Here is a copy of her testimony and of God's great goodness in her life.
The Testimony of Philippien Hubeek
I am going to tell you about myself and how the Lord cared for me. I was born in Indonesia. There were 8 children in the family. My parents were Christians and we had a Christian upbringing. We went to a Christian school. We had a good and happy life. Then in 1942 the war with Japan broke out in Indonesia. It didn’t take long for the Japanese to come to Java, the island where we lived. We had to run to the bomb shelter now and then, but to us it was just a game because we lived so far from the action. Then one afternoon the Japanese police came to our house. He told my father, “get dressed and take one set of clothing and come with us.”
We were all crying when my father left. He turned around and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back in a couple of days.” We believed him because he had done nothing wrong. The days became weeks. The weeks became months. My father never came back. He died in prison. We lived in a company house so they told us we had to leave. We sold everything and moved from a 6-bedroom house to a no bedroom house. First we had everything and now we had nothing. So you see nothing is permanent here on earth.
After we moved my mother got very sick. The doctor came to our house and took my mother to the hospital. I still don’t know why he came to our house, who had called him? My mother died in the hospital. We had no money for the funeral but you know what? God took care of that too. There was no money coming in. Nobody worked. There were no jobs, but we never went hungry, we always had something to eat. God provided. The church we belonged to said is was not safe for us to stay by ourselves and they took us in one child to one family. I found a job where they made thread from cotton. I worked there for a short time then moved to Ambasawa, a town where the concentration camp was. I saw my father twice before he died. Then Japan lost the war. We thought we were free, this was not so. Holland gave Indonesia back to Indonesia and now the Indonesians put us [the Dutch] in concentration camps. We stayed there till 1946, then we were freed, but I still had no place to go. They transported us from Talo (central Java) to Jakarta. Jakarta was full and I had no family there, so I went back on the ship to Surabaya. I kept on praying for a place to stay. In Surabaya I stayed in a concentration camp again. God took care of that problem too. One afternoon I sat on the curb in front of the concentration camp with some other people feeling hopeless. A car drove by and it was my uncle. He was not looking for me, he did not know that I was there. He was looking for his aunt and uncle, but found me, his niece. After a couple of days we had to go to another concentration camp, but my uncle was getting the papers ready for me to come live with him and his daughter. See, now I had found a place to stay, God provided.
I found a job where I met my husband; we got married and had 6 kids. Life in Indonesia was not very pleasant after the war, so we left and went to Holland. The boat trip took 40 days. We stayed in Holland 3 years and had one more baby. We applied for a sponsorship in the U.S. and within 6 months we had one. The Presbyterian Church in Albany, Oregon sponsored us. Finally a church to go to. So thanks to the Lord for what he had done for us. We did not know how hard it was to listen to a sermon when you don’t understand what the pastor was preaching. We went because we were sponsored. There were no jobs for my husband because he was a mechanic not a farmer. We had some friends that moved from Corvallis to Seattle to work for Boeing. One day she was looking in the paper and found an ad in the paper from Kenworth. They were looking for mechanics. So she called us and my husband went to Seattle to apply for the job. He got the job and started working the next day. I stayed in Oregon with the children until the school year was over, then we all moved to Seattle.
We moved in with my friends and lived in their basement with seven kids. It was not easy to rent a house because there were no houses to rent, it was 1962, the World’s Fair was in Seattle. It was not easy to live with another family especially when you have so many kids. We were looking for a house to buy and the Lord led us to Kent where we found a cheap house, where I still live.
Soon after we moved in, the Lord sent somebody to us. Dan Amuland came to our door I invited him in. I don’t even know if he remembers, but I do. He invited us to his church. The next Sunday we went. That was August 1962, when I first came to Kent Alliance church. We didn’t know the language very well so my husband decided not to go anymore. I went by myself with the children, but very soon I found excuses not to go anymore. I was tired, as it was hard to get seven kids ready for church. So I just did not go. I stayed away from the church but I felt it was ok. I don’t have to go to church; you can still be a Christian and not go to church. We raised our kids and we didn’t really care if they went to church or not. I thought, I took them to Sunday school and now it is their problem. How sorry I am now.
