Marja Woensdregt

Marja was born on May 8, 1954 and she passed away on July 14, 2004 On the card at her funeral was the quote: Her life was giving! And the Bible verse: Deut. 33:27

After serving in Holland at a Christian Organization, Marja had a desire to do mission work. She did a DTS in Hong Kong (1986). After her DTS she felt led to join Operation Inheritance, a team intended to evangelize and to do follow-up for new believers. Marja came to Thailand in 1986.

She lived right opposite the main-campus of Ramkhamhaeng University. Her days were filled with learning Thai and making friends with the university students.

Marja had a real gifting for learning languages. She understood the Thai language very quickly… She made some meaningful contacts with some girls, who were drawn to her beautiful smile and encouraging words. And she was very thoughtful.Always thinking of others first.

Even though Marja wanted to get some different experiences, her secretarial and organizational skills lead her to be involved in office work, serving the YWAM national office and assisting in the pioneering work of YWAM in Chiang Rai.

  • G Stephen Goode

    In memory of Marja Woensdregt by Esther Hoagland-van Essen.

    After serving in Holland at a Christian Organization, Marja had a desire to do mission work. She did a DTS in Hong Kong (1986), where I first met her. After her DTS she felt led to join Operation Inheritance, a team intended to evangelize and to do follow-up for new believers. Marja and I went together to Thailand (1986).

    We lived right opposite the main-campus from Ramkhamhaeng University. Our days were filled with learning Thai and making friends with the university students.
    Marja had a real gifting for learning languages. She would understand Thai very quickly…… She made some meaningful contacts with some girls, who were drawn to her beautiful smile and encouraging words. And she was very thoughtful. Always thinking of others first.
    Even though Marja wanted to get some different experiences, her secretarial skills lead her to be involved in office work more or less.

    It’s been amazing to me, how diligent Marja was in staying in contact with people she met through the months and years. It’s also been amazing to me, how patient and thorough Marja was. She went out of her way to help people (Thai and foreigners) get their application forms, visa-letters and all other needed papers.

    I lived with Marja in BKK for almost 5 years. And later on when Marja moved to the North, Chiang Rai, we lived together almost 3 years. Marja was serving as the secretary for the National Office and helping the few other YWAM’ers who had just started to live and minister in Chiang Rai. She also served on the National Council of Thailand with her secretarial skills and her wisdom.

    When we started with our first Thai DTS in Chiang Rai, Marja was helping a lot in the background. On the first day, while the DTS went for an outing, Marja went to the market to get the needed groceries to fix our dinner. At the market area, a little girl crossed the road and she was not able to totally avoid the little girl with her motorcycle. As Marja hit the ground she was unconscious for some time and her right shoulder got some damage too. This all to say: She always wanted to help, but got hurt by life as well.

    Marja’s disposition (helping and encouraging people) helped some Thai Christian’s to trust missionaries again. Marja was also admired for her translation during meetings and church services. This especially helped a lot of the new missionaries.

    Marja went through some tough times with leadership changes and many things that were not in place yet, during the pioneer situation in Chiang Rai.

    I and many, many good friends (both Thais and Farangs (=foreigners)) remember Marja:
    Her smile,
    Her wisdom,
    Her encouraging words
    Her amazing gift of helps
    Her perseverance despite all the difficulties

    There are many, many memories with Marja.
    She didn’t like to be up front, she would not easily take a microphone.
    She loved people and helped them to have a chance to go up another step.
    She served YWAM Thailand in many, many ways – sacrificially.

    Thank you, Marja.

  • G Stephen Goode

    Marja served YWAM Thailand for 12 years Marja has been an older sister for many young missionaries and also for many many Thai young people.

    I met Marja 26 years ago and if I think of her life, it was one of serving others, always looking how to help other people. She had a good sense of humor and when she was relaxed she always sung. She was a good friend, always ready to listen.

    In the middle of her battle she always hold on to God and till the end she had a longing for God.

    Thank you for honoring Marja.

  • Andy Elliott

    I remember Marja as my class-mate in SBS Singapore during the first half of 1993.  We would sit beside one-another in the classroom during endless hours of working on charts.  Marja always had a ready smile and an encouraging word to say.  Thank you for your friendship Marja!