News from our Churches

Trivia Question

Each Thursday, recently, Rev. Daniel and Sharon Kleyn, our missionaries to the Philippines, are involved in a Tagalog refresher course. When I asked Rev. Kleyn if there are mangoes on the large tree on the west side of his house he replied: “Opo, may mga mangga sa puno na ito. Pero, kaunti lang.” What do you think, mangoes or no? Answer later in this column.

God Sent a Storm!

The God who controls all nature sent a driving windstorm to the Grand Rapids, MI area on July 6 and 7. Winds were measured up to 90 mph and struck down trees and electrical poles leaving an estimated 150,000 residents initially without power. Once again the power of God is shown to all, as we confess even the winds and the waves obey Him! We are comforted to be held in His almighty hand!

Evangelism Activities

The Evangelism Committee of Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB, Canada was excited to hold an evangelism seminar this summer on Saturday, July 29 at the church. The seminar consisted of two lectures on our calling to evangelize, both to individuals and to the community as a whole. The speakers were Rev. Angus Stewart, pastor of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, Ballymena, Northern Ireland, and Rev. Allen Brummel, pastor of Heritage Protestant Reformed Church of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The first lecture began at 10:00 a.m., after which a lunch was provided. The second lecture began at 1:30 p.m., following which dessert and coffee were served.

Heritage PRC in Sioux Falls, SD held their annual Evangelism Workshop on July 12. Attendees were asked to read the pamphlet “A Defense of Calvinism as the Gospel” in preparation for the event. Discussion that night centered on the pamphlet. The monthly congregational meal was held that night in conjunction with the workshop.

Sister-Church Activities

Rev. M. McGeown, pastor in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland presented the lecture “Christian Humility” in the Margam Community Center on July 6.

Synod 2017 approved establishing a sister-church relationship with the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines! We give thanks to God for the mutual love that our denominations have for the truth of God as confessed in our churches. We look forward to the rich blessings we will enjoy in our mutual encouragement and oversight of each other.

Minister Activities

From the trio of Revs. R. Kleyn, J. Mahtani, and J. Marcus the congregation at First PRC of Holland, MI voted on June 18 to call Rev. R. Kleyn to be their next pastor. Rev. Kleyn declined this call on July 16.

Synod 2017 voted to call Rev. Douglas Kuiper to be professor in our seminary as Prof. R. Dykstra works his way into retirement in the next few years. Rev. Andy Lanning was selected as the alternate should Rev. Kuiper decline. We thank God for able men to fill this important roll. We learned on July 2 that Rev. Kuiper had accepted this call. Interestingly, the man whom he was selected to replace is also the man under whom Rev. Kuiper completed his seminary internship in the PRC of Doon, IA in 1994. Rev. Kuiper planned to preach his farewell sermon August 13. Edgerton, MN PRC’s Council subsequently formed the trio of Rev. Brian Huizinga along with Candidates Matthew DeBoer and Justin Smidstra. On July 23, Cand. M. DeBoer received this call.

The congregation in Byron Center, MI PRC voted on July 2 from the trio of Revs. S. Key, R. Kleyn, and A. Spriensma, and chose Rev. Spriensma (her pastor) to receive the call to be home missionary.

On June 25 Rev. Heath Bleyenberg was led of the Lord to decline the call to be the third missionary to the Philippines. On July 11 Doon’s Council formed a new trio consisting of Revs. A. Brummel, R. Smit, and C. Spronk. The congregation of Doon called on July 24, with Rev. Spronk receiving the call.

Rev. Nathan Decker declined the two calls extended to him from Zion PRC and from Southwest PRC, both in Michigan.

Southwest PRC announced the new trio of Rev. Jonathan Mahtani, along with Candidates Joe Holstege and Justin Smidstra, with Cand. Smidstra receiving the call on July 16.

Immanuel PRC of Lacombe, AB, Canada formed a new trio of Revs. A. Brummel, E. Guichelaar, and N. Langerak. On July 2 Rev. Brummel received this call; on July 23 he declined it.

From her new trio of Revs. B. Huizinga, A. Lanning, and Candidate Joe Holstege, Zion PRC called Cand. J. Holstege on July 23.

We are thankful for the sovereign direction of our heavenly Father in all of these activities.

Young Adult Activities

Plan now to attend a Young Adult’s Retreat to be held July 2-5, 2018 in California! More details will be coming.

The Edmonton Young Adults annual church hike took place on Saturday, July 15. The group hiked the fairly challenging Two O’Clock Ridge Trail, the trailhead of which is along the David Thompson Highway, about 59 km west of Nordegg. Hopefully, someone remembered the bear spray!

Senior Activities

Senior Retreat: Register now!! At beautiful Gull Lake Ministries, September 26-29. Theme: “Magnifying Christ in Life and Death” (Phil. 1:20, 21). Speakers: Rev. G. Eriks, Prof. D. Engelsma, Rev. J. Slopsema. Discussion groups and many activities planned. See www.hollandgrandvilleseniorretreat2017. com.

Mission Activities

Seminarian Matt Kortus, having completed his second year of seminary, and his wife Sarah, are spending about eight weeks of their summer in the Philippines, where Matt is involved in a brief summer internship with Rev. D. Holstege and Rev. D. Kleyn. Perhaps a carabao ride too?

Trivia Answer

The English translation of Rev. Kleyn’s Tagalog reply to my question regarding mangoes on his tree is this: “Yes, there are mangoes on that tree. But only a few.” Now you know. I’m sticking to English.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:3