Foreign Mission Stations
The PRC have two foreign missionaries working in the Philippines at present, with metro Manila as the base. Rev.Daniel Kleyn (assisted by his wife Sharon) and Rev. Daniel Holstege (assisted by his wife Leah) carry out the responsibilities for a number of labors with churches, pastors, and contacts throughout this country (See map to the left). Visit their website to learn more about these labors. You may also visit the Kleyn's blog to see a more personal side to the life and work in this foreign land.
In addition, the PRC help support the mission labors of the Covenant PRC (N.Ireland) in Limerick, Ireland, where Rev. Martyn McGeown serves as missionary. And, several of our congregations are involved with labors in India (Georgetown PRC) and in Myanmar (Hope PRC, Walker). Our sister church in Singapore (Covenant ERC) is also involved in mission labors in India, in Kolkata, through her missionary Rev. Emmanuel Singh.
Secretary for Foreign Mission Committee:
This is a mission field of the Covenant PRCNI, financially supported by the PRCA.
Missionary: Rev. Martyn McGeown
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally,
Mission:Limerick Reformed Fellowship
Worshiping at: Conradh na Gaeilge Hall
Thomas St., Limerick City
Services: 11:00 a.m.; 5:30 p.m.View items...
Old Year's Night 2016 / New Year's Day 2017 with the Vellore PRC and Georgetown PRC PRC delegation.
Emmanuel Singh presenting in CERC on the Kolkata, India missions, 2016
PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
JUNE 2017 NEWSLETTER
PO Box 1173 ACPO, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870, Philippines
Dear Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our Sister Churches.
This newsletter will be a little different from the usual. Rather than writing a summary of the various areas of our work, I give you instead some snippets of news that my wife has recently written. Hope you enjoy these. Hope too that they give you a little window into our lives and into the work here.
Sunday, March 12
Today we were in the PRC in Bulacan. I have to say, I really enjoyed being there again. It had been a long time. Rev. Kleyn preached the first service and Rev. Flores the second (in Tagalog). The singing was really enjoyable – they do a good job and already know the Psalter well. I enjoyed seeing how the little children had grown and it was great to catch up with everyone. We had to leave soon after the 2nd service as Rev. Kleyn needed to attend a Steering Committee meeting in Provident. We got to Provident before 2:00 and Rev. Holstege had just started the meeting with the other men. I drove Leah and the kids home. The guys came home later when their meeting was finished, and the Holsteges came over for supper.
Thursday, March 16
We had a young man drop by for books who had been here once before. He belongs to a Reformed Baptist church, is a student at a Bible College, and has bought the Confessions, Psalter, and some books on Calvinism. He read through all the Confessions and said he learned a lot about what Reformed is. This time he bought Reformed Worship, but wanted to talk about a-mil and pre-mil. He stayed for more than an hour and asked many questions.
Saturday, March 18
Rev. Kleyn had the twice-monthly 7M pastors’ classes this past Tuesday in Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela. On Wednesday evening we had supper at Holsteges. The Ibe family was also there, which was really nice. All the kids got on well together and had fun playing together. And of course, the adults enjoyed good fellowship, too.
Sunday, March 19
We were in Maranatha today. The group of 4 young adults from Victory Church (which is Pentecostal and Arminian) who now attend Maranatha has grown to 5. I think that makes a total of 7 (2 go to the Berean PRC). These people are all friends and were in what they call a cell group of about 12 of them in Victory Church. They still get together now and then as a group and have many discussions about what they are learning and what they believe. Who knows – there may be more in that group that come to our churches. The ones on Sunday asked Rev. Kleyn a lot of questions about sanctification. Some of them email questions to him every couple of days, too.
Tuesday, March 21
We were in Negros today (central Philippines) for the pastors’ classes in Sipalay. It was an interesting day again. The classes were well attended (15) and there were many questions and a lot of good discussion. It’s so rewarding to see some of the men (also some of the more recent ones) really starting to get it. Some of their comments were spot on. We had loads of luggage this time because we had two large book orders and a few smaller ones. We took along about 60 books. Now again I have orders for next time.
Friday, April 14
This past Wednesday through Friday was the youth camp for the three churches here. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn went, but Leah and I and the kids stayed home. There were three speeches at the camp by the local pastors. Rev. Holstege and Rev. Kleyn led devotions and helped with the games and transportation. The theme of the camp was “Love not the World” with speeches on Youth & Money, Youth & Technology, Youth & Society. They had discussion groups after each speech and Rev. Kleyn said he was impressed with the young people – some of them talked for 5 to 10 minutes about the speech and what was relevant to them. It was so nice that the youth from the different churches could interact with each other, get to know each other and grow together. They also had teams and many organized games. One of the games was that one of the members of your group had to recite Psalm 23 and
another member, Lord’s Day 1. The game Rev. Kleyn was in charge of was that they had to find peso coins in a bowl of flour. BUT, they had to find the coins with their mouths, and that after FIRST sticking their face in a bowl of water. Wow. A little gross, but pretty funny how they looked afterwards. The staff said they put Rev. Kleyn in charge of that one because then the kids wouldn’t dare argue or put up a fuss about it. Haha.
Sunday, April 30
Rev. Kleyn preached in Provident so Rev. Holstege could preach in the PRC in Bulacan. Rev. Holstege had not preached there before, so I went with them to show the way. Traffic was heavier than normal and we were running late by a good half hour. And to top it off, the road in front of Bulacan church was being torn up, so we couldn’t park there. Instead I dropped everyone off at the church and then took the car back about a kilometer to a member’s house for parking. We had to block traffic for a while by the church (almost caused gridlock I think) trying to turn the car around to go back. A member of the PRCB came along with me and we eventually got it parked, but then had to wait for a tricycle to take us back to church. Finally, at that point, my sense of humor took over, and I could get a little bit into the local mind-set of not worrying so much about time. ☺ We had lunch at church. The Holsteges and the visitors who were with us (from both Singapore and Northern Ireland) really enjoyed meeting all the people there. We left church about 2:00 and traffic was actually better on the way home, so we were home before 4:00. From the point of view of the catholic church, we had a beautiful Sunday. We had God’s people together from 4 closely related denominations and from at least 6 different nationalities. A pretty good representation of the universal church.
