The following correspondence was sent to Pr Dean Andresen and his family after the recent loss of their wife and mother.
Dear Dean and Luke,
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you and your extended family and church at the recent passing of Tracey to go home to be with her Lord.
She certainly fought ‘the good fight of the faith’ with her strength of believing and tenacious spirit causing her with every skerik of her being to hang on to each and every precious moment of life.
What an example her life has been to so many, in her church, community and even of more recent times to the staff in the hospital. Her positive attitude, always believing in her Lord and finding strength in God, shone out of her countenance to everyone. I will always remember the smile and twinkle in her eyes, even when I know she was in pain and so encumbered by her body’s failures. Her Spirit remained strong testifying to all of a quality of life that only comes from deep rooted Christian convictions and an inner ‘peace that passes understanding’. We honour Tracey as a ‘Woman of Faith’.
Dean, you and Luke too have been such an example of loyalty in your commitment to Tracey, through many years of health challenges. I know for you both, it is your Christian faith and love for your wife and mother that has sustained you. Your servant heart, love and devotion to Tracey, spoke louder than words to so many! As a family, your ability together to endure the health pressures of Tracey’s life, whilst still carrying demanding jobs and studies, remains amazing! Add to that of recent years also taking on the leadership of the Mount Gambier CRC Eastside Church, left many wondering how you did it all as a family! I know much of it was the glue Tracey provided to all you did together, but more so, it was your empowerment together by the Holy Spirit that with his strength, wisdom and guidance enabled you together as a family.
I know this same Holy Spirit will sustain you in the days ahead that will be full of adjustments and reassessments as to what to do. Tracey will leave a huge hole wherever her life cast its influence, but most significantly, over your lives. You will miss her profoundly. We know she is in a far better place, having been welcomed into God’s presence assuredly to the words “Well done, good and faithful servant.” As you both now process the days, weeks and months ahead, may the Lord’s comfort be yours and guidance be clear as you face a very different future.
Tracey’s impact on our lives will remain. Her ministry and life spoke so clearly and strongly to so many. I’m so grateful for the hotel dinner That Fiona and I shared with you both late last year, the day before she went back into hospital. I will always remember visiting her in hospital, just before Christmas, when she made that remarkable rally that astounded all the doctors. There she was sitting up in bed eating with that smile on her face, when just a few days before all hope was given up on her and life supports had been removed. We thank God that her fighting spirit prolonged her life these last weeks, giving precious extra time Dean and Luke for you with her over Christmas. Further, who knows how many lives the testimony of her life impacted these last days, both in the hospital and through social media and networks.
It has been a privilege to experience and observe the impact of Tracey on so many lives. Her legacy is the testimony of that life. She set the “believers an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1Timothy 4:12).
We will miss Tracey and her impact across our movement and community. She will always be remembered and loved by us all.
Yours in Christ,
Pr Hans Voortman
SA, WA and NT CRC State Chairman
CRC Churches International