Our
Team

Our Staff

John Otten

DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS

John started working for Word & Deed in 2008 after serving in Cubulco, Guatemala, for over 17 years as the director of the Señorita Elena Hospital under the oversight of Free Reformed Missions International. We are grateful for John’s first-hand insights into the work of our partners, not to mention the fact that his ability to communicate fluently with our Spanish partners comes in handy on a daily basis! John currently works as our Director of Projects, which means that he communicates with our Project Managers, ensuring that everything is running smoothly in all the projects that we fund. John also serves as one-third of our Executive Team.

Rick Postma

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROJECT MANAGER

If you have been to a Word & Deed dinner, church presentation, or Business Group meeting, chances are you’ve met Rick. In 2007, Rick was hired to direct and develop Word & Deed’s Public Relations department. His thorough understanding of the Public Relations realm makes him an invaluable asset to the ongoing promotion of Word & Deed’s vision. Rick also works as the Project Manager for Guatemala, and as a Project Manager for some of our projects in Asia and Africa. On top of all of this, he also wears the hat of Executive Team member.

Heidi Pronk

DIRECTOR, PROJECT MANAGER

Heidi was a key instigator in the development of Word & Deed USA in November 2000. From her home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she takes on the role of Administrator, Project Manager of Malawi and South Africa, and also serves as the third member of our Executive Team. Phew, that’s quite the list! Heidi’s passion for her work is evident in the way that she strives to serve our partners with integrity and in a way that is deeply mindful of their spiritual well-being.

Scott Dekorte

PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROJECT MANAGER

Scott joined the Word & Deed team in 2018. Scott works largely in our Public Relations department, presenting at churches, schools, and managing social media content. He has an eye for design, a love for developing donor relationships, and a fresh perspective for connecting to the younger generation. Scott is also the Project Manager for Nicaragua and Colombia.

Scott Koopman

ADMINISTRATOR, PROJECT MANAGER

Scott is the Administrator at our Canadian office. He started working for us in 2016. As Administrator, Scott is our resident currency expert. He oversees all the payments that have to be distributed to the various countries, so, needless to say, he is well-loved by all of our partners! He also oversees the everyday operations at the office, ensuring nothing is missed in our day-to-day activities. Scott has also taken on the role of Project Manager for the Dominican Republic.

Kara Luiting

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR

If you’ve ever called the Word & Deed Canada office, chances are you heard Kara’s voice on the other end of the line. Kara has been part of the Word & Deed team since 2012. She works as the Administrative Assistant and the Sponsorship Coordinator, both of which include a wide range of tasks. On any given day, Kara can be talking to a sponsorship contact in South America one hour and processing donations the next. No two days look the same, and that’s the way she likes it!

John Kottelenberg

PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROJECT MANAGER

John joined us in 2012 after serving on the Board of Directors for Coram Deo International Aid (CDIA, now Adoration Christian Centre). John was heavily involved in the work of Adoration Christian Centre in Haiti, which at that time was in the process of transitioning to becoming a Word & Deed partner. John’s love for conversation and connection with our donors and partners is obvious in the way that he interacts with them. After a recent semi-retirement, John now works part-time for us. When he isn’t working in our Public Relations department, John also manages projects in Haiti and Asia.

Dave Vander Meer

PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROJECT MANAGER

Dave is the second member of our USA staff. After being a teacher and school principal for many years in the state of Michigan, Dave enjoys connecting with various schools, churches, and donors throughout the USA, promoting the mission and vision of Word & Deed. When he isn’t gallivanting across the USA, Dave also manages our projects in Ecuador and Costa Rica.

our team

Our Board of Directors

CANADA

Corney Les

CHAIRMAN

Corney is a realtor from Chilliwack, BC, and attends the Heritage Reformed Church there.

Henry DeWaal

TREASURER

Henry is a retired accountant from St. Thomas, ON. He attends the Redemption Bible Chapel in St. Thomas.

Harold Leyenhorst

SECRETARY

Harold is a retired contractor from Langley, BC. He attends the Canadian Reformed Church there.

John VanGameren

VICE-CHAIRMAN

John is a self-employed CPA from St. Catharines, ON. He attends the Vineland Free Reformed Church.

Wilf Bout

DIRECTOR

Wilf works in ministering to migrant workers in the Niagara, ON, region. He attends the Immanuel United Reformed Church in Jordan, ON.

Pastor Christo Heiberg

DIRECTOR

Pastor Christo Heiberg is a Pastor/Mission Worker for the Providence Community Church in St. Catharines, ON.

Bert Mulder

DIRECTOR

Bert is the owner of Grand Erie Home Hardware in Dunnville, ON. He attends the Grace United Reformed Church in Dunnville, ON.