Saturday, May 20
Rev. Kleyn started teaching catechism in Provident again, after a summer break (he is still helping out a little in Provident so Rev. Holstege can have time for his Tagalog learning). Leah and I went and met the ladies and children once catechism was finished and we all headed to a pool near the church. The children had fun swimming and we ordered in Jollibee chicken meals for lunch. We stayed until about 2:00.
Sunday, May 21
Rev. Kleyn preached in Maranatha PRC today. We were supposed to have a Church Order class too (Rev. Kleyn is giving a brief overview of the Church Order for the congregation), but it was cancelled because of the heat. The men had a Consistory meeting after lunch, so I sat and chatted with three of the ladies. We had a nice visit. We talked about movies (started by the recent article in the Standard Bearer about the new Disney movie promoting the homosexual agenda). We talked about witnessing at work – how terrible the talk is at their work places and how many homosexuals they work with. And we talked a bit about Rev. Kleyn’s sermon on The Communion of Saints. The Consistory meeting didn’t last too long and we got home about 4:30.
Thursday, May 25
There is a neat story about the book, Saved By Grace. A man who attends Provident has had business meetings with a man from the Netherlands and gave him two copies of the book – one for him and one for his boss. The boss back in the Netherlands wrote back and said, “I am excited to receive such a book from a business friend, which is really uncommon! The title Saved by Grace is very close to my heart, and the faith in God through Jesus Christ, grounded on the Bible, is my daily source of life. Also, I fully underwrite the Calvinist doctrine, which is the closest to the Bible.” He attends a Reformed church in the Netherlands.
Saturday, May 27
Today we had a Reformed Discussion Table meeting in our home. There is a group of young adults (headed by some of the young adults who are members of the Berean PRC) who get together twice a month for doctrinal discussions. They asked Rev. Kleyn to speak on Common Grace today. So we had about a dozen young adults here. Rev. Kleyn taught catechism in Provident in the morning and then picked up a few of the young adults at the train station on the way home. The rest arrived over the next hour or so. Holsteges were here as well. They were all bombarding the men with questions about all kinds of things. Then at 3:00, Rev. Kleyn spoke for about an hour and that was followed by an hour of questions about the topic. I said to Rev. Kleyn, “I wonder how many questions you and Rev. Holstege were asked today?” Dozens probably. Leah helped with the food for supper. They all left at about 7:00.
In conclusion, I’m thankful to report that both our families are doing well. The Holsteges are settling well into their life and work here and both we and the saints are very glad to have them here. We thank God for His daily care and blessings. We also thank you all for your continued support and prayers.
Until next time, in Christian love,
Rev. Daniel Kleyn
Limerick Reformed Fellowship Newsletter
Rev. Martyn McGeown
38 Abbeyvale, Corbally, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Monday, June 5, 2017
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
Yesterday, we had unusual visitors at the evening service—two Mormon missionaries! I recognized them as such by the little “elder” badges on their shirts. Barry Purcell was on his way to worship when he was accosted by the Mormons. He asked them if they had a “spare hour.” When they answered in the affirmative, Barry invited them to our service to, as he put it, “hear the truth.” My sermon was “Buying and Not Selling the Truth” (Prov. 23:23), the family visitation text. True to their word, the Mormons stayed for an hour (Barry forgot, he said, that the service lasts one and half hours), so they stayed for a good part of the sermon. I hope that they heard something that opened their hearts to the truth of God.
I have been preaching from Proverbs of late—not an actual series, just some “gleanings” you might say. One of the members expressed interest in the book so I chose a few texts that struck me as interesting: “Jehovah’s Name: A Strong Tower,” “Death and Life in the Power of the Tongue,” “The Beginning of Knowledge,” “Wisdom’s Cry,” “Jehovah’s Eternal Wisdom,” and the aforementioned family visitation text. Before that, I preached a series of seven sermons on the feasts of Leviticus 23: (“Jehovah’s Holy, Joyous Feasts”) and a series of twenty sermons on “The Miracles of the Great Physician.”
Our Bible studies also continue. The main one on Tuesday is studying Romans where we have reached chapter 12, the applicatory section of the book. With the Mansonas, we are studying Daniel where we are in the apocalyptic section of chapters 7-12. Last week, we looked at the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9. Catechism is finished for the season—Chester and Dale Mansona have completed Essentials for Reformed Doctrine, while two of my two nieces (Anna and Lily Foster) have completed New Testament History for Beginners. In September, DV, Sebastian Kuhs (who will be six years old in July), will begin catechism for the first time. That will be an exciting day for him and his parents.
We have also continued the “Back to Basics” lectures. The most recent ones were “The Christian’s Hope in Death,” “What Are Good Works?” and “Who Is the Holy Spirit?” We intend to have more such lectures in the coming months, DV. The last lecture in Wales (6 April) was on the Trinity with 11 in attendance. Because the dear lady who opens the Round Chapel forgot about the meeting, we had to arrange an impromptu meeting in a public house, which was an unusual venue for our lecture!
