Our missionary in the Philippines, along with the Foreign Mission Committee and the calling church, Doon PRC Council, have just published their latest newsletter.
The May 2016 issue, penned by Missionary-pastor D.Kleyn, provides information on the recent visitors/helpers to the field and the ongoing busyness of the labors in the various places in the Philippines. He also calls attention to and expresses deep gratitude for the provision of a second missionary for the field - Rev. Daniel Holstege.
Let's remember to pray for the Kleyns as they serve the Lord and His people in distant lands - and for the Holsteges as they prepare for the labors and life of this field. May they all experience the unfailing presence of their Lord and the faithful support of their fellow-saints.
You will find the full newsletter below in both print and image form, and in addition the May newsletter is attached here in pdf form. You may also visit the Kleyn's blog to see a more personal side to the life and work in this foreign land.
PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
MAY 2016 NEWSLETTER
Greetings from the Philippines to our fellow saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches. It has been quite a few months since the last newsletter, thus high time to fill you in again with some Philippine mission field news. Here are some of the highlights for each of the past months.
• At the beginning of the month of December, we enjoyed a one week visit from some of the Kleyns (4 brothers and 2 nieces). For three of them, this was their first time here. In addition to visiting and worshiping in two of the PRCP churches on Sunday, we also had time to do some sightseeing together. The visits by family are definitely a highlight.
• A delegation of the PRCA’s Contact Committee was here from December 11-21. Prof. Dykstra and Prof.Cammenga came on this visit. Their purpose was to meet with the Consistories of the PRCP in order to begin the work toward a sister-church relationship between the PRCA and the PRCP, something the PRCP requested. Two meetings were held during which inquiry was especially made concerning agreement in doctrine, worship, walk of life, and church government. It was evident to all involved that the Lord has blessed the two denominations with unity in all these areas. Discussion also took place concerning the process of actually establishing a sister-church relationship. The CC of the PRCA now plans to report to Synod concerning their visit and to seek Synod’s permission to proceed. The professors each preached twice on the Sundays they were here and were thus able also to meet the members of the churches. Each of them also gave a speech for our 7M pastors’ classes. Their visit was greatly appreciated. The PRCP is very thankful for this positive response to the request for a sister-church relationship and grateful that the process has now begun. May God’s blessing rest on this work.
• Rev. Daniel & Leah Holstege visited in January. Leah came for one week (January 8-15), and Rev. Holstege for three (January 8-25). Rev. Holstege had opportunity to preach and teach in most of the churches that are part of the PRCP and/or part of our mission work. This included lectures he gave for the pastors’ classes in Manila (7M) as well as the pastors’ classes in Negros (SNO). It was good to receive his help, and the saints here enjoyed hearing him and getting to know them, too. Little did the Holsteges (or we) know at the time that he would be the next minister to receive the call to serve as a missionary here. But the Lord no doubt gave them the opportunity to visit here as a way to help them in their consideration of that call. We also look back to their visit now with much thanks to the Lord for the time we could spend with Rev. & Leah. We did not really know them that well (nor they us, for that matter), thus it was good to have this time to get to know each other.
• The main event in February was the annual delegation visit of Doon PRC and the Foreign Mission Committee. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit of Rev. Engelsma and Deacon Lee Hoekstra, along with Lee’s wife Joann. The delegation was able to visit and meet all of the churches and groups in which I am currently working. This gave them a good taste of the mission labors, along with some of the challenges in the work. Their time among us was a great encouragement to us in the work. Joann’s presence (along with that of the other wives who have been here in the past months) was greatly appreciated by Sharon, as well as by the saints in the churches and among our contacts here. We thank the delegation for their visit, and the denomination for the interest in and support for the work that such a visit shows.
