On this Lord's Day of December 10, 2017 we note the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, mission fields, and sister churches.
- The Council of First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) announces a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Revs. C. Griess (Calvary PRC), J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC), and Candidate D. Noorman. The congregational meeting is set for Thursday, December 14.
- The Council of SW PRC (Wyoming, MI) announces a new trio from which to call a pastor: Rev. A. Brummel (Heritage PRC); Rev. J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC); and Candidate David Noorman. Her congregational meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, Dec.17.
- The ordination/installation of Pastor-elect B. Feenstra is set for today (afternoon service) in Immanuel PRC, Lacombe, AB, with his inaugural sermon to be on Dec.17.
DENOMINATIONAL and SISTER-CHURCH NEWS
- For the latest news from our sister church, Covenant ERC in Singapore, visit this page for the November 2017 issue of Reformed News Asia. You may also visit the blog of Mrs. S. Lanning, "Stories from Singapore."
- From Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N. Ireland, we learn this news from a recent bulletin: "The church visitors, Rev. Decker and Sid Miedema, will be in N. Ireland from Thursday 18 January to the morning of Thursday 25 January. The congregational dinner will be held on Friday, 19 January. On Wednesday, 24 January, Rev. Decker is planning to give a lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age.” They will be with the LRF from 25-29 January."
- Beacon Lights Christmas Special: Beacon Lights is running their Christmas Special again this year! Buy one subscription, and you’ll get another for free to gift to someone else! Beacon Lights magazine makes a great gift for anyone, but especially. It is filled with edifying articles, devotionals, poems, and more! Take advantage of this amazing offer today!
Reformed Book Outlet: December special: December is one of Reformed Book Outlet’s 25% off sale months. Almost all of our books, and all Bibles and Bible covers are 25% off retail price all month.
- NEW Psalter CD Available! The Covenant Christian High School Choirs (Grand Rapids, MI) have recently recorded their 3rd Psalm CD "Teach Me to Pray", which will be available in time for Christmas! Watch for a sign-up sheet at your church or contact the school office.
- THE HOPE HERALDS 2017 CD ENTITLED, “OUR GOD IS GOD” is available for $10 in the main offices of Covenant Chr. High School and Heritage Christian School and also at the Reformed Book Outlet and the PR Seminary bookstore. If you are not able to pick up your copy at any of these locations, please call or text Karen Daling (616-662-0784) or Dan VanDyke (616-610-3276) and we will mail the CD for $12. Thank you!
- Don't forget to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday! Todays' message by radio pastor Rev. W. Bruinsma is titled "The Final Gathering of the Church" based on 1 Thess.4:13-18.
- NEW RWH Station - The Cornerstone PRC Word and Deed committee has partnered with the Reformed Witness Hour to air their messages on the radio in the Chicago area. Beginning today, September 10, the broadcast can be heard every Sunday at 4:00PM on WYLL 1160AM or on the internet at www.1160hope.com. Please tune in and encourage others to do so as opportunity arises in your personal witnessing.
The Berean PRC (taken in 2016)
- Rev.R. Smit was installed as third missionary to the Philippines on Nov.26 at Doon PRC. The Smits plan to leave the States on Christmas Day and arrive in the Philippines on December 27, the Lord willing.
- INDIA Delegation - Rev. R. Van Overloop and his wife Sue arrived home safely this past Tuesday from their three weeks in Vellore. We thank God for the safe travels and for the work done while there.
- From this Sunday's bulletin of the Maranatha PRC and the Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
- Provident CC: Rev. Holstege will preach both times today, and teach the Church Order (Articles 36ff) after the first service. Next week, Lord willing, Rev. Holstege and Rev.Kleyn will each preach once at PCC.
Maranatha PRC: Today, our Missionary, Rev. D. Kelyn will lead our first and second services and after the Second Service he will continue the Lesson #82 of the Church Order.
- The regular meeting of Classis of the Committee #2 will be on December 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the residence of Rev. D. Kleyn.
Let us continue to lift up the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace for all their labors.
"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the November 2017 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#46),their youth magazine.
The November 2017 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and profitable articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.
Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.
Chua Lee Yang, on behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
NOVEMBER 2017 NEWSLETTER
Dear members of the Protestant Reformed Churches and our sister churches,
The past five months have been eventful. He whom God set at His own right hand in the heavenly places and gave to be the head over all things to the church summoned Rev. Richard Smit to return to the Philippines as our third missionary. He also led our Synod to recognize the unity of the Spirit that exists between the PRCA and PRCP by approving a sister church relationship with them.