From 22 January to 14 May, Kelsey Kuiper from Zion PRC was with us. She is the fourth person (after Briana Prins [Trinity PRC], Bethany Wagenmaker [OPC in Missouri], and Lisa Ong [CERC in Singapore]) to do the study abroad programme at the University of Limerick (UL), which is an excellent opportunity for young people to spend time in Ireland, to learn a new culture, and, above all, to join with the LRF for worship. (Young people: ask your college/university if they can facilitate such a programme. We will be glad to welcome you into the LRF). When she was here, Kelsey attended our worship services and Bible studies, got to know the people of the LRF, and visited many interesting places in Ireland and Europe. She also brought students from UL to our services. I am sure that she would be excited to talk to you about her experiences and to encourage you to visit.
On 28 April, Jonas Barnabas Watterson was born, adding to the children of the LRF. We now have six young children: Sebastian, Penelope, and Felicity Kuhs, and Jason, Eleanora, and Jonas Watterson. It makes for a lively and happy group! Baptism is scheduled for 18 June, when we expect to have Marco Barone, Paula Kuiper (Southwest PRC), and Briana Prins here.
Another important visitor in May was Larisa DeJong (Holland PRC). While she was here (yes, we are dating, although our dating until that point had been via the internet, so it was good to be together), she and I were able to spend a lot of time together, visiting Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland), meeting my family, and getting to know the CPRCNI and the LRF. The Lord also gave us beautiful weather, ideal for walks at the Giant’s Causeway, drives in the Wicklow Mountains, and the visiting of castles! The Sunday that Larisa was in Limerick coincided with Kelsey’s last Sunday, so everyone was at my house for food and fellowship after the morning service.
My book, Called to Watch for Christ’s Return, is selling well. A lot of people in Cookstown, where I grew up and where my parents live, have bought the book, many of them through contact with my parents. The feedback that I have received from the RFPA and many of those who have received and read the book has been very encouraging. Thank you!
I will be making my annual visit to the Young People’s Convention in August, DV.
Pray for us, as we do for you,
In Christian love,
Rev. Martyn McGeown
This brief summary of the history of the PRC in Myanmar provided by Rev. Titus was first published in the April 2017 issue of the Beacon Lights, a PR young people's magazine. and is reproduced here with their permission as well as with the approval of the Hope PRC Council, which oversees the work in Myanmar.
A Short History of Protestant Reformed Churches of Myanmar (Burma)
Once, godly philosopher and theologian Augustine said, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." That is how the story begins, without our covenant God's drawing us with His covenant love, there will be no PRCM in this unfortunate country. It is a wonder of grace that, how we became reformed believers from no-missionary allowed country. So, I need to tell about my self, because that is the beginning of how PRCM started.
My name is Rev. Titus San Ceu Luai. I was born in 1967, from a nominal Christian home, in Baptist Church. My father was a military officer with excellent ability for the army, trained the best and highest military school of the land, so he did not care very much about religion, but my grandpa was a pastor in Independent Church of Burma, my mother also a Christian namely but a little more concern with religion than my father. My parent had four children, I am number two. In that way I was brought up in a highly military officer's home, guns were every day in my life, but no Jesus.
And in his providence, the Lord send three evangelists, from one of evangelicalism groups, to our home, when I was about 18 years old, and I was converted for His mercy and grace. In that was I became one of evangelical persuasion Christian from Baptist. That was about 1984.
And round about 1986, one of my uncles from mother's side came and visit our house, he was founding pastor of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar. And he was surprised that our family now believe really to the Lord, he said when he was young he visited our house but my father did not like to talk about Christianity at our house, but now everything changed. So, he said he will teach us Five Points of Calvinism and we all agree to listen. He taught us night after night for almost a week, and especially I was really changed into Presbyterianism after that. And my uncle told me that he going to open soon a theological school and if I interested I can attend.
So, I attend that Presbyterian school in 1987. And my uncle's church was Chin speaking church and my father's house after some time had a fellowship group meet regularly, and need a pastor and my uncle's church cannot give a Burmese speaking pastor, so when I was at school first year, the Assembly of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Myanmar called me as probation-pastor for that little Burmese speaking congregation, I speak both Burmese and Chin language, because my father and mother are Chin tribe and the place I was born and grown up is Burmese speaking place, in fact, in our country too many languages are speaking till today, and majority can understand Burmese language, it is like common-language for the whole country. And finished at 1992, after that the Presbyterian gave me ordination, since my probation period was over and I got married. As Presbyterian system's way, first pro-pastor four plus married then ordination, quite different from we Reformed church.
And from 1992 as soon as I finished school, the Assembly call me to become a lecturer at the school since shortage of able teacher. And I study a lot for teaching as well as for pastoral work and realized that Reformed mean not only Five Points of Calvinism but much more and no one here to teach me, and liberal at my school only had very few books. At that time the country was ruled by Socialist government so Christian books are banned and very rarer to get. In that way the thirst in my heart to know more of Reformed truth goes on.
And in 1994 the school asked me to go for further study to Singapore at Far Eastern Bible College, M.div program. And I sent and found out that that college taught 50 - 50 to be saved, that means man 50 % God 50 % working for salvation, I was dismay and confused, away from country, away from my wife and daughter, felt very sorry. But the Lord had other purpose for me to be there.
That was, I found a magazine from college library called "Standard Bearer," and articles I read I agree 100 %. So, I wrote to the address, but no reply for quite some time. During that time one of my fellow students who was a member of Evangelical Reformed Churches of Singapore, invited me to attend "Reformation Lecture," that held at his church. I followed him, and after lectures finished, there tea time at the basement of the church, I found one white man with a brooch "seminarian." I asked that young man where he came from, he reply me he came from America, and I ask him whether he knew "Standard Bearer," he said he came from that school, I was so happy, his name is Allen Brummel, now Rev. Brummel. He brought me to Rev. Kortering pastor-on-loan from PRCA, who is going to be my mentor and friend till today.
