Brother Vriesema
Brother Vriesema in his older days

In 1947 Brother Vriesema was active as a minister in a Pentecostal church in Rotterdam. At that time the war had left deep scars in Rotterdam. In 1940 the whole centre of Rotterdam was destroyed by bombs, dropped from airplanes, and by the fires that followed the bombing. Suddenly Brother Vriesema was without a job, as the office where he worked was also hit by this catastrophe, in which twenty five thousand homes in Rotterdam were destroyed and hundreds of people were killed.

During the war the circumstances in Rotterdam became more and more difficult all the time. There was a serious lack of food, which led to the so-called “famine-winter” of 1944-1945. The population was suffering heavily at the end of the war and many died.

In May, 1945 the liberation brought relief and this time no bombs were falling from the planes, but loaves of bread instead during the “Operation Manna” to help the hungry people of the Western part of the Netherlands as soon as possible.

Not only loaves of bread came down from the air, but the Lord sent the spiritual food as well for the ones that not only had a physical hunger, but a spiritual hunger too. As mentioned earlier, the revival that originated from the ministry of William Branham, spread over the world and had reached Europe and the Netherlands too.

In 1955, when William Branham visited Germany and Switzerland, several people travelled from the Netherlands to attend those meetings. Karel Hoekendijk refers to these meetings in his book “Before I forget”: “With the other Billy, Branham, where we just came from, we saw how he went among the sick ones after the sermon and prayed with them, how he went around among the hundreds that were laying in front of the podium, on stretchers, on beds and mattresses, and among them the insane ones, putting hands on them in Jesus’ Name, condemning the powers and letting them stand up from the wheel chairs and throw their crutches away. How ‘natural’ this healing service belonged to the preaching of the Word of God. Many sick ones stood up, touched by the hand of God and a powerful praising came forth in the big, completely filled Hallen-stadium, where all these miracles happened before our eyes. What an amazement because of what was happening, evening after evening, in public, we have seen it with our own eyes.

Around 1975 the Lord brought Brother Vriesema in contact with the church in Rotterdam and there he was the co-pastor for many years. He visited several churches in other countries to strengthen them spiritually. His wife stood at his side and played the piano in our church as well, until her passing away in March, 2000. Brother Vriesema was active as a minister and a zealous translator of William Branham’s messages, until he passed away in September 2007, at the age of ninety-three years.

Dutch (Netherlands)