Let us go back and briefly trace these eventful months. Last June, Rev. Heath and Deb Bleyenberg visited the Philippines while considering the call to be a third missionary. Although the head of the church did not summon him to this field of labor, we enjoyed their visit immensely and greatly appreciated their help and fellowship.
Later in June, and into August, Mr. Matt and Sarah Kortus arrived on the field for an eight-week mini-internship. Matt had finished his second year of seminary and was given the opportunity to spend part of the summer in the Philippines. While they were here, Matt accompanied Rev. Kleyn, Rev. John Flores, and Bro. Eric Mescallado on a trip to the Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Leyte (one of the Philippine islands); he joined Rev. Holstege and Rev. Ibe on a trip to Gabaldon (a town on the same island as Manila, but a fair distance to the northeast); and he went on the trip to Negros where he also gave a lecture. In addition, Matt gave a word of edification several times in the churches here, taught catechism to the children at Provident Christian Church, and with Sarah experienced life on the mission field for a while. We appreciated and enjoyed their visit very much as well.
In August, the Kleyns went to the U.S. for a four-week furlough. Many of you saw the presentation that Rev. Kleyn gave on our work here. The Kleyns report that many of you showed great interest in our work here in the Philippines, for which we are glad.
Last October, a delegation from the PRCA Contact Committee came to the Philippines, Rev. Smit and Elder Dave Kregel. Their mandate was to attend the Classis of the PRCP to convey officially and in person that the PRCA Synod approved a sister church relationship with them. Elder Kregel said to the Classis, “You were our daughter, but now you have become our sister, and that is an amazing thing.” We all rejoiced in the work of Christ who has prospered our feeble efforts for the coming of His glorious kingdom.
Also noteworthy is that the PRCP Classis declared the fellowship in Leyte to be their first official mission work. The PRC in Bulacan was appointed as the calling church, and the Classis advised them to send monthly delegations to Leyte until a missionary can be called and sent.
No doubt like all of you, we here in the Philippines celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on October 31, 2017. We held an all-day conference at Provident Christian Church in Marikina. Rev. Kleyn gave us an overview of the history of the Reformation. Rev. Smit spoke on the legacy of Martin Luther. Rev. Holstege presented John Calvin’s doctrine of providence. You can find these speeches on our website (prcaphilippinesaudio. wordpress.com). During the conference, our book manager, Mrs. Sharon Kleyn, sold a ton of RFPA books. My wife Leah managed our four active little ones. Thank you, ladies, for being such faithful wives, for your excellent attitudes, without which we simply could not do our work. Over 150 people attended the conference, including many young people. From what I could tell, everyone enjoyed it thoroughly.
Speaking of Rev. Smit, as indicated earlier, the Lord led him to accept the call to be our third missionary in the Philippines. This is the first time, as far as I am aware, that our churches have put three missionaries on one field. These are exciting times because now the work of establishing a Protestant Reformed seminary here in the Philippines can go forward. That is necessary because the calls to come over and help are many, but the laborers are few. The PRCP has three pastors, one of whom is approaching retirement age. We will soon have three missionaries on the field, but we are not fluent enough in Tagalog, or the other dialects, to be able to communicate the gospel clearly and build the church effectively in some parts of the Philippines. What has always been true throughout the ages is still true today: the church must establish a seminary to train indigenous pastors who can be sent to preach to people of their own culture. This is especially where we can help, as the PRCA. With the arrival of the Smits, Lord willing, at the end of this year, the work of establishing a seminary can go forward. Rev. Kleyn and I, Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee, all rejoiced greatly when we heard the news of Rev. Smit’s acceptance. We are also glad to hear of the broad and solid support that exists among all of you for this work of the church in the Philippines.
So why do we need three men? Well, because there is a lot of other work here in addition to establishing a seminary. Rev. Kleyn has been occupied with a wide variety of activities, including preaching at Bulacan, Maranatha, and occasionally at Provident; teaching church order at Maranatha and catechism at Provident; making monthly trips to Negros (another one of the Philippine islands) where he gives classes to a large number of pastors who are eager to become Reformed in all respects; advising committees of the PRCP; and more. Rev. Holstege has been occupied especially at Provident, preaching twice on most Sundays; teaching the church order and leading a youth Bible study; teaching the Canons of Dordt midweek and engaging in evangelism work; chairing Steering Committee meetings; attending Tagalog classes every Tuesday and doing the homework; and more. We cannot just stop all of these things and establish a seminary. But we need a seminary greatly. So Rev. Smit is a welcome addition to our mission work and we are very excited about the future.
May the Lord bless you and keep you in His care.
Pray for us often.
Rev. Daniel Holstege