Rev. Kortering asked me what I want to know about Reformed truth. I reply him, I want to know everything of Reformed, I want to see the world as a Reformed man, every-corner of life and doctrine. He said, "Oh, if that is the case we need to spend together sometime," I said that will be fine. From that day on every week I was in Rev. Kortering's house, listening whatever he said, and read books that he gave me to read, and attend all classes that he taught to ERCS. And the thirst that in my heart quenched. I became thoroughly Reformed man in PR tradition.
So, my church back home and my college in Singapore did not like me to become like that, so lastly they kicked me out from college as well as from denomination for what they called "too Reformed." That was 1997. My wife suffered the most, because we have no home only the Presbyterian School's apartment we stayed, and I was in Singapore, she with two little children were kick-out from the apartment no place to stay, but deacons from ERCS helped and she got managed to rent a small place to stay and waiting me to return. I returned home, and my former congregation also broke away from Presbyterian denomination and followed me, in that way we started Protestant Reformed Churches of Myanmar.
So, I was a Baptist, then evangelical, then Presbyterian, lastly Protestant Reformed. That was my pilgrim journey, still going forward. All these for His mercy and for His glory. My special thanks are to PRCA brothers who helped me all the time, especially Hope PRCA.
From 1997, our covenant Lord sustains His covenant people, so though our numbers very few, we stand for the truth, as our PR churches in the world do. We maintain, covenant view of family, no remarry after divorce, marriage is life-long, we strongly believe double-predestination, we strongly oppose common grace, grace is always particular, no grace whatsoever for reprobate. We also maintain, Heidelberg Catechism preaching, we are the only one church do that in our country, we sing only Psalms, for that we have to translate English Psalms songs into Burmese, quite difficult, so, we have only about 23 songs, but we are happy to sing them, no other songs in worship.
We had from 1997, quite a numbers of contacts in various parts of our country who are interested in our PR views, till today we continue to work with them. And Hope PRCA always helps us to do that, and they faithfully oversight our activities as well as come and visit and conduct seminars, so that those who wants to know PR views of Reformed truth can learn more in-depth.
And from 1997, since no Reformed creed is available in Burmese language, I have to translate them, so I did, and finished all our three forms of unity, Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession, Cannons of Dordt. And Church Order of Dordt, various forms of Reformed liturgy. Which are so difficult, many nights very few hours to sleep.
And PR books that produced by RFPA are so faithful to the truth, I like them to be read by my people, but they cannot understand English, so I have to translate them into Burmese, so I did, and finished a few books, Doctrine According to Godliness, Portraits of Faithful Saints, Contending for the Faith. And now I am translating For Thy Truth Sake. Plus, various articles of Standard Bearers, which I put them in my weekly paper, called, "Sunday Digest." And I finished PR Catechism materials for various ages of children and youth.
And our Burmese Bible was written by Baptist-Arminian missionary, so a lot of areas need to improve, so I translate KJV into Burmese and now finished all NT books, plus some OT books, all 150 Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, now I start the book of Deuteronomy.
Please pray for us to spread our PR truths through out the country, our country is Baptist dominant country in Christendom, and majority are not Christian. So, we have a lot to do for His kingdom. And pray for those translation works to finish for His glory. And please pray for publishing those books that finish translation. And one more thing to request for prayer is that to establish Reformed day-school for our covenant children. Last time till 2010, our government does not allow to have private school all school is run by government, and from 2010 it was allowed to have private school but not yet Christian school, and private school that teaches their own prescribed subjects, only all private schools are now allow to teach government prescribed subjects, all humanistic and nationalistic views. But from 2015, things a bit changed with newly elected government led by Nobel-prize winner, Lady Aung San Su Kyi. So, in His providence through your prayers we might have our own covenant-school.
In His service,
PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
MARCH 2017 NEWSLETTER
Dear members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our sister churches,
It is a rainy Saturday morning here in Antipolo City, Philippines. “Winter” is about over and “summer” is about to begin. “Winter” is a relative term, of course. The temperature rose to about 80 degrees during the day and dropped into the 70s at night. The Filipinos thought it felt rather cold. We thought it felt rather nice. Soon, however, during the Philippine summer, the temperature could rise into the upper 90s (April-May). Later the rainy season will come (June-October). Adjusting to a tropical climate is just one of the many changes we, the Holsteges, are experiencing as we settle into life here in the Philippines.
We said farewell to the parsonage in Holland, MI on December 26 and moved in with my parents, Jim and Kathi Holstege, for two weeks. On January 10, in the dark of night, we flew out of Chicago – my wife Leah, our four children Gabriel, Kirsten, Kiley, and Charity, my wife’s parents Lou and Cheryl Regnerus, and I. We arrived in Manila on January 12. Rev. and Sharon Kleyn were at the airport to pick us up and help us move into our new home. I want to pause here and thank both of our parents for all of their tremendous help and support in our move to the Philippines.
Leah’s parents, Lou and Cheryl Regnerus, and us (picture to left)
Some other adjustments include getting used to using the right electrical outlet, whether the 220 or 110 volt (we and our kids have already zapped three or four devices to death); getting used to mopping three times per week, but never needing to vacuum, since we have no carpet; learning how to get rid of red ants in the kitchen, how to maneuver delicately through busy Manila traffic, how to handle our finances and pay bills, and how to get our groceries.
Still other adjustments have to do with learning to live in a very different culture from our own: how to communicate effectively; how to avoid cultural blunders; how to show cultural humility and respect; in short, how to become all things to all men that we might by all means save some (I Cor. 9:22).
One way we hope to draw nearer to the Filipino saints is by learning their mother tongue. I began studying Tagalog in the U.S. Then, on February 28, Leah and I began Tagalog classes in Quezon City, a part of Metro Manila. Ready for your first Tagalog lesson? Magandang umaga po. Kumusta po kayo? Mabuti naman ako. That is, “Good morning, sir. How are you, sir? I am fine.” Filipinos consider it important to use the word “po” whenever addressing someone who is older than them or in a position of respect. Lord willing, our studies will yield the good fruit of the ability to converse, and for me possibly to preach, in Tagalog.
