Oh my! I knew Henni & Max. What a surprise to read this, this morning!! We were in the same congregation, a Milpitas, CA cong in mid '60s. She was newly baptized and Max got baptized soon after. They had that "new zeal" for sure! I was reg. pio. (the only one back then in that cong.) and Henni went with me in service a lot.
In Indonesia, during WWII, Henni and her two sisters had to go to a camp being half "Dutch." Their Indonesian mother didn't have to go but went to protect her daughters. Her mother made Henni and her sisters to look as ugly as possible for fear of any Japanese soldiers. Henni said her mother was always warning her to not look at the Japanese soldiers in the eye - as Henni, with a smile, was definitely not the type to be 'submissive.'
One day, while driving, Henni and I were talking about things of pagan origin, and I mentioned that even wedding rings were of pagan origin. Suddenly, Henni took off her wedding ring and threw it out the window. I was shocked and told her all JWs wear wedding rings. She wouldn't let me go back to try to find it. Fortunately, Max loved his wife immensely! Clearly, they were one of the most bonded couples I have ever known.
In '67, I moved to where the need was greater in northern CA. Soon after that the Venemas moved to Ecuador to serve there. In the early '70s , an American missionary girl from Ecuador came to Bethel for a brief while (in between assignments) and expressed that the Venemas were successful with the Ecuadoran people as they blended and helped many with the "truth." She said they were more successful than missionaries. Later, they had to moved back to CA as Henni got an amoeba, and very, very sick.
I lost track about them as the rest of family moved out of state. I expect they had heard we all left the org. My brother got word from some of his friends, who left JWdom also, that many were shocked that we (all 5 kids) left.
I want to say, Venemas were outstandingly loving and generous people, a whole hearted kind of people.