News from All Churches
Young Men's Conference (High School / College), "Run, Fight, Lead!" is THIS Saturday, April 28, from 8-12:30, at Georgetown PRC.
Run, Fight, Lead! is a Christian Young Men's Conference for high school and college age young men. The goal of the conference is to equip and encourage Christian young men to grow in Biblical manhood.
The topics will follow the theme of Run, Fight, Lead! Running from lust and pornography and instead running toward biblical manhood and Godly dating and marriage. Fighting against, gossip, bullying and hate while fighting for truth, peace and love. Leading Christian brothers out of sinful rebellion and leading them in the way of holy obedience.
The conference speakers and their topics will be:
Rev. Mahtani – Run, Fight, Lead!
Rev. Spronk – Social Media
Rev. Eriks – Dating
Justin Visser – Pornography
Karl Dykstra – Life After High School & Biblical Manhood
There will also be a multi-generational panel following the speakers to address questions.
The conference will begin at 8am with breakfast and coffee and will finish around 12:30pm.
Breakfast Included! Register Today! Wednesday, April 25, is the FINAL day to register.
For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
19 April, 2018
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
The last two months have been very fruitful with regard to Reformed translations (www.cprf. co.uk/languages.htm). We have received 44 articles in 8 different languages, plus Hungarian subtitles to a video in which Prof. Hanko answers a question from Patrick Duerr from Covenant of Grace PRC.
The Belgic Confession is now on the CPRC website in Armenian, thanks to an Armenian brother living in Germany. This is the first time that this creed has been put online. It may even be the first time anyone has translated the Belgic Confession into Armenian.
Ivan Ortu in Sardinia sent us 5 Italian translations. We received 2 chapters of Prof. Engelsma’s Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel in Russian, as well as 2 Spanish translations.
A lady in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) has become our first translator to send us materials in two different languages. As a Greek citizen with Albanian parents, she knows both tongues. From her, we have gotten 8 Greek and 4 Albanian articles.
The 10 recent German translations bring our total in that language to 170. With the 12 new Hungarian translations, we now have 234 articles in that tongue.
These translations are definitely reaching people. In fact, so far in April, 15 of the 20 most hit articles on our website are in languages other than English. It is not an exaggeration to say that our translations receive more hits than our English articles!
Our Translators Fund is very low, since we have lately posted a number of boxes of RFPA and British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) books to our hard working translators in various parts of the world. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please contact me (pastor @cprc.co.uk).
Ministry of the Word
“Earnestly Contending for the Faith” is the theme for our ongoing sermon series on the Epistle of Jude (www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI). So far we have covered the first eleven verses. This Sunday morning’s text describes false teachers: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 12-13).
Our Tuesday morning Bible study recently treated the feast of Pentecost in the Old Testament and its fulfilment in Acts 2. Having covered all three of ancient Israel’s pilgrimage feasts, we are now considering the relationship between Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles, especially noting that Passover, fulfilled in Christ crucified (I Cor. 5:7), comes first and is the basis for the other feasts.
Last night, we had our nineteenth class on “Holy Baptism” (Belgic Confession 34). For the last two months of these classes, we have been considering the inclusion of the children of believers in the kingdom of the Messiah, as prophesied in Isaiah 40-61, Jeremiah 31-32, and Ezekiel 34-37, and as described in the four gospel accounts and I Corinthians (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgiccon-fessionclass.htm). It has been very helpful to see so much Scripture teaching the Reformed view of covenant seed in the New Testament age and not that of the Baptists (the little children of believers cannot repent and believe, and so cannot be baptized).
“Feed my lambs” (John 21:15) is Christ’s command to Peter and to the whole of His New Testament church. Upon the conclusion of the CPRC catechism classes, we had our end of year tests. They were all marked today and the covenant children did well. May God bless His Word to the next generation of the church!
The CPRC enjoyed the visits of Herman and Lindy Hanko (Grace PRC), Ed and Jessica Hanko (Lynden PRC), and Stephanie Van Maanen (Hull PRC) in March.
The Ramsay family (Dan, Katie, Olivia, Caleb, and Sophia) from Bristol, England, stayed with us (30 March-2 April). Dan has bought a number of copies of Saved by Grace, by Prof. Cammenga and Rev. Hanko to give to friends, and has attended several lectures in South Wales. Mary and I had dinner with the Ramsays in their home some months ago, and it was lovely to have them with us for a long weekend.