First, I should mention two visitors who were here before our move. Prof. Russ Dykstra and Rev. Garry Eriks visited the Philippines as a delegation from the Contact Committee in mid-December. The brothers met with leaders in the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP) to discuss the formation of a sister-church relationship between our two denominations. Although we were not here yet, I was told that the meetings went very well.
Second, on January 28 four visitors from our sister church in Singapore (CERC) arrived: Beng Young and Kim Lim visited us with their two daughters Cheryl and Bernice. They stayed with the Kleyns over the weekend that they were here. We have gotten to know them over the years and enjoyed getting reacquainted with them. Cheryl and Bernice
did a great job entertaining our kids too! They babysat for us one morning so that we could get groceries (we usually do that together because Leah is not quite ready to drive on her own).
Third, from February 4-14 we had three more visitors: the annual delegation from Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee (FMC). Elder Alan De Boer came from Doon, and Rev. Allen Brummel with his wife Crysta from the FMC. Mr. De Boer stayed with us, and the Brummels with the Kleyns. Their visit was a great encouragement to us. Rev. Kleyn and I met with the two brothers to discuss our work and plans. We also joined them in various meetings with the consistories and committees of the PRCP. Moreover, the two men conducted family visitation with each of our families. All in all, we the Holsteges enjoyed getting to know them on a more personal level, and we appreciated their many words of encouragement and guidance regarding the work.
Bro. Eric Mescallado, Elder A. De Boer, and Rev. A.Brummel (picture to right)
We cordially invite others of you to visit us sometime in the future, if the Lord makes the way possible for you. I am sure, as Mr. De Boer told us, you will never forget such an experience. You will receive a new appreciation for the catholicity of the church and the great commission to go into all nations and preach the gospel.
BEGINNING THE WORK
On January 22, I preached for the first time in the Philippines since our move. Since I will be focusing on Provident Christian Church (PCC), not yet a part of the PRCP, I preached an inaugural sermon to them on I Cor. 2:1-5 – “Paul’s Preaching: A Model to Follow.” I emphasized that my goal, following Paul, is to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, nothing more, nothing less. I also began preaching the Heidelberg Catechism to them and have covered Lord’s Days 27-32 so far. With me taking over most of the preaching at Provident, Rev. Kleyn will be preaching in the three churches of the PRCP and, Lord willing, in the churches in Southern Negros Occidental (SNO).
On January 26, I took over the Thursday night doctrine class at Provident. Rev. Kleyn began teaching the Canons of Dordt to them in December and covered Head I, Art. 1-7. I have taught Art. 8-16 so far on the precious truth of sovereign and eternal election and the truth of reprobation which “peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election.” On February 9, Rev. Allen Brummel gave a lecture to this Thursday night group on “Bringing Forth Children in a Selfish Age.” Although I stayed home with our children, the others who were there said the speech was well attended and well received. Thanks to Rev. Brummel for his help with preaching and teaching while he was here.
Finally, Rev. Kleyn and I attended the Classis meeting of the PRCP on Saturday, February 25. Rev. John Flores was the chairman of the meeting, by rotation (second from the right in the front row below). Classis discussed matters pertaining to missions on the island of Leyte, translation of Reformed literature into Tagalog, and finances, among others. Classis gave me, as a new missionary from the PRCA, the right to speak on the floor as an advisor, for which I thanked them (Learn how to say thank you in Tagalog: “Salamat po!”).
Classis meeting of the PRCP on February 25 (picture to left)
That is all to report for now. May God’s richest blessings be upon you all in Christ! And pray for us!
Rev. Daniel Holstege
Greetings in our sovereign covenant Lord's name. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in this cold winter there. Now, Summer is in full swim, all the time hot.
Thank you for sending again the delegates to us, and making teaching sections. These are so valuable for us, because people here regard as standard of reformed truth, so what you teach is final, especially in our reformed truth. This time the subjects are very interesting, reformed history, why reformed church is necessary not a choice? Many people think it is just a choice, but we believe it is a must. And, reformed eschatology, in the sense of positively developing our view, not much dialogues with other wrong views of eschatology, in that way, our people will fully know what we believe and have comfort in this uncertain age.
By the way, our country is rather small; it is the same size as your Texas state, but we have 130 plus tribes and almost 200 plus languages and different customs. That is why though the country is small but the problems are so much.
In His providence care we can still have Thursday Bible class, and we still discussing "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine." I was sick for three weeks of pneumonia, that is why we have to rest three weeks, so we are still on lesson 18, about covenant of grace. We had a great deal of discussions because, the idea of covenant as friendship never reach this land; only we PR people learned from PR people of USA, so with delight we discuss it. And though some of old class members no more, but three new young men the Lord brought in, so with great interesting they are learning.
I am still busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation, I am editing now the book of 2 Timothy and I preached every week from out of that editing. And I reached translating chapter 31 of the book of Deuteronomy. Evening services Heidelberg Catechism, now I reach LD 19.
Though, I stop Bible Class, three weeks for pneumonia, could not stop preaching on Sunday and putting out Reformed Digest every week.
On Sunday Digest, I am still translating "For They Truth's Sake" by Prof. Hanko; now I am translating the chapter of "marriage and family." And I reached "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Naomi and Ruth." Catechism classes, younger one, we started Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma; this week we reach lesson 18.
Older youth, I am teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction" by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, Revised by Prof. Herman Hanko," Our re-discussion on the points that the youth have to know more still continue, so we kind of free-hand discussions, youth asked me from lessons that they like to know more about or things they did not very clear the first time.
I am translating, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema, I am translating the topic "God's Creation of the Firmament."
