Rev. Douglas Kuiper, pastor of the Edgerton, MN PRC, recently observed the occasion of his 20th year as minister of the Word and sacraments in the Protestant Reformed Churches. The congregation at Edgerton presented him with a commemorative plaque and together they shared a special cake. In addition to the church at Edgerton, Rev. Kuiper has served as pastor of Byron Center, MI PRC and Randolph, WI PRC and has also capably functioned as the Stated Clerk of Classis West for a number of years now. We rejoice with Edgerton and with Rev. Kuiper for God’s goodness to him through the past twenty years!
Rev. Nathan Decker and Rev. Garry Eriks traveled to Quebec in November as observers from the PRC Contact Committee at the meeting of North American Presbyterian and Reformed Churches (NAPARC).
When Rev. Richard Smit resided in Antipolo City of the Philippines as a missionary, it was customary for him to make a once-a-month trip to the island of Negros (Occidental) which lies about 300 miles to the southeast of Manila as the crow flies. He would depart Manila airport on Saturday and preach in Bacolod City on Sunday. On Monday he would be joined by fellow missionary, Rev. Daniel Kleyn. The men would conduct a Monday Bible study in Bacolod and travel by car to Sipalay City to conduct a Tuesday training class for pastors there. Since Rev. Smit has moved to Michigan, there is no longer Protestant Reformed preaching in Bacolod City, as Rev. Kleyn’s schedule does not allow it. However, the once-a-month trips to Negros do continue for Rev. Kleyn and his wife Sharon. What follows is a summary of such a trip.
Although the flight from Manila airport does not usually leave until 9:30 Monday morning, the Kleyns leave home at 5:15 a.m. to be at the airport by 7:00. A contributing factor to the early travel is the fact that their car is not allowed on Manila roads or streets after 7:00 a.m. on Mondays. Each car in the metro Manila area is not allowed to travel in the city on one day of the week. This is to alleviate a bit of the congestion on the roadways. One’s license plate number indicates the day he is not allowed to drive the car, and fines are awarded if you disobey this law. If the Kleyn’s flight is on time, they arrive in the airport in Bacolod City, Negros around 11:00 a.m. A driver from a rental car company meets them at the airport with their car. According to Sharon, the car is usually white. According to Rev. Kleyn, it would be something like a Toyota Innova or a Mitsubishi Adventure, a diesel, and with a manual transmission. The Kleyns check into their motel and have a late lunch/early supper at a nearby mall.
The class that evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and is held on the second floor of the building which houses the Corpus family pet store on the ground level. The Kleyns enjoy the friendship of the Corpus family and others who attend the study. Rev. Kleyn teaches the Essentials of Reformed Doctrine and there is time after the study for visiting while eating the delicious food the ladies prepare. The Kleyns are usually back at their motel around 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday morning is another early one. The Kleyns leave the motel at 5:15 for the 3-1/2 to 4-hour drive south on a two-lane highway to Sipalay City. The motel usually has a breakfast packed and ready to take along. This consists of rice, sausage, fish, bacon, and a banana. This is eaten on the way, though the fish (with bones in it) can be a challenge for Rev. Kleyn as he drives! The drive is rural with much beautiful scenery such as mountains, ocean views, and sugar cane country— God’s creation in all its splendor! The cane grows as tall as good Iowa corn, and creates the same beautiful vistas of blue sky and green crops as far as the eye can see. It is very interesting to witness from one visit to the next the process of planting and harvesting the sugar cane. It is not as much fun to be stuck behind the large trucks transporting the cane to various factories during harvest time. The trip is slowed also by tricycles (small motorcycles with side cars), bicycles, animals, towns, and people so that the 105-mile trip takes at least 3-1/2 hours, an average speed of about 30 mph.
The Kleyns arrive in Sipalay in time for class to begin at 9:00 a.m. Ten or twelve pastors arrive via motorcycle or bus from towns to the north and to the south. The meeting begins with singing from the Psalter (which some of the men know very well, making for invigorating singing), then devotions. Rev. Kleyn lectures on the Church Order until 10:30, when the group breaks for merienda (instant coffee, rolls with meat and egg filling). After break, the group has been viewing lecture videos from the PRC Seminary, currently Prof. R. Cammenga’s Dogmatics lectures on Anthropology. The class periods are filled with many questions and much lively discussion, making them enjoyable. After the classes are finished, a delicious lunch is served with questions from the class carrying over into lunch time.
The Kleyns depart around 2:00 p.m. for Bacalod, sometimes dropping off a couple of the pastors on the way. They arrive in Bacolod in time for supper, filling the car with fuel at 45 pesos per liter. (Can you figure the cost per gallon?) Sometimes they hurry to the car rental office so they can be taken to the airport, and sometimes they stay overnight in Bacolod. If they fly back to Manila on Tuesday night, their car headlights shine on the main gate of the Beverly Hills subdivision, and a few blocks later, on the gate at 34 Sunrise Drive at about midnight. That makes for a very long day, but in that case they have the advantage of a normal Wednesday at home. If they stay in Bacolod Tuesday night, it makes for more leisurely travel, but they do not arrive home until mid-afternoon on Wednesday.
May God continue to be with the Kleyns and bless them in their labors!
On November 13 Bethel PRC, Roselle, IL invited Prof. Barry Gritters to speak on the topic “Anti-Christ,” a vital subject for Christians today.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.