right hand of his bed, pinned to the wall above his nightstand was a small piece of note paper with the words: Ruach HaKodesh. John’s face would light up when we spoke of the Holy Spirit, one of the final connections we would make on this side of the Kingdom.
John leaves us with an unforgettable impression of the power of God in the youthful vigour he displayed right up to the last few weeks of his life. This power was made manifest in John’s enthusiasm to fellowship together. If John thought his scheduled car ride to come to Shabbat Service was running late or somehow forgot about him, John would ride his bicycle for the 8 kilometres round trip to the service with a smile on his face! Even when one Shabbat we suffered a terrible ice storm in Barrie, and we were notifying everyone we could to stay at home, walking confidently through the ice-covered parking lot and into fellowship was none other than the intrepid and ever loyal, John Overdijk! He was like Caleb enjoying the gift of youth in his later years (Joshua 14:6-12).
We have the privilege to remember John in further detail, together, this Friday, May 10, 2019. The visitation starts at 10:00 am, at the Barrie Covenant Christian Reformed Church located at 101 Ardagh Road, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 4B7; phone (705) 734-0651. The Funeral Service will begin at 11:00 am, followed by a luncheon. Our dear friend, and brother, John Overdijk will be laid to rest with his wife, in Trenton, Ontario, in the presence of family.
I recall reading a quote from a Rabbi sometime ago, expressing that if the Light of God dwells within you, whenever you’re gone, you should be missed. Dearest Brother John, you will truly be missed; until we meet again in the New Jerusalem, Ahavah and Shalom.