Thank you very much for supporting my ministry till today, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continues to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. I and my family also pray always for all of you and your families and congregations. In the worship, at the congregational prayer also, always pray for you. The Lord's blessings to you all.
India Outreach e~Newsletter
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Through the Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) comes this December 2016 report from Rev. Titus concerning his labors in Myanmar (Burma).
Greetings in our sovereign covenant Lord's name. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in this cold winter there.
Here also temperature went down up to 65 DF, so many people caught cold, and myself also got a very strong cold, coughing the whole night, could not sleep well, doctor gave me some injections as well as pills. Last Sunday my congregation had to bear with me my rough voice for too much coughing, but thankfully Lord's Day worship went well.
So, I need to be short this time of report, but very interesting improvement in our government's reforming the country, the Lord willing, next month I will report.
In His providence care we can still have Tuesday Bible class, and we still discussing "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine." We reached lesson 14. We had a great deal of discussions with our reformed truth and our country's so-called Christian view, which is sometimes very different.
I am still very busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation. I started editing the book of 2 Thessalonians and I preached every week from out of that editing. And I reached translating chapter 23 of the book of Deuteronomy. Evening services Heidelberg Catechism, now I reach LD 11.
And every week put out Sunday Digest. I am still translating "For They Truth's Sake" by Prof. Hanko, now I am still translating "Believers and Their Seed." And I reached "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Ehud Left-handed Judge." Catechism classes, younger one, we started Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma; this week we reach lesson 11. Older youth, I am teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, revised by Prof. Herman Hanko." We are now re-discussion on the points that the youth have to know more, so we kind of free-hand discussions, youth asked me from lessons that they like to know more about or things they did not very clear the first time.
I start translating a new book, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema, I am translating the chapter "The Creative Work in the Beginning."
Thank you very much for supporting my ministry till today, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continue to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. I and my family also pray always for all of you and your families and congregations. The Lord's blessings to you all.
From the Council of Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) come these two reports from Rev. Titus from the end of 2016 (October and November).
Monthly Report from Rev. Titus – October :
Greetings in our sovereign covenant Lord's name. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in this cold winter there. Here still not changed, hot, I hope soon a little cold weather will arrive, that might be on December.
It was quite wonderful that, our covenant Lord controls all the affairs of our live spheres that in your country, the least except person was elected as your president. I tell you a funny story about that, in my country, almost all believed that Hilary will be elected, so many publication companies prepared so many books on Hilary, and as soon as the election result comes out they will sale those books, but the result is not as they thought, they do not know what to do with those books. For us who believed absolute sovereignty of our covenant Lord, we just smile at them.
Our country's peace talk with various rebels groups is still on paper because, at border area, especially Chinese border, all sorts of fighting going on again, to reach peace agreement is far away yet, only God can give us peace. And fighting with Islamist extremists also going on at Bangladesh border, Rakhine state.
But one thing, we benefit in new government is freedom of worship, which we treasure very much. Previous government we never felt that way. And one more benefit is loud-speakers sickening sounds, in previous governments, they backed Buddhism, so the monks used those loud-speakers, especially on Sunday, so loud that we even could not hear preaching. But in new government, a new law on sound decimal level, we can stay quitter as well as worship time. Last time, one of visitors from among you made a remark on too-loud Buddhist monks loud-speaker, "Its not a quite religion!" I fully agree on that, but now quite changed.
In His providence care we can still have Tuesday Bible class, and we still discussing "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine." We reached lesson 10.
I am still very busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation, I started editing the book of Philippians and I preached every week from out of that editing. And I reached translating chapter 15 of the book of Deuteronomy. Evening services Heidelberg Catechism, now I start seventh time of preaching on it.
And every week put out Sunday Digest, I am still translating "For They Truth's Sake" by Prof. Hanko, now I am still translating "The Image of God in Man," from the chapter of "The Covenant with Man." And I reached "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Two Spies Go to Jericho." Catechism classes, younger one, we started HeidelBerg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma, this week we reach lesson 5. Older youth, I am teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, Revised by Prof. Herman Hanko," we reached Lesson (27).
About my health, I start suffering, nervous breakdown again, so, I have to slow down half of my works, that suffering was obvious only in night time, trembling, sweating, dizzy, fear. I one time suffered quite the same, about 8 years ago. Please pray for my health also.
Thank you very much for supporting my ministry till today, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continues to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. I and my family also pray always for all of you and your families and congregations. The Lord's blessings to you all.
Monthly Report from Rev. Titus – November :
Greetings in our sovereign covenant Lord's name, blessed Christmas to your all and blessed New-year. I believed that for His mercy you are doing well in this cold winter there. Even here a little cold now, I give thanks to our faithful Father in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Crookedness of our political system
Sometime, people wonder why we Burmese Christian interested so much in politic? There are good reasons for that, that is the crookedness of the system. I have to begin from 1950s. Our country got her independence at 1948 from British colonization. From that day till 1958 we had a very good democratic government and our country was the most advance country in Asia. And from 1958, the first military coup happened and every thing changed, at 1962 second military coup happened and all those progress and funs were just a dead history. After that the military government took Burmese-way-socialism, then every things dead, nothing was in progress. For that reason, at 1988 national demonstration broke out, and another more severe military rule started, the system of the rule is like this:
1) At the bottom, there is 10 homes chief, (whether in small village or town, or city)
2) then, 100 homes chief, so under this chief there are 10 lesser chiefs, so what ever happen to each family these 10 lesser chiefs must report to that chief.
3) then, county chief.
4) then, administrator.
Besides that, you have,
1) police, police detective department
2) secret-police department
3) military, military police, military anti-riot police
4) military intelligence
5) Socialist party cadre informants
So, what every you do in the backyard of your house, they are watching and ready to report and what ever confession they want they will torture you to made one. Then, you are sentence to whatever they want. So, you are all the time watched.