Candidate Jonathan Langerak was Rev. McGeown’s pulpit supply in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), while he was in America for his wedding and honeymoon with Larisa (De Jong). So the CPRC asked Cand. Langerak to bring a word of edification to us on Sunday 8 April, while I led the worship in the LRF. His grandparents, Harry and Evelyn Langerak, joined him for part of his time in Limerick and all of his time in Ballymena, so they were all able to join the congregation for tea after the Sunday evening service. The three Langeraks brought a lot of RFPA books with them and stayed at the CPRC manse, so we were able to fellowship with them and show them around parts of N. Ireland (4-9 April).
Rev. Stewart (in back) with Harry, Evelyn, and grandson Candidate Jonathan Langerak
At present, Shimone Spyker from Perth, Western Australia is staying with us (17-23 April). She has just returned from Northern Ireland’s north coast with a sun tan, for today is the sunniest and hottest day in 2018 for us.
The Ballymena Guardian published an article I sent them about Marco Barone’s book, Luther’s Augustinian Theology of the Cross: The Augustinianism of Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation and the Origins of Modern Philosophy of Religion (12 April, 2018). A member of the CPRC, Marco lives in Ballymena, and the Heidelberg Disputation occurred exactly 500 years ago this very month (25-26 April, 1518). Marco’s excellent book is available on-line through the publisher, Wipf and Stock, as well as Amazon, etc.
Mary and I will be in Grand Rapids during the week of Synod, DV, for I am this year’s delegate from the CPRC. While there, I am to give a speech on “Gottschalk: Medieval Confessor of God’s Absolute Sovereignty” in Trinity PRC (13 June). On the Sunday after Synod, I am to preach in Crete PRC and Bethel PRC in Chicagoland (17 June).
Bishop John Hooper Monument
There are places still available at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference in Hebron Hall, Cardiff (21-28 July). While in South Wales to give a speech on “Angels as Messengers of the Lord” (12 April, 2018), Mary and I visited Gloucester, a destination of one of the Conference day trips. It is a beautiful town with an impressive cathedral, historic docks, and scenic walks. It has a lot of Christian interest, for it is the birthplace of George Whitefield (the eighteenth-century evangelist), the place of the first Sunday school, and the location of the martyrdom of Bishop John Hooper (9 February, 1555) under Bloody Mary, etc. For more information on the BRF Conference on “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” with Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, check out this website (http://brfconference.weebly.com). All are warmly welcome!
Please continue to pray for your sister church in Northern Ireland and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. May the Lord be with you all,
Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart
PROTESTANT REFORMED FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES - APRIL 2018 NEWSLETTER
PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES
- The Protestant Reformed Church in Bulacan (Muzon, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan) oversees the mission field in Albuera, Leyte. In the absence of a full-time missionary in Albuera, the consistory of PRCB has been sending monthly committees of a pastor, with an elder or deacon, to preach, teach, provide pastoral care, and administer benevolence to the needy with the Word of God and prayer. Rev. Smit provides pulpit supply to the BPRC or PRCB, depending on which pastor is involved in the monthly visit. The worship services of the PRCB are broadcast live via the internet to 4 locations in the Philippines and one location in the Middle East where the PRCB has Filipino contacts.
- The Berean Protestant Reformed Church (Antipolo, Rizal) has, in addition to its regular Sunday worship services and catechism schedule, an evangelism work at the Kerusso Community Church in the downtown Manila area (Tondo) at which Pastor Ibe preaches regularly and afterwards conducts an Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class. Once a month, Pastor Ibe and one consistory member lead a Bible study in Gabaldon (5 hour drive north of Manila). This Bible study is held in Sitio Karugang, which is a different location than Bagong Sikat where previous work was done.
- The Berean Protestant Reformed Church is sponsoring a conference on May 1, 2018, a national holiday. The theme is “The Power of the Gospel.” The four speakers and their speeches are as follows:
Rev. L. Trinidad, “What is the Gospel?”
Rev. J. Flores, “The Gospel and the World”
Rev. D. Kleyn, “Regeneration and Calling”
Rev. V. Ibe, “The Gospel and Sanctification”
- The Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church (Valenzuela, Metro Manila) hosted the recent Classis of the PRCP on February 25. One of the significant decisions of the Classis was that Rev. Leovy Trinidad, pastor of Maranatha, was appointed to represent the PRCP at the upcoming Synod of the PRCA in June 2018, particularly in regards to the finalization of a sister-church relationship between the PRCP and the PRCA.
