News From Our Churches

“In harmony with the decision of this year’s synod that our church in Lynden resume calling a missionary for the Monroe-Mt. Vernon Washington area, Lynden has composed the following trio: Revs. Bekkering, Koole, Joostens.” That bit of information was taken from the “News from our sister churches” section of a Hull bulletin. We have since learned that Lynden has extended their call to Rev. Joostens. We have also heard that Rev. Joostens is considering another call from the west coast, this one from our Redlands congregation. 

In our last news column we reported concerning the tour of our churches by Mr. and Mrs. Lau. We have traced a part of their trip, via bulletin announcements, only to find that their trip ended prematurely in Redlands where Mr. Lau Chin Kwee was admitted to a hospital due to a bleeding ulcer. In compliance with a doctor’s recommendation the Laus have returned to Grand Rapids. 

The work of evangelism goes on! Please take note of the following evidence of the truth of that statement: 1. From a Hull, Iowa bulletin: “At the Reformed Witness Committee meeting held this past week, a letter was received from Joseph Tan of West Malaysia. Mr. Tan had obtained a copy of our Reformed Witness pamphlet. He requested more copies for his own use, for distribution in his country, and possibly even for translation into his native language.” 2. From a Loveland, Colorado bulletin: “Members of the church extension committee will distribute a pamphlet, ‘The Key to Good Preaching’ written by Rev. J. Slopsema and made available to us from the Reformed Witness Committee of Doon-Edgerton-Hull. 500 copies have been mailed this week and the committee plans to send them at that rate each month.” 3. From an Edmonton, Alberta bulletin: “We received a call from a listener of our radio program who said, ‘The radio message is like going to a meal, and being completely satisfied.’ ” 4. From a South Holland, Illinois Newsletter: “…there is an aspect of our work which is brought out in the correspondence we receive. It is this: that the distribution and reception of our pamphlets is now to a very large extent, carried on by others—by those outside of our own Protestant Reformed circles. Yes, this is of the Lord Who watches over His Own Word. This is an ideal situation, is it not? Ought not these considerations encourage us to persevere in our labors?” Concerning their latest pamphlet they write, “Very shortly, we hope to receive from the printer, the pages and the covers for our new pamphlet: ‘Remembering the Lord’s Day.’ When we do, it is again our plan to call for some assistance from the congregation in preparing the pamphlet for distribution.” That same newsletter contains a vast number of excerpts from correspondence that the committee has received, some of which clearly illustrates the committee’s observation that pamphlet distribution is being “carried on by others.”Trenggunu, Malaysia– “Kindly send me a complete catalog of your tapes. The Lord willing, I will start a tape ministry to spread the Reformed faith next year in my church and my community.” Philadelphia, Penn. – “Dear Brethren: May the Lord Himself bless your efforts in His behalf through the work of evangelism and the publication of various pieces of literature. I have found your Consolation booklet to be helpful in my ministry among the sick. I would like 100 copies.”Mt. Laurel, N.J. – “I used hundreds of your pamphlet, ‘God is Our Refuge and Strength!” Titusville, Fla. – “Please send 12 copies of ‘Modern Bible Versions.’ I gave away my supply of these booklets. I intend to pass out more of them to friends and neighbors. The need for this pamphlet is great.” 

From the summer issue of “First News” (bimonthly newsletter to the congregation of First Church in Grand Rapids) we learn that Rev. C. Hanko and his daughter Alice left on July 29 to pick up the work in Bradenton after a two-month break in the services there, and that Rev. Harbach has agreed to labor there during the month of September. The newsletter further reports: “Because of our unforeseen absence from Bradenton, we cannot report the kind of progress for which we had hoped in the field itself. But there are other indications which indicate that the Lord is indeed blessing our efforts there. One of them is the assistance which has been offered by one of our sister congregations. Southeast has agreed to contribute $4,500 to the cause this year. That, by itself, is important for us, because our budgeted amount for the year in Bradenton is being rapidly depleted. But, in addition, and perhaps even more importantly, two members of Southeast’s consistory have for the past several months been meeting with our church extension committee, thus involving Southeast in the actual conduct of the work. We welcome this kind of cooperation and hope that it will yet prove to be mutually beneficial.” We are thankful for these evidences of the Lord’s blessing on our labors. We repeat a part of the quote from the South Holland newsletter: “Ought not these considerations encourage us to persevere in our labors?”