• Another significant event in February was the Classis meeting of the PRCP, which was held in Maranatha PRC on the 25th. Rev. Ibe chaired the meeting. One of the main items on the agenda was the request of Rev. Leovino Trinidad (pastor of the Maranatha PRC) to be examined by the Classis according to Article 9 of the Church Order with a view to being declared a minister of the Word and Sacraments within the PRCP. Classis approved the request on the ground that the requirements of Article 9 of the Church Order had been met, and subsequently scheduled his examination for the next regular Classis meeting (Monday, June 13). Classis also adopted an exam schedule, with the 12 sections of the exam being divided equally between Rev. Flores, Rev. Ibe, and myself. Rev. Trinidad is now busy preparing himself for this examination. We pray the Lord uses it to provide another faithful minister of the gospel within the PRCP.
• The main event in March (really in the whole of the past year) was that the Lord provided another man to serve as a missionary in the Philippines. We are both very thankful to the Lord for leading Rev. Holstege to accept the call. We were very excited to hear the good news, as were also the members of the churches and groups here. We are grateful to the Holsteges for their willingness to take up this work alongside us. We especially thank the Lord for His faithfulness in calling and sending Rev. Holstege. We look forward to the Holsteges arriving here and to the many years, the Lord willing, of laboring together in the Philippines.
• A longtime contact, Ray Rodriguez, organized a conference in the San Pedro CRC and asked me to give three speeches there on Friday, March 25. The topics were Common Grace vs Particular Grace, The Doctrine of Double Predestination, and Objections to Predestination. Approximately 30 people attended, including a good number of young people and young adults from the San Pedro CRC. The conference went well and the speeches were well received. I was pleasantly surprised by this with regard to the issue of common grace vs particular grace. The elders asked me more than once if I would be able to come and speak again. They also asked if I might be available to preach for them on Sundays sometime.
• Rev. Spriensma and his wife Alva arrived on March 25. On their first Sunday here, Rev. Spriensma preached for both worship services in the Berean Protestant Reformed Church. This gave the Spriensmas the opportunity to become reacquainted with the saints they had come to know and to love in the BPRC during their 5 years in the Philippines (2002-2007). They thoroughly enjoyed this, as did the members of the BPRC. Rev. Spriensma also preached and lectured in some of the other churches and groups during their time here. We once again enjoyed this visit. In some ways it was an opportunity to repay them for their hospitality to us when we visited them here in 2003 (not knowing at that time that we would one day be living and working here in their place). The Spriensmas returned home again on April 4.
• The PRC in Bulacan hosted a Youth Conference on Saturday, April 9. The theme was “Biblical Courtship and Marriage,” and speeches were given by Rev. Ibe, Rev. Flores, and myself. Attendance was around 120, which included many visitors from outside the PRCP as well as a good number of adults/parents (You’re never too old to learn about dating!). Rev. Spriensma was able to attend and to participate in an open forum and give closing remarks. The speeches were well received and the day an encouragement to all.
• Book sales continue to go very well here, thus Sharon has frequently needed to submit orders for more books from the RFPA. As an example of good sales, we recently sold a combined total of 250 books at two separate conferences, and then also sold and shipped more than 130 books to three different contacts in Negros Occidental. The shipments from the USA take about two months to get here, which means we have often had to tell people, “No stock now!” But three large boxes of books arrived at the beginning of the month, so back-orders have been filled and our shelves are stocked again – for a while. Both we and the saints here thank the churches for the collections which subsidize book prices and thus enable our fellow believers here to obtain Reformed literature at very affordable prices.
• We recently made plans for our biyearly furlough. We are scheduled to leave here on June 14 (the day after the PRCP Classis meets), and to return home again on July 28. We plan to spend the first week in the Midwest, in order to attend Synod and to spend time in our calling church (Doon PRC). Rev. Richard Smit has received permission from his consistory to cover for me for four weeks of our six week absence. We appreciate that very much, as do the saints here. We are beginning to look forward to spending time among you all and with our families. We also hope to spend a good amount of time with the Holsteges.
We thank you for your continued support of the work here and for your prayers for us and the saints. We especially remember the Holsteges in prayer as they begin adjusting to the significant changes they have ahead of them and while they start making the necessary preparations for the move and the work here. Until next time, we send our Christian love and greetings to you all.
Rev. Daniel Kleyn