Lyle Ypma

DIRECTOR

Lyle is a potato farmer in Lethbridge, Alberta. He attends the Trinity United Reformed Church in Lethbridge.

Dr. Arjan de Visser

DIRECTOR

Dr. de Visser is the Vice-Principal and Professor of Ministry and Mission at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary in Hamilton, ON. He attends the Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church.

John Jagersma

DIRECTOR

John is the Executive Director for the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta. He attends the Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church in Edmonton, AB.

James Neven

DIRECTOR

James is a produce grower from St. George, ON. He attends the Providence Free Reformed Church in St. George.

Our Board of Directors

USA

Paul Laman

PRESIDENT

Paul is a sales engineer from Pompton Plains, NJ. He attends the Free Reformed Church of Pompton Plains.

Pastor Adrian Dieleman

DIRECTOR

Pastor Adrian is the pastor emeritus of the congregation at Trinity United Reformed Church in Visalia, CA.

Jay Van Voorst

VICE-PRESIDENT

Jay is a self-employed electrician from Sioux Falls, SD. He attends the Doon United Reformed Church in Iowa.

Paul Beezhold

DIRECTOR

Paul is a VP of Sales and Marketing from St John, Indiana. He attends the Oak Glen United Reformed Church in Lansing, IL.

Eric Greendyk

DIRECTOR

Eric is an engineer from Boonton, NJ. He attends the Heritage Reformed Church in Kinnelon, NJ.

Karen Vander Sloot

TREASURER

Karen is an accounting manager in Grand Rapids, MI. She attends the Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church.

Eric Brandt

DIRECTOR

Eric is an attorney in Grand Rapids, MI. He attends the Dutton United Reformed Church.

Harry Kooistra

SECRETARY

Harry is a retired police officer from Grand Rapids, MI. He attends the Dutton United Reformed Church.

Pete Vander Stel

DIRECTOR

Pete is a retired tool and die worker from Grand Rapids, MI. He attends the Heritage Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI.

Our Advisory Committee

Jim Beeke

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT

Pastor Richard Bout

URCNA MISSIONS COORDINATOR

Pastor Mark Vander Hart

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT STUDIES, MID-AMERICA REFORMED SEMINARY

Dr. Gerald M. Bilkes

PROFESSOR OF OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT AT PURITAN REFORMED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Pastor Danny Hyde

PASTOR, OCEANSIDE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

Pastor Frank Van Dalen

FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE FOREIGN MISSIONS BOARD OF THE ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

More About
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“Praise God for what He is doing to expand Christian education and the opportunity to witness for Christ among the Muslims in Indonesia. We pray that He will continue to use us as a tool to bring more people to Christ and to grow his church in this nation.”
Director of Children of Light, Indonesia
“When I was in Grade 4, I heard a presentation about the Adoration School in Haiti. That made me think about the children of my age that don’t have the privilege of going to school as I do. The question came into my mind how to raise money for them…. Then in the summer of 2020, I started my HJK Landscaping Service and went to my neighbors and worked for them. My business worked out well, so I decided to put away 10 percent of all the money I received and give it to the Adoration School in Haiti.”
H Klaver, Elementary school student
“This past year Word & Deed took the initiative to work out a very important project that would place theology books in the hands of pastors across Latin America… I wish to congratulate Word & Deed for their sensitivity to such fundamental needs in the church of Latin America. Good theology will produce healthy churches. We need to always work on the foundations. On behalf of CLIR, we look forward to continued cooperation in the future.”
Rev. Bill Green, Executive Secretary for CLIR, Costa Rica
“In school, I have been taught the Word of God, which is very important to my life and that of my family. I feel happy because the teachers at La Palabra treat me very well.”
4th Grade student from La Palabra Christian School, Guatemala
“We can only say thanks, because without a doubt, the Family Protection Team arrived at the right time. We felt listened to, understood, and above all we were able to recognize that God is the basis of our home. With Him restoration becomes complete and we can be a happy family.”
Beneficiary family of the Family Protection Program, Colombia
“I love the education material that Word & Deed publishes and shares. It is a wonderful way for my 7th-grade geography students to learn the history of a country, but also to learn about the creativity of God through different cultures.”
Mrs. S Soerens, Grade 7 teacher

“I would like to thank the supporters of the mission for the help that they bring into my life. I love the Bible studies and learning the stories of the Bible. The groups from Canada and the USA are such a blessing and we love the games that they teach us and the Bible crafts that we do. I have been in this project for four years now and I love the Word of God… Jesus is the only hope that I have.”

Student from the Afterschool Program in Ecuador
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