News from our churches

Trivia question

Do you know who represented the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines at the 2019 Synod of the PRCA? Answer and more, later in this column.

Mission activities

From the bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina, the Philippines: “Last Wednesday, the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines Classis approved our request for membership in the PRCP! We rejoice and thank God for His goodness in guiding us to manifest the oneness of the church by joining the communion of Protestant Reformed Churches with their sister churches throughout the world. May the Lord richly bless us as we dwell together in brotherhood from this time forward with the saints of the PRCP.” Provident makes the fourth church in the federation, joining the Berean PRC, the PRC of Bulacan, and Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela City. May God continue to bless the congregations, pastors, and officebearers in the Manila area, to His glory!

Congregational activities

From Byron Center PRC: “The Council of BC PRC would like to inform members of our denomination that on Sunday, July 7, our church began holding separate worship services for members from our church hoping to form a daughter church. The worship services are being held at Zion Christian School in Byron Center, MI at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.”

To obtain CDs or DVDs of the recent Dordt 400 Conference sponsored by the PR Theological Seminary, (dordt400.org) please send your request to trinityprc1@gmail.com.

Seminary activities

Seminarians M. Kortus and J. Maatman have been unanimously approved and declared to be candidates for the ministry of the Word in the PRC by Synod, eligible for a call beginning July 13. We rejoice with these brothers and their wives and families, and thank God for the gift of two more eligible pastor-teachers for the churches. As of July 14, they were on three trios: Immanuel, Hope (Redlands), and Southeast PRCs.

Minister activities

Rev. B. Huizinga (Redlands, CA) declined the call to Southeast PRC. Synod 2019 called Rev. Huizinga to replace Prof. Cammenga as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament. Rev. C. Griess was chosen to be the alternate. On June 30 Rev. Huizinga announced God had led him to accept the call to the seminary. We are thankful for a clear indication of the Lord’s will. Let us remember him in our prayers.

Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane, WA) re­ceived the call to Southeast PRC (Grand Rapids, MI). On July 7 he declined this call.

The Council of Grandville PRC formed the following trio for minister-on-loan to Singapore: Revs. G. Eriks (Hudsonville), J. Engelsma (Doon, IA), B. Huizinga (Redlands, CA). On July 11, the congregation voted to call Rev. J. Engelsma.

Trivia answer

Rev. John Flores of the Protestant Reformed Church in Bulacan was the PRCP representative at the PRC Synod in June. This was the first time for Rev. Flores in the USA. When I asked him for his analysis of his trip he responded:

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here are some of my reports about my visit in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thank you for this opportunity! This was my first time to set foot in the United States. After the flight of almost 20 hours (including a stop-over in Tokyo, Japan and Detroit), what I experienced back in 2007 when I visited Ireland happened to me again— jetlag! My body did not understand if I should be going to sleep or not because I left at 8:00 in the morning and arrived in Grand Rapids at almost 5:00 in the evening, but it would then have been 5:00 in the morning in the Philippines. I was waking up at 3:00 in the morning, but it felt to me that my sleep and rest were complete.

I experienced this for almost one week. The time difference between GR and Manila is 12 hours. So I could only talk with my family every morning and evening.

Because of my early arrival to the U.S. (Thursday), my adjustment to the climate was faster. I thought it was supposed to be summer weather, but when I arrived in GR, wow, the temperature was 18 degrees Celsius (64F). That is the cold temperature in the Philippines from December to February, but this was summer in Michigan! Yet I enjoyed the weather and the visit to Synod from June 12 to 17.

I was able to meet personally some of the officebearers of various churches of the PRCA, all of whom I knew only by name but just now was able to meet personally. During the meeting, I could see the orderliness and deliberation of the synodical delegates from the committee reports, protests, overture, examination of two students, and their graduation! I am thankful to Jehovah that in His providence I was able to visit the said meeting which truly encouraged me and enabled me to see the sweetness of what is said in Lord’s Day 21 about the communion of saints. I did not feel like a visitor or stranger at synod, but like a brother in Christ! Especially the hospitality that was shown to me by those who received me into their homes—Prof. and Mrs. R. Dykstra, Elder and Mrs. D. Kregel, and most especially the parents of Rev. Dan Holstege, Elder Jim and Kathi Holstege (Southeast PRC) who treated me like a son every day at their house—became a happy part of my life while in the United States.

It is my hope that such good relations will continue between the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines and the Protestant Reformed Churches in America through the sending of delegations to each other for the edification of the body of Christ, as it says in our confession, that everyone must know it to be his duty, readily and cheerfully to employ his gifts, for the advantage and salvation of other members (Lord’s Day 21, Q&A 55).

Thanks to Rev. Flores for this interesting report! More trivia next time.