Dordt College News

Kooima remembered by Dordt community

November 30, 2006

Dr. Mary Dengler, co-director of Dordt College’s Kuyper Scholars Program:

“Jon Kooima was an exceptional student—in academic ability and faith. A student leader in high school, he showed ease and grace in leading students in the Kuyper Scholars Program. Quiet, steady, witty and intense, he expressed his worldview with his class responses and in his papers. As he said in his KSP application essay, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.

"His intention was to become an architect. In fact, his most recent essay was on the history, causes, and effects of the high-rise. He credited Noah with a feat of architecture, and he wanted to design buildings that would thwart terrorist attacks. He also stated, “a Christian architect with a heart for helping needy people could become a volunteer who helps to build homes for people who could not otherwise afford one. I will be fulfilling my goal by living and working for God and the people around me.”

"Jon expressed his faith in his life and scholarship. He won our hearts when he wore his “Kuyper is my homeboy” t-shirt. As he wrote in his application essay, "Being a Christian scholar is having a heart for God, a will to learn, and a need to use your abilities to help the people who need it. I am not claiming to be perfect or to follow these all the time, but with much thought and prayer I have made it my personal life goal.”

Dr. Carl Zylstra, president of Dordt College:
On hearing of Jon’s untimely death, Dr. Zylstra recalled speaking to the freshmen during a commissioning service on the topic, “Rule Number One: Do not be Afraid.”

“Neither I, Jonathan, his parents nor anyone else present could have known the poignancy with which those words would now frame the sad events of this day,” said Dr. Zylstra. At a 10 p.m. service that evening, the college community gathered to both mourn and comfort each other, with scripture, prayers and songs, including Jonathan’s favorite, “Our God is An Awesome God.”

Pastor Rod Gorter, dean of chapel
“This is a shock to our community here, as it is, of course, very difficult for Jon's whole family. At the hospital last evening, in homes, on campus last evening, many tears have been shed.

"As we have shared our sorrow together, we have sensed the truth of Psalm 34:18, 'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.' As we look to Christ, we see glorious rays of assurance in His victory over death shining as a silver lining around this dark cloud of sorrow.

"Jon Kooima was close to his Lord while on earth, and now he is even closer to his Savior glory. That assurance in Christ is a comfort and an anchor for the soul for all of us who feel the sting of this loss.

“In chapel this morning, we again stood together in facing this time of grieving, lifting our hearts to the Lord, and seeking His comfort, encouragement, peace and strength.”

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