The Saba Islander

by Will Johnson

Stan Addink on a visit

When the hotel “The Willards of Saba” was being built the contractor was Mr. Stan Addink, of Washington state, and his brother Dave worked along with him. Their parents were from Holland and had settled in Minnesota. His mother was a Dijkstra. Stan rented an apartment by my house for his workers and one for himself and family. One night while working in my office I heard the workers in the apartment with raised voices. Unusual to hear that as they were always so polite. I decided to open the window of my office to hear what the argument was all about. Turns out it was the night designated for Bible lessons conducted by Stan, and the discussion was all about the meaning of certain Biblical passages. Stan and his wife Sharon had four sons here with them at times when the construction was going on. It was a pleasure to see these well behaved kids and the love of the family for each other and for their fellow human beings. People who worked on the construction project had never seen anything like this in their lives. In the morning before work started they had to say their prayers, and after the days work was over and evensong approached they had to clean up the site and Prayers again.

I remember once working in the yard with a pickax early in the morning and I struck a rock and it caused me to pull a muscle. I was stooped over in pain. Stan who was passing by saw me in pain and rushed over put his hand on my shoulder and started to pray. I said to myself, even if I am an unbeliever, I will have to pretend later to Stan, no matter how much pain I have that all is well. I did not have to lie. Shortly after Stan had said his prayers and gone on to his job, the pain disappeared.

This morning I was out in the garden working on a planter and preparing for the rain sure to come, I pulled on a piece of old wood and got a slight pain in my back. I did some swing abouts like I see the Chinese doing on television and the pain went. But I thought to myself, boy if only Stan Addink was here.

Later on I was on the computer working on a couple of articles for the Daily Herald. I heard someone in the living room talking to my wife Lynne. She called out to me:”Will, Stan Addink is here to see you.” Enough reason for one to want to believe even if they are a heathen.

Stan’s son Ben is the owner of the “Shearwater” hotel which was formerly The Willards, and Stan is here for five days to check on business. Turns out that Stan’s son traded some real estate back in Washingon State with the former owner of the Willards Hotel for the hotel and so he is the owner. Stan brought us up to date on all of the family. He is a contractor and three of his four sons are in business with him. He also told us that last year he and his eldest sister decided to take a trip to Holland to see the land of their ancestors and the many cousins there. Stan is tall like most Dutchmen, but he is an American from all other aspects. He said in Holland he had no problem communicating with his many relatives. Some of the older first cousins could not speak English but their children and grandchildren were all fluent English speakers.

I asked Stan when he left the house, that since his prayers are so strong, to please pray for rain. Even if no rain comes I have experienced the worth of his prayers, and it is nice once more to see him on Saba and to see that a place where he put in so much prayer with his workers is now owned by his son.

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