- Seminary training for the ministry of the Word in the PRCP remains a priority for the PRCP and us. Preparations are being made for the start of a seminary program in the future, as well as providing pre-seminary instruction in N.T. Greek, the Lord willing. More updates on this work will follow as plans develop and are approved. We see the need for the training of local ministers of the Gospel for the churches here, both in their own pulpits and their mission fields. We commit the desire and planning of a theological school for the PRCP to the Lord’s blessing and guidance.
- Our Reformed doctrine and Reformed church order classes continue once a month in Sipalay, Southern Negros Occidental (SNO), with local pastors and leaders of various churches, mission groups, and other groups. The men come from an area that extends from Inayauan to Hinobaan, a distance which would take about 1 hour to travel by car or motorcycle. Rev. Kleyn has been giving lectures on the articles in the Church Order and is almost finished with this work, before moving on to another subject of benefit to the pastors for their continuing education. In February, I resumed instruction and review in the section of Reformed doctrine regarding Christology. The brethren in SNO maintain faithful and lively attendance.
- In the Provident Christian Church (Marikina, Metro Manila) Rev. Holstege continues to serve full-time, preaching on Sundays, giving instruction in the Church Order between the 2 worship services, and providing catechism instruction in the Wednesday Night Bible Study (recently on the truth of Matthew 24-25). In addition to this, Rev. Holstege leads a Youth Fellowship Bible study on Sunday afternoons. Rev. Kleyn has continued to teach the Saturday morning Bible History catechism for the children of the PCC. Recently, under the guidance of Rev. Holstege with the help of Rev. Kleyn, the PCC is working towards the goal of becoming a part of the PRCP denomination.
- In the past several months, we hosted the PRCA Contact Committee delegation in late October so that they could be present at the November 1 meeting of the PRCP Classis in order to convey the greetings and decisions of the 2017 PRCA Synod about a sister-church relationship with the PRCP.
- Then, the Holstege family enjoyed parents, grandparents, and a sister and aunt visiting over U.S. Thanksgiving and around the time of the Christmas holidays.
- Mr. Nathan Pastoor visited in December. Mr. Elliot Ensink and Miss Elizabeth Ensink visited around the beginning of 2018, enjoying even our annual New Years’ Day picnic with all of us at Faith Academy’s elementary school playground. Mr. Peter Kleyn and Mr. David Dijkstra visited in January. Mr. and Mrs. Colin Lim and their daughters, Cheryl and Bernice, from CERC in Singapore visited at the time of Chinese New Year (Feb. 16).
- The FMC/Doon Council delegation of Mr. Joel Van Egdom (with his wife, Michelle) and Rev. Cory Griess visited us in the second half of February and even joined the monthly visit to SNO. We have enjoyed the encouragement of our visitors.
A NEW MISSIONARY FAMILY
- After the usual long trip from North America, we arrived at our house on December 29. The clock in the above picture even reminds me that it was about 9:30 a.m. when we finally arrived at our new but old home.
- What exactly did I mean by “our new but old home”? The Kleyns and Holsteges searched for suitable housing for us in the current subdivision and surrounding areas in October. Then, in late October 2017, when I was here for a Contact Committee delegation, I and my wife (via Skype) discussed what to do with the available options. After some discussion together about the feasible options, we mutually agreed on the option of a great missionary house exchange.
- What exactly was this great missionary house exchange of 2017? Our house is the former house of the Holsteges which was our former house (October 2010 to March 2015). So, in an unexpected way, we are living nicely in our old house again! In turn, the Holsteges have occupied , since December, the former house of the Kleyns. Then, to complete this amazing house exchange of 2017, the Kleyns have occupied, since November, their new house on a different street of our subdivision. Their house is very nice, too. And, our children noticed an interesting mathematical pattern about the address numbers of our 3 houses: #12 (Smits), #23 (Kleyns), #34 (Holsteges).
- A week after our arrival, our children joined Gabriel Holstege as returning students to Faith Academy on January 4. The Smit children have adjusted well to classes, teachers, and classmates at Faith Academy. Our school “March Break” is coming soon. We don’t call our mid-semester break “Spring Break” because it’s actually the hot summer time here. Our vacation starts on March 23 and continues through April 2. The children expect to return to class refreshed and well-tanned on April 3.
