PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
AUGUST 2016 NEWSLETTER
Greetings in Christ Jesus to our fellow saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches!
For the first time as an installed missionary of the gospel to the Philippines, the undersigned has the privilege to write to you about some of the developments pertaining to our work in that country.
• Once the Lord made His will exceedingly clear to me and strengthened me to accept the call to be missionary in the Philippines, I preached my farewell sermon to our beloved First PRC of Holland on May 1 after five years of ministry in their midst.
• Many of you may be wondering what is next for one who accepts the call to be a foreign missionary. The Foreign Mission Committee (FMC) has a policy for the training and preparation of a missionary which recommends that he take 6 to 9 months “to familiarize, train and prepare himself for his labors in the Philippines.” Since May 1, I have been busy with the following: 1) Getting familiar with the field, in part by making a visit. We visited the Philippines already in January, just prior to receiving the call. But I intend to make a second trip, Lord willing, this October. 2) Reading a list of books on the science of missions, cultural anthropology, and other subjects related to missions. 3) Learning Tagalog, the language spoken in the Philippines, especially in Manila. I am doing this through Rosetta Stone and any other way I can find! 4) Taking courses related to missions, e.g. on how to do ministry in foreign cultures. I have signed up to take a course this fall at Calvin Seminary on “Cultural Anthropology and Contextual Ministry” and arranged an independent study at our seminary with Prof. Gritters on the history of missions.
• On June 13, Rev. Leovy Trinidad of the Maranatha PRCP submitted to and sustained an examination by the Classis of the PRCP. We rejoice with this brother and his family as he now, after many years of being a pastor, joins the official ranks of the pastors in the
PRCP! May the Lord Jesus use him still in these later years of his life to feed His flock and gather His church.
• On June 14 Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn flew to the U.S. for their six-week furlough (June 14-July 28). They came first to Northwest Iowa to report to the calling church in Doon and to attend synod. Synod met in the church building of Hull PRC from June 14-17. In the absence of Rev. Kleyn, Rev. Richard Smit who served with him in the Philippines from 2009-2015 was released by his consistory (First PRC of Grand Rapids) to fill his shoes on the mission field for four weeks. The Kleyns came to Michigan on June 20 where they spent most of the rest of their furlough visiting family and friends and preaching in several area churches.
• Significantly, synod approved not only the work done in the Philippines in the past year, but also the calling of a third missionary to the Philippines with a view to one of the missionaries investigating the possibility of starting a theological school there for the training of Asian pastors. On July 24, Doon PRC extended the first call for the third missionary to Rev. Cory Griess.
• On July 1, in the building of Calvary PRC in Hull, Iowa, I was officially installed as missionary to the Philippines. Rev. Josh Engelsma, pastor of Doon PRC, preached a very edifying sermon on Luke 5:1-11, “A Fisher of Men.” Rev. Engelsma directed us to the sovereignty of Christ in missions, to the truth that in ourselves we cannot catch one fish, and to the great truth that Christ is pleased to use us weak means for catching His elect out of the sea of nations. After the sermon, Rev. Engelsma read the Form for the Ordination of Missionaries found in the back of our Psalter (which I strongly recommend for you to read), and asked me the three questions to which I answered, by God’s grace, “Yes, truly, with all my heart.” He then gave me the concluding exhortation: “Go then, beloved brother, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. God our heavenly Father, who hath called thee to his holy ministry, enlighten thee with his Holy Spirit, strengthen thee with his hand and so govern thee in
thy ministry, that thou mayest decently and fruitfully walk therein, to the glory of his Name, and the propagation of the Kingdom of his Son Jesus Christ. Amen.”
• On July 3, in Doon PRC, I preached my inaugural sermon as a missionary to the Philippines on Matthew 28:18-20: “The Great Commission” – “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations…” I have also been taking the opportunity to promote the work of missions to our people by preaching this sermon throughout our churches as opportunity arises.
• Several times this month our two families – the Holsteges and Kleyns – were able to get together for fellowship and planning. On behalf of my wife and me, I say from the bottom of my heart that we are very thankful to God for the wisdom, zeal, assistance, and friendship of the Kleyns that we are already enjoying and expect to enjoy in the years ahead. We also eagerly look forward to enjoying the fellowship of the saints in the Philippines as we begin our labors in their midst, Lord willing, next January.
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you” (II Thess. 3:1).
Rev. Daniel Holstege
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