International Relations

Beatriz Gale Paolinetti is one of the newest additions to the Sjoeks family. Beatriz lives with her mother, Andrea Gale Paolinetti, (daughter of Paul and Sonya Gale) and her father, who is a dentist, in Atibaia-Sao Paulo, Brazil.

How did the descendants of Jan and Wytske find their way to Brazil? Beatriz's maternal great grandfather was a Baptist missionary to Brazil. His wife died while they were there but he remained and eventually fell in love with a Brazilian woman of Swedish and Portuguese descent. Being associated with Word of Life Ministries out of Schroon Lake, New York, his daughter, Sonya, went there for Bible School training. Also attending the same school was Paul Gale, son of Thelma Houseman Gale who is the daughter of Henrietta Stadt Houseman. And of course, Henrietta's mother was Della Shooks Stadt, daughter of Jan and Wytske Sjoeks, and great-great-grandmother to Beatriz.

Sonya and Paul married and settled in Shelby, Michigan, where Paul managed a jewelry store for his parents. He attended college in Michigan but knew his calling was to use his musical talents to spread the word of God. So Paul and his family moved to Brazil near Sonya's family and made Christian recordings for the Brazilians. They have since become Word of Life missionaries in Brazil also.

If only Jan and Wytske "could see us now!" They would be very proud of their Sjoeks clan that had its beginnings way back on May 11, 1869, in Driesum, Friesland, the Netherlands!

The above story was written by Marilyn Houseman and Janet (Shooks) Dean.