Never Too Old

One of Satan’s biggest lies to Christians is that we are too young for God to use us. Paul addressed this with Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:12.

However, when we are older, Satan will try to tell us that we are too old to be used by God. My parents are a good example of how we are never too old for God to use us.

My dad was born in 1925 in a little town called Sprang Campelle, Brabant, to a poor family. A few years later, my mother was born to a fairly well-to-do family in a big city called Rotterdam. They were total opposites.

Both of my parents had a traumatic time during World War II. My dad hid from the Germans because they wanted him to work for them in a factory. My mother’s house was hit by a stray bomb and totally destroyed.

Toward the end of World War II, my dad joined the U.S. Marines and was trained in the USA in order to fight the Japanese. When the war was over, my dad was called back to Holland where he served the remainder of his service in the Dutch Marines.

Black and white photo of Mr and Mrs Boer at their wedding in 1952 in Holland

During one of those days, he was invited by a friend to come over for coffee. It was at that moment that he met my mother and knew for sure that he wanted to marry her.

It took a while before they got married, but on April 9th, 1952 (the same day that Bolivia outlawed slavery), they tied the knot and have been married ever since.

My dad doesn’t like soccer very much, but they lived close to a big soccer stadium.

Dad always wanted to see the inside of the stadium, so when Billy Graham came to preach and he could go in the stadium for free, he went.

It was at this crusade that my dad heard the gospel.

He heard how he was lost and how Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay for sins. He also learned that if he placed his trust on Christ as Savior, he could know for sure that he was going to Heaven.

That day, he placed his trust in Christ to save him.

My mother hadn’t received Christ as Savior at that time, but about 15 years later, she placed her trust in Christ as Savior.

My parents started working in several ministries during these years. After he had gotten saved, my dad started reading the Bible and wanted to share the gospel with as many people as possible.

My parents had a seamen’s mission. My dad would go aboard ships in Port Rotterdam and share the gospel with the sailors and bring them home for a home-cooked meal that my mother would prepare them. My dad would smuggle Bibles on ships from Communist countries during that time, too.

All in all, dad visited over 1,000 cargo ships in Port Rotterdam from over 80 countries.

In the last six years, my parents have started a new ministry. They’ve been sponsoring children with Compassion and working as an advocate for other children.

Their first sponsored child was from Mexico. Her name is Cristina. My dad went to visit her a few times. It made a huge impression on him.

Then they sponsored Carmen and Belen, both from Bolivia.

Older gentleman Mr. Boer and his sponsored girl in Mexico

Shortly after this, they sponsored Daymon from the Dominican Republic, whom my dad visited not too much later. My mother couldn’t visit the children for health reasons.

My parents also became correspondents to several children, including Nestanet from Ethiopia, Alex from Tanzania, Esmeralda from Mexico, Siam from India* and Nicaury and Ambar from the Dominican Republic.

All in all they have sponsored 12 children.

My parents recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They have proven that you’re never too old to sponsor children. You’re never too old to go visit them. And you’re never too old to speak up for them and help other children get sponsors, too.

current photo of Mr and Mrs Boer with big smiles

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. I love you very much!!!!

*NOTE FROM EDITOR: This content honors Compassion’s historical work in India. While we no longer have an India sponsorship program, we are grateful for the lives changed and meaningful work achieved through our sponsors and donors in our nearly 50 years there. For a detailed explanation of the end of our sponsorship program in India, please visit:

This post was originally published on the Compassion Netherlands blog.

14 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Mora Young May 9, 2012

    Very moving and inspiring, Never loos the opportunity to serve
    our serving king Jesus….What an example to follow … in ardeous fidelious …..during the hard times of war and God brings together people for his wonderful plan to be a reality and give us tremendous joy in our lives.

  2. Leslie Taylor May 6, 2012

    Kees, what a heartwarming tribute to your wonderful parents. Now I see where you get your compassion and enthusiasm!

  3. Dori Greeson May 5, 2012

    Kees, what a beautiful tribute to your dear parents and to our Lord Jesus Christ! You are honoring your parents, our Lord and the precious children God has blessed you with.

    Happy Anniversary Arie and Coby!!

  4. Deb L May 4, 2012

    OH, Kees, thanks so much for posting this. What an encouragement! Praise God for his work in and through your parents life!

  5. Jill Foley ~ Compassion Family May 2, 2012

    What a great story – so encouraging! I’ve been so blessed over the past 15 or so years of how my mom has supported my advocacy and sponsorship by becoming a sponsor herself and freely speaking about Compassion to her friends. When your parents also do what you do, it’s an encouragement like no other.

  6. Matt Gordon May 2, 2012

    The Boers are an amazing family of faith and perseverance whom God has used mightily through the years. I consider it an honor to be their friend and fellow soldier on the wall!

  7. Barbara May 1, 2012

    Such a wonderful exapmle of how good God is. Thank you for sharing and may God vless you all!

  8. Bo and Diana Lange May 1, 2012

    My wife and I have known Arie and Coby for 38 years. We have visited each other homes in Sweden as well as Holland. They love the Lord and have a heart to win people for the Lord. One evidence of that is their son Kees who is such a champion for the Lord. I congratulate the Boers for their commitment to the Lord!

  9. arie Boer May 1, 2012

    Thank you, Kees, you are a great son.
    May I tell you that being a Marine made me a better servant for the Lord Jesus Christ.
    My first commander was General Alexander A. Vandegrift (USMC).
    Since June 30 1955 at about 20.00 PM the Lord Jesus became my last Commander and I never regretted this for a minute. I love HIM dearly and my greatest joy is to tell my children about Jesus who died also for their sins and the moment they put their trust in HIM and believe that from that moment on they can be sure to go to heaven , because the moment they believe thatb HE paid the price for theyr sins, there is nothing left to be paid for. That goes for everybody.
    The moment a person put his trust in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary, he is counted righteous in God’s sight ( Romans 4::23 – 25)
    I am proud to be a Marine, but I may as well say that you too, my boy, could as well be a proud Marine in Christ’s service. Remember: the Lord Jesus Christ loves Marines, buit HE left them here not to sit in an easy chair , but to fight against the devil and against poverty. YOU WILL SUCCEED IN YOUR MISSION, BECAUSE YOU ARE WELL TRAINED AND WELL EQUIPPED. NOT ONLY THAT, YOU ARE A MARINE IN THE LORD’S SERVICE.
    S E M P E R F I , MARINE !!!!!!!

  10. Holly May 1, 2012

    What an encouraging story… thanks so much for sharing!

  11. jill May 1, 2012

    what an amazing story Kees.

  12. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies May 1, 2012

    Kees, thanks for sharing this with us!

  13. Lindy May 1, 2012

    Kees, I love your story of your parents’ lives! What a heritage, and what a blessing!

  14. Doris Jean Clark May 1, 2012

    Wow–I needed to read this! What a wonderful blessing your parents have been. Now I don’t feel so old after all–and am even more excited about Compassion than ever. I have 2 sponsored children and one correspondent child. They are the light of my life!

Add a Comment

Read the ground rules for comments.