Rooted in the Word
On the surface, Richard Dykstra’s reason for supporting ReFrame Ministries in his will sounds simple enough. (ReFrame is the new name of Back to God Ministries International.)
“It’s part of my roots,” said Dykstra. “My heritage is there.” But for Dykstra, his “roots,” are ultimately what saved his life.
When Dykstra was still just a teenager, he was already far along the destructive path to becoming an alcoholic. By age 30, his alcoholism regularly caused him to consider ending his own life.
“At that time in my life, I had left God but God stuck with me,” Dykstra said. “He made it clear that I needed to get well.”
For Dykstra, these clear messages from God came from the example set by both his grandparents and parents.
“It is Beautiful”
Growing up in New Jersey, Dykstra’s family were members at Midland Park CRC and attended Christian schools.
He also remembers listening to The Back to God Hour as one way that his parents would help him and his four siblings grow in their faith.
Dykstra’s mom died at an early age, but even her death served as a testimony to her faith.
“She was traveling with a group from her church to see Billy Graham speak when the Lord took her home,” Dykstra said. “Her friend, who was sitting next to her when she had the heart attack later told me that her last words were ‘it is beautiful.”
Deep in his depression and alcoholism, Dykstra regularly thought of those words from his mom, as well as all the lessons from Scripture his family had passed down to him. This March marks 48 years of sobriety for Dykstra, and he gives all the credit to God.
“I saw a lot of struggles in my own life and in my parent’s life, Dykstra said. “But I’ve also seen God’s faithfulness in those times.”
Today Dykstra remembers his roots every day during his devotion time. As he reads Scripture, he sits on a church pew that was originally in Midland Park CRC—the church where he and the three generations before him were baptized.
This rootedness is also the reason Dykstra still supports ReFrame Ministries. He wants others, both far and near, to experience that “rootedness” in God’s Word.
“If you search Scripture, your answer will come,” Dykstra added. “It can be easy to back down, but Jesus died on the cross for people like myself. I’ve been blessed, so I bless others, and that’s part of my heritage.”