After all the kids grew up and left I thought finally I could rest now. How wrong I was, God had other plans for me. In 1984 my husband (he was never sick in his life except maybe a cold sometimes) died of a heart attack. Now I was really alone. But God’s ways are so perfect. I still did not go to church. Then one day my daughter in law invited me to go to Bible Study Fellowship. Well, nothing else to do, why not go. So I went. When they divided they study groups, I saw somebody there that I knew from the church. She invited me to come back to church, but I still had a lot of excuses not to go.
My daughter went to bible study with Margie Echlof. She said to me, “why don’t you go back to church mom, the ladies are all asking about you?” So the next Sunday I went, and here I am. I know now that when you give your life to the Lord He will keep you in His hands and nobody can snatch you away from Him. Just listen when he calls. Come back. He forgives you.
Last Sunday was just the right Sunday for me. When Pastor John and Cliff Morton were singing a duet, where it said, someone slipped and fell, was that someone you? And when he comes with arms wide open He pardons you. They were singing it for me.
This is my second year as an Awana leader and every year Dave James asks us if we want to sign up for another year. This year I said I think I am to old for this but I can not say no. A week ago I asked the Sunday school class too pray for me that I will make the right decision. God gave me His answer, He said go, and I will take care of you. So I will be back again next year with the Friends club again. Thank you Lord for always being there for me.
When Dave James asked me to give this testimony I was not sure that I would do it. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it, because at my age I maybe don’t have much time to tell the people about God’s goodness to me. His love and care for me.
Here is a copy of what I shared at her funeral
This last summer I got married. About a month before my wedding
grandma got really sick. When I heard she was sick I was petrified
that grandma would not make it to my wedding.
I was driving home from work and I was praying, “God please
let grandma live until my wedding.”
Then it seemed as if God spoke to me in my car saying, “Why?”
It suddenly hit me how selfish I was being. What I was praying
was that God would keep grandma here on earth where she was
suffering in stead of being in heaven enjoying God’s presence.
Revelation 21 describes heaven in this way, “He will wipe every
tear from their eyes. There will be no more crying or pain, for the old
order of things has passed away.”
The passage also talks about streets of gold, fences with pearls, and
about how God is there.
I know that grandma looked forward to heaven every day of her
life. A week before Christmas I was talking to grandma on the phone.
I asked her how she was doing, she said she wasn’t feeling very
good and then said, “you know Emmie every time I start feeling sick,
I just sing to my self the song, ‘soon and very soon I am going to see
the king, soon and very soon I am going to see the king. Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, I am going to see the king.”
Grandma and I then began to talk about heaven. One thing I
will always remember about grandma is her love to tell jokes. Most of
her jokes she got out of Reader’s Digest, and most of them were
about Noah, Moses, or Elijah. I was teasing her that she was going to
have to tell them her jokes about them.
She then said, “Emmie we are going to laugh a lot in heaven
We laughed a lot that day on the phone. When I got off the
phone with her I began to cry. I knew in my heart that grandma was
going to be in heaven very soon. But I am so excited for when I get to
heaven because I know that her and I are going to have a lot of fun.
The greatest lesson that I learned from grandma was what it
means to anticipate heaven every day. Grandma has endured more
hardships then almost anyone I know but she never lost sight of
heaven. She lived her life every day knowing that heaven was just
around the corner and she was so excited for that day to come. That
is why I chose to read this passage. Because these few verses
personify grandma’s life.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
“For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down, when
we die and leave these bodies, we will have new bodies in heaven,
homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself,
and not by human hands. How weary we grow of our present bodies.
That is why we look forward eagerly to the day when we shall have
heavenly bodies which we shall put on like new clothes. For we shall
not be merely spirits without bodies. These earthly bodies make us
grown and sigh, but we wouldn’t like to think of dying and having no
bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying
bodies will, as it were, be swallowed up by everlasting life. This is
what God has prepared for us and, as a guarantee, he has given us
his Holy Spirit.
Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies,
realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is
time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. WE
know these things are true by believing, not by seeing. And we are
not afraid, but are content to die, for then we will be at home with
the Lord. So our aim is to please him always in everything we do,
whether we are here in this body or away from this body and with him