Besides, the military government blinded the people with so-called national solidarity, by false propaganda of, "Buddhist-Burmese race," so, like us not Burmese tribe, not Buddhist people were treated as second-class-citizen and ever area of life we are look-down.
Besides, all schools are government controlled, no private school, no Christian-Parental-school, no home-school. So, we all have to go to those government controlled schools where Buddhism prayer is every day duty, then we Christian people do not want to do, then teachers angry, we are looked as out-casts, many young children afraid to those Buddhist teacher, participated those religious things.
And at school, Socialist party came and by-force teaches Socialism to all youth, and we all must follow their instructions of military drill, and all sorts of rubbish things. I and some friends are so angry and did not want to do that, we are punished spanking with bamboo stick.
And all factories and businesses are controlled, you have no choice only what this "Buddhist-Burmese race" so called "Burmese-way-Socialism" government willing to give you, and you must work. And there were so much forced-labors as well, when the government people came and shout with a-loud-speaker, when you were in your bed, middle of the night, tomorrow one person from each house must come out to work for this and that, you have to go with your own, and work otherwise you are in big-troubled.
Besides, the government claimed that all the land of the country is government-own, so even if you have you own paddy-field from generations, that do not count, all your lands are government's, so crops you cannot choose to grow whatever you like, but the government prescribes this crop and that crop to grow, no talk-back to them, you will be put in jail and die inside. And after you grow, from the harvest you have to pay the government that prescribed to all the farmers. So, city people no escape from the government, as well as country side people as well, the only people enjoy life then was, the military chiefs and their associates. They became very rich by manipulating the people under the name of socialism and jingoism of "Buddhist-Burmese race."
Under that kind of rule, politic comes into even your bed-room, you cannot say what happen to politic, I have no business with them, because even what you eat they control. I remember, when we were young, we have to queue very early in the morning, at the so-called "co-op" shop, to have rationed rice. Though the leaders are too much to live luxuriously, we the people are every thing rationed.
The result was as many as can run away from the country they run-away to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Europe, America. But like us, who love the Lord and know we have to stay where the Lord put us, every day in a struggle, to escape from spies, to have enough food to survive. On Sunday, when we worship, every time worry, whether or not military police come, are we informed by our own neighbors or 10 home chief. When we send our children to school, will they be treated by teachers badly? We pray with tears all the time.
So, when the system is changed, by our Covenant Lord's providence, we are so happy, and so keen to know what is going on. And what more changes the Lord bring to us? we like to know. Not because, we are so much on politic, but as you see the system squeezed us so much.
Even now, the so-called 2008 Constitution was very bad, yet we can breath a little fresh air already from 2015 election. Now, the civil government is elected by the people, but all army, police, fire department, and crucial posts in the government are controlled by army still, e.g in the parliament 25% seats are army people, without election they come and sit there, to show-off army power. So, the civil government that lead by Lady Aung San Su Kyi, has to make a lot of twist and turns to cross-over all sorts of blocking make by army people. Yet, we have quite freedom of worship now for His mercy and covenant faithfulness. During those years, your friendship, your encouragement, your fellowship with us and all kinds of support and prayers are so crucial for our stand for the truth, we treasure them very much, especially by me personally.
In His providence care we can still have Tuesday Bible class, and we still discussing "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine." We reached lesson 11. I go quite slow, so that we can discus the material in our country's setting.
I am still very busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation, I started editing the book of Colossians and I preached every week from out of that editing. And I reached translating chapter 19 of the book of Deuteronomy. Evening services Hidelberg Catechism, now I reach LD 7.
And every week put out Sunday Digest, I am still translating "For They Truth's Sake" by Prof. Hanko, now I am still translating " A Particular and Unconditional Promise," from the chapter of "The Covenant with Man." And I reached "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Israel Wins the Victory at Ai." Catechism classes, younger one, we started Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma, this week we reach lesson 9. Older youth, I am teaching "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine, A Guide in Catechetical Instruction by Rev. Herman Hoeksema, Revised by Prof. Herman Hanko," we reached Lesson(30).
Since, I have translated "Essentials of Reformed Doctrine," and its explanation book, which I received from Rev. Kortering many years ago, the Lord willing, I will start translating a new book, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema.
About my health, the nervous breakdown, start recovering again, I sleep more, reduce a lot in reading, more talking with my wife and family. And eat some medicines which Doctor gives, for His mercy and your prayers fear at night milder now, there is still but not very severe as before.
Thank you very much for supporting my ministry till today, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continues to pray for us, so that the name of the Lord will be glorified here in this land. I and my family also pray always for all of you and your families and congregations. The Lord's blessings to you all.
PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
DECEMBER 2016 NEWSLETTER
PO Box 1173 ACPO, Antipolo City, Rizal 1870, Philippines
Dear Members of the Protestant Reformed Churches,
First of all, the timing of this newsletter allows me to extend to you all our end-of-year and new-year
greetings, include a recent picture of the two of us, and express to all our prayer that the Lord will be
your Rock and sure Guide throughout the new year. None of us knows what the new year holds. There is
a lot of change and uncertainty in the world, and a good share of it comes because of whom God has
recently appointed as our world rulers. But in the midst of all this uncertainty, we have the sure
comfort that Jesus Christ, Who is Lord over all, is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As we stand on
the threshold of a new year, we can be confident that He Who is with us, and on our side, is
unchanging in the midst of change (Hebrews 13:8).
Our furlough took place during June and July. Initially we visited the Midwest where we were able
to spend time with the members of our calling church and to attend the annual Synod. We then spent the
rest of our time in Michigan and Illinois. While we were in the USA, Rev. Smit was able to take over my
work here for four of the six weeks that we were absent. We appreciate very much his willingness to
do so, and the willingness of his consistory to release him for this work.
