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I am Steve Terpstra. On all my sites you won't see 'Steve' but ‘Siebe’ . I was born in The Netherlands, way back in 1948. It was just after the war, and when I was born my parents had no idea that within 3 years they would be emigrating to the English speaking Australia where the Siebe they had just so proudly named would be mostly unpronounceable. Once we were in Australia, it was not long before Siebe became 'Steve', the name I am now known by to all. However, all my official papers still show the official Siebe. Do us all a favour though and just call me Steve .
I live in Cardup, a small suburb of Perth in Western Australia. This can sometimes make it a bit difficult when participating in the global Internet as most people active on the Internet live in much different time zones.
I live with my wife, Frederika. She and I married young, nearly 50 years ago now,, in November 1968. Our years of marriage have been richly blessed, not so much in material possessions but in those things which are more difficult to quantify and measure. We had 10 children, 5 boys and 5 girls. One passed away at a very young age (2 years old) from leukaemia. All the others are now married and have children of their own. We have 48 grandchildren (+ 3 in-law grandchildren), of whom 3 are married and have children of their own too. We have 5 great grandchildren. All live within a 30 minute drive from our place. You can imagine that when we all get together it is a large and happy crowd.
I began my working life as a schoolteacher. Describing the experiences of those years would take a book , so I won't even try here. Maybe later I will say a bit more about them. Let it suffice for now to say that they were busy years, years with a wide range of experiences, years filled with challenges, years rich in relationships and service.
When I was in my mid-forties I resigned from teaching and set up a company in the electrical industry with our two oldest sons, who by that time were qualified electricians. Together we built the company up to service a growing clientele, and providing work for many. At one stage all of our children, except one daughter who followed my footsteps to become a teacher, worked in the company. Even today, after my retirement, in addition to the three sons who manage what is now two companies, it employs our other son and two grandsons. We are very thankful for the way we have been blessed in this as well.
Our whole life my wife and I have been, and are, practising Christians. Our Church membership and the many activities associated with it have played a big part in our life, and have helped determine who we are, what we believe and think, and how we act. Personal attributes such as being highly ethical, honest, truthful, helpful to others, and so on, rate very highly with us. In short, I suppose you could say we see our life fundamentally as being one of service, service to God and our fellow man. .
Health wise the last few years have been challenging. About 8 years ago my wife started suffering from strange pains in her legs and quite serious anxiety. There seemed to be no reasonable explanation, and for 3 years we spent much time with doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists. At the end of that time, now more than 4 years ago, the psychiatrist acknowledged that all her efforts were achieving nothing and realised there had to be a different something there causing all this distress. Enter the neurologist, a 20 minute consultation and the immediate diagnosis that she has Parkinson's disease. The anxiety etc. was simply the result of the chemical imbalance associated with the disease. With proper medication that imbalance could be addressed. We are very thankful. We know the Parkinson's will be there for the rest of her life, and we know it will have its challenges and difficulties. However, it is not life threatening and now that we know what it is we can manage the challenges and difficulties. As I said, we are thankful.
A little over a year ago I was told that "It is curtains for you". I was at the specialist who had carried out a series of tests on me. He had found cancer in my oesophagus. He advised me that this type of cancer is very aggressive and treatment is seldom successful. The only slim hope he saw was that the cancer had been discovered in a very early stage so that surgery was maybe possible.
You may realise how difficult this was. Life is sweet. In addition, my wife relies heavily on me in the management of the Parkinson's. Was the Lord really going to take me away?
To cut a long, and probably boring, story short fast forward a year. Early in 2017 I had the surgery. The doctors took away most of my oesophagus and a significant portion of my stomach, and reconnected what remained. It was major surgery, and it has affected my life in many ways. However, the cancer was successfully removed, and I am now cancer free. Glory be to God. Life is different and continues to have its challenges, but we have life and together we can manage. Our overwhelming thoughts are thankfulness for what we have been given.
Later in 2017 I developed a hernia. Ironical as it may seem, we were thankful that is what it was. Since my cancer, whenever I have unexplained pains or strange lumps in my anatomy we fear the cancer has returned. Then to find you have a hernia is a great and wonderful relief. True, it meant I needed another operation, but like the specialist said, compared to the last one it would be, DV, “a walk in the park for me”.
I have now had that operation too,.While it wasn’t exactly a “walk in the park”, in the context of what went before it was indeed very minor. A few weeks ago the specialist checked me over and declared me all clear and fully recovered.
There remains only one thing of importance to relate. You must be asking why I am so intent on developing an online business. The answer is simple. I retired from the business on my 60th birthday in July 2008. You may remember the November of that year. That was when we had the Global Financial Crisis. This knocked the bottom out of the financial arrangements we had made to fund our retirement. As a result I need to develop an alternative plan. You will understand from the foregoing that in our circumstances the only possible way for me is to work from home. The internet seemed to provide the answer.
While I have been trying for several years, to date I haven't been very successful. Mostly that is simply because there were other things which had a higher priority at the time and on which I had no option but to focus. Some of those I mentioned in the foregoing. Maybe others will become clear when over time I "top up" this introduction. Thankfully things have now settled into a pattern we can manage, so we look forward to, DV, being able to focus more diligently on my internet marketing. I hope that under the Lord's blessing we will now be successful.
I hope I didn't bore you with my long epistle.
Wishing you God's blessings in your life..