Hans was born in the Netherlands during World War II. In 1962, at the age of 22, he was able to immigrate to the United States. He said one of the reasons for immigrating was, they determined his job was to work for the Internal Revenue Service there, which he described as “the pits.”
After getting his AA Degree in Electronics at Orange Coast College, he served in the US Air Force as an Instrument Repair Technician from 1965 to 1969. He was promised that he would “see the world.” He served two tours in Danang, Vietnam. That was enough of the “seeing the world” for him.
A couple years after getting out of the Air Force he moved to Costa Mesa and got a job with Edwards Laboratories in Irvine where he met George Kellogg in 1972. They hit it off because they were both “weird.” They have been friends ever since.
After moving to Costa Mesa, he started attending Calvary Chapel. After he bought his home around the corner from us in 1985, each time he drove to Calvary Chapel he would see our sign, “Westminster Christian Assembly.” The word “Assembly” bothered him. He thought, “those people must be up to no good.”
One Halloween in 2000, Zach was out in the neighborhood and invited him to visit. For the first two months he only went to Wednesday night meetings. Then he decided to try a Sunday morning, and he knew he had found his church home. He was baptized and raised in the Dutch Reform Church. Since he could not choose to be baptized as a baby, he wanted to do it “right” this time, so Pastor Ken baptize him in water in 2006.
Darlene was born in Victorville on George Air Force Base in 1955. In 1960 they moved to Huntington Beach. Her parents still live in the same house. When she started working it was in a Christian School at Christ’s Church here in Westminster. She received Christ and was baptized there. About 14 years ago, she visited WCA, liked it, and stayed.
When Darlene met Hans, she told her Mom, “I want somebody just like him.” They started talking and doing things together and about 4 years ago on Christmas Eve, while at The Olive Garden Restaurant, he asked her if she wanted to be his girlfriend. He told the waiter, “I have a girlfriend!” They dated for 4 years, when she asked him, “When are you going to make up your mind?” He responded, with “Okay, let’s get married!
Later when talking with her father, Hans said, “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I must have a colonoscopy. The good news is that I’m going to be marrying your daughter.” It was supposed to be “an ask” but turned into “a telling.” Her father’s response: “Okay.”
Hans said the number one reason they like WCA is that they “save on gas,” being only 3 minutes away. But really, it’s the people! And did you know that Darlene has been doing the card ministry for 10 years?
And, of course, there is more to their story…