For this second Lord's Day of the new year we can report on the following news items from the PRC congregations and from our sister churches in Singapore and Northern Ireland:
Those currently considering calls:
- Rev. G. Eriks plans to answer the call from SW PRC today. Update: It was announced this morning that Rev. Eriks declined this call.
- Rev. R. Van Overloop continues to consider the call from Byron Center PRC to serve as home missionary.
From Byron Center PRC's bulletin re home mission work (per DMC):
Pastor Spriensma will be leaving Thursday for several days to Franklin, PA to do investigation work for the DMC and preach to the saints in Franklin.
In Philippine mission news there are these items:
- Rev. D. Holstege and his family plan to leave for the Philippines to take up his labors there this Tuesday, Jan. 10, D.V.
Farewell luncheon at PRC Seminary on Tuesday, January 3, 2017
- From our Doon PRC we learn about a new trio for missionary to the Philippines: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC), C. Spronk (Faith PRC). The congregation plans to extend a call on Jan. 15.
From the PRC Contact Committee re visit to Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N. Ireland:
On behalf of the Contact Committee, Rev. R. Van Overloop and Sid Miedema and their wives will be conducting church visitation in N. Ireland and visiting the Limerick Reformed Fellowship arriving on Jan. 13, D.V.
From Covenant ERC in Singapore this special news is reported in her January 8, 2017 bulletin:
This morning we witness the installation of Rev. Emmanuel Singh as our missionary-pastor to Kolkata. There have been many steps for CERC and Rev. Singh to follow in arriving at this point, including much study, a public examination, a congregational meeting, extending a call, and answering the call. The installation this morning marks the official beginning of Rev. Singh’s ministry in CERC. From this point forward, he is now authorized by Christ Himself through CERC to do the work of a missionary in Kolkata. That makes installation a solemn event, but also a very joyful one. We thank God for leading us to this point, and let us continue praying for God’s grace to send forth the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ wherever God opens a door.
Remember in prayer also the delegation in Vellore, India on behalf of Georegtown PRC (Prof. B. and Lori Gritters and Deane and Donna Wassink). These two things were mentioned in GTPRC's bulletin this week:
- Our India Delegation spent a busy week with the saints of the PRCV in India. On Wed. and Thurs. a seminar for pastors was held in Bangalore, a major city in India about 100 miles for Vellore. Prof. Gritters is kept busy with preaching and teaching in the Tamil church, village outreaches, and seminars for area pastors. The delegation has also visited many families and members of the congregation. We pray for the Lord’s blessing.
- Our Sisters in the Lord. Emily Moelker and Elizabeth VanDrunen, will be finishing their three month stay at the GFH this week. God has richly blessed their time with the PRCV and GHF. We are appreciative of their dedication, love, teaching, and example which they have given while in India. A close bond of love has grown between them and the children of the GFH and the PRCV. May our Heavenly Father grant them safe travels in the next months and return them to us in safety.
Prof. B. Gritters with Pastor Paulraj leading Bible study for young people on Romans 8 in Vellore PRC.
Below is part of a report sent in by the India mission delegation (for more info and pictures, visit GT PRC's Facebook page):
After some attempts at rest [Old Year's night], Pastor Paul Raj took Prof. and I to a village worship service in the evening in Tholloor where we have been many times. We had a New Year's service with about 35 people, mostly women and children. We worshipped on a rooftop in this Hindu village. Prof. Gritters brought the message. Prof. and I agreed, it appeared that a spiritual warfare was going on. Hindu chanting was blaring over the speakers so loud it was hard to hear him preach. In the middle of the message when our frustration was hitting a peak. God caused the power to all go off. The only words that were heard were the Gospel. We read our Bibles and notes with flashlights. Even when it returned, the power of the word of darkness was much weaker.
...Third [thing that stands out from first week], the light of the Gospel in the darkness of this world. The power of Satan and the darkness of natural man kind of slaps you in the face, here. Idols, shrines, abject poverty, cruelty, persecution, pilgrimages to honor an idol. It permeates the culture. In virtually every store and public building there are daily offerings made to the gods. Pictures and statues of grotesque gods sit in prominent places. Smashed coconuts and melons litter the entries of hotels and stores. Even television is filled with movies and cartoons depicting the history of the Hindu gods. And yet, the Gospel and the lives of love that God’s people live shine in bright holy contrast. In reflection, our American society is just as lost to the idols of materialism and humanism. May our light shine as does that of the saints here. Yet, in this paganism there is a much greater interest in the Gospel being worked by the Holy Spirit [than] in our own country.