Spring 2022 Connections Alumni Profile
Jerry Vreeman ’68 can tell you gripping stories of all-night interrogations with government officials in India, or of Christians being beaten by the Hindu Indian government after being seen with him. Of meetings with Christian Rwandan leaders breaking down hate barriers, or of Indian widows whose lives are rescued by sponsored cows. And he tells them all just as fluidly as he tells his stories of marching in Tulip Time with HC’s 140 student band as HCHS’s drum major, or of being called out of class for whole school days to pick up landscaping for the then-new high school building. Or the time he was one of two male cheerleaders when the 1968 boys basketball team took second in state, then celebrated the next day with a 50+-car student parade to Hudsonville and back —and of the accidents that happened along the way.
He can also tell you delightful stories how he met his lovely wife Cori, whom he’s been married to for the last 49 years, of his six children, and seven grandchildren. A Dordt College and Calvin Sem grad, he can tell stories of the churches he’s preached at and the youth groups he led all over West Michigan and the greater Chicago area. How as both a child and an adult he and his family helped lead worship multiple summers at the Christian Reformed Conference grounds. Interestingly, even though he’s worked over the last 50-some years with big Christian evangelism names like Luis Palau, Billy Graham, James Dobson, and Max McClean broadcasting and directing their live performances, and he could probably tell you about that too, those stories don’t come out as much.
These days, you’re more likely to find Jerry traveling on a motorcycle through India or on a bus bumping through the backroads of Africa. It’s a role he relishes as the full time current executive director of L.I.O.N. Outreach International. Which, by the way, stands for “Leadership In Obscurity Network,” an organization he helped start back in 2010, when he was almost 60 and wondering what was next. There’s a story for that, too.