SUMMARY OF OUR DIVISION OF LABOURS
- With the addition of a third missionary and his family to the work, some thought and attention was given to sort out where the third missionary would fit into the current stream of work. Here is a summary of what we are doing.
- Labors of Rev. Holstege: Rev. Holstege works full-time in the Provident Christian Church with preaching, catechism, Bible Study, family visitation, chairman of steering committee, and PCC’s own evangelism work. He serves as an advisor to the PRCP in the area of missions, contact with other churches, and translation work.
- Labors of Rev. Kleyn: Rev. Kleyn works in the Maranatha PRC with preaching twice a month and attendance at their monthly consistory meetings. Rev. Kleyn serves as an advisor to the consistory of the PRCB at their request and to the 2 standing committees of the PRCP Classis which oversee all of the denominational work of the PRCP. Rev. Kleyn will continue to lecture at the monthly pastors classes in SNO, and, if possible, make longer visits to the area in order to help the churches in SNO in their development in the Reformed faith and church government.
- Labors of Rev. Smit: Rev. Smit will help the PRCP to develop a seminary program for its seminary students. For this goal, Rev. Smit serves as an advisor to Committee 1 of the PRCP Classis which oversees the work of the PRCP Seminary, as well as other denominational matters. Rev. Smit provides preaching in the PRCP congregations and the Provident Christian Church when the regular pastors or missionaries are scheduled to be absent from their pulpits. Rev. Smit plans to continue his lectures at the monthly SNO classes.
- Labors Together: Together, we are continuing our Tagalog education, providing lectures to the 7M classes, providing lectures at PRCP sponsored conferences and youth retreats, and helping the churches with their mission work in Albuera, Bulacan, Gabaldon, Tondo, Laguna, and other places. We continue to be involved in the congregational life of the churches, including such things as their annual church picnics. We plan to take turns again with the writing of our quarterly newsletters, and, as we have done in the past years, we are willing to provide live-interviews via Skype to our PR young people societies, high school classes, or Bible Study groups that are interested in a pre-arranged Q/A session with one of our missionaries.
- We understand that after reading this long list, you might find it difficult to visualize who is doing what and where and how even we ourselves can keep it all straight. Yet, you can surely appreciate that we are being kept busy. Pray for us that God give us the grace to be sustained in all of these harvest labors.
FURLOUGH PLANS FOR 2018
- There is a time for intense labor, but there is also a time and need for rest in order to rejuvenate ourselves for further work. The Holstege family plans to have their six-week furlough from June 11 to July 24. The six week furlough includes 3 weeks for vacation and 3 weeks for preaching, for attendance at Synod, and for mission field presentations in our churches.
- Their busy itinerary is as follows:
June 11-17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Rapids
June 18-27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randolph
June 27-July 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Doon/Hull
July 2-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Rapids
July 16-23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Loveland
- The sale of RFPA books continues to go well. The number of books sold in 2017 was 1,780. This is slightly less than what was sold in 2016: 1,800.
- A Tagalog translation of Come, Ye Children is moving closer to typesetting, printing, and distribution. We are excited about this project because this book will make available to Tagalog-speaking believing parents a tool of instruction for their young, Taglog-speaking lambs in Bible history according to the Reformed faith, something sorely lacking here.
- We express our thanks to you for faithful and generous support of the Philippine Book Fund and the goal that it is serving now: distribution of soundly Reformed books in English, and soon also Tagalog, that instruct and sound forth the Word of God according to the Reformed faith for God’s sheep and lambs in the Philippines.
- We covet your prayers for our labours in your behalf and for the propagation of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Philippines through our small work. Similar to what a Presbyterian missionary once wrote, we do it not because it is somehow more heroic than being a local pastor, for it is not. We do it not because it is of itself a more attractive endeavour, for it is not. We do it not because it supposedly makes us more pious than seeking God’s kingdom first in Canada or the USA, for it does not.
This also is harvest work: challenging, blood, sweat, and tears work. Hence, we learn more and more to be motivated with the same believing conviction and focus of Paul on Christ as inspired in 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
- Since in this work no man of himself is able to do it, pray for us that the Lord sustain our strength, conviction, and desire to serve Him and His church in this work: seeking to do this work in His way according to His Word and our confessions, trusting by faith in Him alone that it has His approval and indispensable support for the glory of His grace.
In His service,
Rev. Richard J Smit
"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the March 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#48),their youth magazine.
The March 2018 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive 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.
Remember to pass the salt!