During the furlough, I had opportunity to preach every Sunday, except one. This was a good way to
get to see and renew contact with many of you. Both Sharon and I were encouraged by the many
questions asked and comments made concerning the mission work. We also enjoyed the furlough from
the viewpoint of having a significant amount of time to spend with our families, especially our parents.
And we were also able to spend some quality time with Rev. & Leah Holstege and their family – a good
opportunity to get to know each other, as well as to discuss their upcoming move to and work in the
Throughout our furlough, we noticed and heard repeatedly of excitement in our churches regarding
the Holstege family joining us soon in the Philippines, and also regarding the decision of Synod to approve
calling yet another missionary for the work here (especially with a view to establishing a seminary,
the Lord willing). These are significant times in our denomination’s mission work, and we are grateful for
your continued and growing interest and support.
PRC IN THE PHILIPPINES
The Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines consist of three congregations: The Berean PRC, The
PRC in Bulacan, and the Maranatha PRC. My work in these churches consists of the following: (1) One
Sunday each month in MPRC for preaching and to teach a Church Order class, (2) serving as an advisor
at monthly Consistory meetings in the MPRC, and in the PRCB, (3) serving as an advisor on the two
Standing Committees of the Classis, and at the Classis meetings, and (4) assisting in the work of
The Classis of the PRCP met on Monday, October 31, with Rev. Ibe (by rotation) chairing the meeting. The
Classis approved and adopted two important items: a Constitution for the denomination’s Mission Work,
and a Pre-Seminary Program for students of the PRCP. The Classis also made preparations for the
upcoming delegation visit of Prof. Dykstra and Rev. Eriks as representatives of the Contact Committee of
the PRCA. The PRCP is looking forward to this visit and to the progress that can be made, the Lord
willing, toward a sister church relationship between the PRCA and PRCP.
PROVIDENT CHRISTIAN CHURCH
My schedule in PCC in Marikina is to lead the worship services on three Sundays of each month. In one
service each week a sermon is preached on the Heidelberg Catechism. I also teach catechism to the
children each Saturday morning, and I lead a weekly Bible Study/Doctrine Class each Thursday evening.
In the Thursday class, we have covered, in detail, the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine and the Belgic
Confession of Faith. We have now begun a study of the Canons of Dordt.
A recent development in PCC is the appointment of a Steering Committee. I plan to hold regular meetings
with the four men on this committee in order to discuss and/or make decisions regarding such
matters as the preaching, Bible studies, church membership, benevolence work, church property,
church finances, etc. I believe this to be a significant step forward in the process of PCC becoming a
properly instituted Reformed church in the future, the Lord willing.
The 7M (Metro Manila Monthly Martes Morning Ministers Meetings) classes are held twice a month.
The main purpose of these classes is to provide instruction to existing pastors. By means of these
classes we have been able to fill gaps that some of the PRCP pastors have had in their seminary training
as well as to help prepare some of them for their Classis examinations. In the past we have covered
Reformed Dogmatics (Introduction, plus all six Loci), Homiletics, Hermeneutics, Reformed Symbols,
Catechetics, Heidelberg Catechism preaching, and Church History. We are currently studying Poimenics
(pastoral care) and the Church Order. Usually between five to eight men attend these classes.
In addition to 7M, we hold a monthly pastors’ class in Southern Negros Occidental. Some of these pastors
have been longtime contacts of the PRCA, all the way back to the 1990’s. Currently we have about 12 to
15 who attend. In these classes, we have focused on especially two areas: Reformed Theology, and
Reformed Church Government. With a view to advancing this work, we hope in 2017 to make more
regular visits to these pastors and their churches.
This will be possible, the Lord willing, once Rev. Holstege has moved and settled into his life and work
here. At least four of the pastors have expressed, many times, the desire that we increase our work
among them. We hope and pray we can do so.
OTHER CONTACTS AND WORK
We continue to make monthly visits to a group in Bacolod City. These visits involve a Monday evening
Bible study in which we are studying the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine. Since Bacolod is part of Negros
Occidental, this fits in with our monthly pastors’ training classes in SNO.
We also have a number of contacts throughout the Philippines with whom we stay in touch. The
communication is mostly on account of their interest in purchasing Reformed literature. But from time to
time, some have requested that we speak or preach in their churches or groups. We hope to give more
consideration to these requests once Rev. Holstege is here, and with the approval of Doon and the FMC.
As just indicated, a significant part of the work here is our sale of Protestant Reformed literature. Book
sales have been gradually increasing over the course of the past year, but have significantly peaked in the
past month. Sharon takes care of the book sales and is now receiving at least one or two orders each day.
The main reason is because of the new titles the RFPA has recently published, but also because of
new contacts and visitors in some of the PRCP congregations. We once again express our thanks to
our churches for the generous giving toward the Philippine Book Fund. These collections enable us to
sell the RFPA books to our Filipino churches and contacts at very reasonable prices. We are also able
to provide free shipping, as well as to give away magazines (Standard Bearer, Beacon Lights,
Saltshakers, etc.) and pamphlets.
CERC IN SINGAPORE
During the last week of October, we had the opportunity to visit the Covenant Evangelical Church
in Singapore. This visit came about as a result of CERC’s request that Rev. Bruinsma and I assist them
in the oral examination of Bro. Emmanuel Singh from Kolkata, India. The visit also included conducting
church visitation and preaching once on Sunday.
We thoroughly enjoyed the time among the saints in the CERC, and especially the time we could spend
with the Lannings and Bruinsmas. The examination was the highlight. It was wonderful to hear of Bro.
Emmanuel’s knowledge of and love for the Reformed faith, and to see that God has provided a committed
and well-qualified man to serve as an ambassador of the Reformed faith in India. May God bless his
ministry, and CERC’s work with him.
Until next time, in Christian love,
Rev. Daniel Kleyn