On the 25th of May my family and I left Michigan for Australia. We have just concluded a stay in Grand Rapids of almost three years; this is a long time to be away from home. We will be glad to be back home, to be reacquainted with members of our family and old friends. We will be glad to be back in the church in which we have been raised since infancy. Yes, we will even be glad to be back in our own culture. But there is much sadness associated with our leaving as well.
I would like to take this opportunity publicly to thank those among the Protestant Reformed Churches who have made our stay in the USA enjoyable and worthwhile. Firstly, I thank the PR Seminary faculty and staff for all the teaching and support that they have afforded us. We came over here to be trained in your seminary, and I believe we have been trained well. The instruction has been Scriptural, solid, lively, and thought provoking. We have not always agreed with every “jot and tittle” of what has been taught, but in the vast majority of instruction we have rejoiced in the commonality of our faith.
The support staff has been just that – supportive. Never have they been too busy to help out. Never have they failed to offer good, solid, practical advice when it was needed.
Our spiritual home while being in the USA has been Hope PRC. We have made many friends in this congregation. We have been faithfully taught from God’s Word, Lord’s day by Lord’s day. We have enjoyed the communion of the saints, and have had our youngest child baptized in this congregation. It will be sad to leave.
We have made some special friends among the PR members. We have been supported in special little ways -too numerous even to begin to mention. We have established relationships which are firm and treasured. Our children have gained friends from among your children.
Yes, we are happy to have left for home, but mixed with that happiness is an underlying feeling of great sadness. It may be that we will never see each other in this life again; and that is cause for sadness.
It is my personal hope that our stay in your midst maybe the foundation from which arises a closer relationship between our two denominations; a relationship built on the great truths of God’s Word which we both hold so dear.
Yours in Christ’s Name,