News from All Churches
Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI continues his four-month service for the RWH program, as he continues a series on marriage this month.
You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 76th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!
Below are the messages scheduled for this month, also in flyer form (attached in pdf).
July 2, 2017 - Husband, Love Your Wives, Eph.5:25-27
July 9, 2017 - Husbands, Love with Purpose, Eph.5:27
July 16, 2017 - The Husband is the Head of His Wife, Eph.5:23
July 23, 2017 - To Provide and Protect, Eph.5:23
July 30, 2017 - A Wife's Submission to Her Husband, Eph.5:22-24
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
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
13 June, 2017
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
“Are Unbelievers in God’s Image?” was the title of a speech in the CPRC (12 May). This is a crucial subject, especially in our day, for the false view is being pedaled to support homosexuality, women in church office, universal grace, etc.
What is the nature of the imago dei? How does Scripture define it (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10)? What is the relation between the image, the likeness and the glory of God? What do Martin Luther and the Reformed confessions teach? Did you realize that the claim that unbelievers share the divine image means that believers have two images of God and already had one before their conversion?
A good number were in attendance, with others watching live online. Both the speech (with slides) and the question session afterwards are online in video (www. youtube.com/watch?v=t73YQhEzKt0). A write-up of the lecture is being published in several articles in Salt Shakers, the magazine of the young people in the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC) in Singapore (www.cprf.co.uk/articles/ unbelieversinimage.html).
Last week, Mary and I were in South Wales for a lecture on “N. T. Wright, Justification and the Reformation” (8 June). Wright is a former Anglican Bishop of Durham (#4 in the Church of England) and the most influential spokesman for the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP) with its radical redefinition of justification, the key doctrine which launched the Reformation half a millennium ago.
It was good for me to have an occasion to read more about Wright and the NPP, for they are influencing evangelicals in the UK and around the world, as well as the Federal Vision, especially in North America. As one considers these heretical movements, the truth of the biblical and Reformed faith stands out more sharply and strongly than ever before. Prof. Engelsma’s latest RFPA book, The Gospel Truth of Justification, is a superb contemporary work on this glorious doctrine. It is also refreshing because so many of the critiques of Wright and the NPP are weak and half-hearted.
This speech was our first meeting at our new venue in South Wales. Some days after we booked the hall, the British Prime Minis-ter arranged the General Election for the same date. On the day itself, we discovered that Margam Community Centre was also a polling station!
However, our room was in a different part of the building, so that was not a problem. Whereas the turnout of the UK electorate was high (68.7%), sadly the date clash did not help the turnout at our Reformed lecture. A lot more will be reached by the audio (www.cprc.co.uk/ntwrightjustification. mp3) and video (www.youtube.com/user/ CPRCNI) though.
With the end of the Monday night catechism and Wednesday night Belgic Confession classes for the season, our annual family visitation began. This year our text was Galatians 6. All but 3 of the 25 visits have been completed. It has been an encouraging and edifying time.
Our Tuesday morning class continues through the summer. We are presently studying the division of the promised land in the second half of Joshua, material not often covered but instructive chapters of God's Word!
After 9 sermons on “The Conclusion to Christ’s Farewell Discourse” (John 16), we have now begun a series on “The Healing of the Lame Beggar” (Acts 3-4). There is a lot to be learned here regarding miraculous healings (as opposed to those of Charismaticism and Romanism), evangelism, how the apostles interpreted Old Testament predictive prophecy and the periods in which it is (and is not!) fulfilled, defending the faith, persecution, etc.
Besides the generous giving of our members, we have had sizable donations from Scotland, USA, England, and Australia. The CPRC has been able to increase its giving to the 2018 budget of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF). Our thanks to you in the PRC for helping us financially with this mission work.
The CPRC Bookstore had a lot of sales in May. However, our translation work seems to be slowing down of late (sadly!). The last two months saw the addition of 7 Hungarian, 1 Czech, and 1 Portuguese (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm).
A previous bimonthly letter mentioned that Hungarian subtitles were added to a CPRC sermon on “The Sovereignty of God.” Tibor, the translator, reports that this was watched by three classes of students in a Roman Catholic school in Hungary: “There was a girl in the first group who stated that the Bible does not teach predestination but it is a human invention. The second group was silent because the students were astonished. The third group said that it was a good sermon.... [Since even] the 'Reformed' pastors in this city are Arminians, it is possible that these students heard/read their first real Reformed sermon in their life.”
Elder Brian Crossett is the CPRC delegate to the PRC Synod in Hudsonville. Possibly this year will see more of our members in the US than ever before. Marco Barone has already been; Jennifer Hanko is presently there; later Philip and Susan Hall and family, Rev. McGeown (as well as his sister, Shelley, and her family), David, Kristin, and Sophie Crossett, and Mary and I will all cross the Atlantic, D.V. Some of these saints will make the trip more than once. All enjoy worshiping with and visiting fellow saints and family in the PRC.
In our trip (17 July – 14 August), I am to preach in 2 churches in Washington (Spokane and Lynden), 2 churches in Alberta (Edmonton and Lacombe), and 2 churches in Michigan (Providence and Hudsonville). It will be good to be back with members of our sister churches in North America.
May the Lord be with you all!
Rev. & Mary Stewart
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