News From Our Churches

If the rest of you Standard Bearer readers enjoy hearing from our Business Manager as much as I do, you’ll be pleased to note that, for this column, we have a little more news from Mr. Vander Wal. Here he is: 

“The Postal Service of our United States is often berated and made a target of jokes and puns regarding the delivering of mail. In some (remote) instances it may be true that our mail delivery is not all that it should be. But—postal employees—here is a tribute to your service which proves that this is not always so!” One of our servicemen, receiving The Standard Bearer, writes the following—’Dear Sir: I thank you for the prompt presence of The Standard Bearer, while overseas with the Navy. It may interest you to know your publication was received by me both in the Philippines and Singapore, as well as on station in the Tonkin Gulf.’ So—any postal employee reading this report—a ‘pat on the back’ to you!” 

On occasion Mr. VanderWal also forwards to me a letter or two from The Standard Bearer’s Mail Box. A couple of recent ones were received from Great Britain—one from Bradford, England, and the other from South Wales. Perhaps I ought to quote a little from the latter, since it’s particularly encouraging to those who write and to those who work to distribute our literature. The reader from the other side of the Atlantic writes as follows: “As a theological student, completing a 3-year course on 5th July this year at the South Wales Bible College, I was delighted to have been introduced to your publications via a fellow student. 

“Particularly helpful was the study of ‘The Means of Grace’ by the Rev. Herman Hoeksema, and his excellent treatment ‘The Biblical Ground for the Baptism of Infants . . .’ 

“I trust that God will continue to encourage you in your work of putting forth, in these days of confusion, sound publications which will aid those who seek the glory of God in preaching and the salvation of many precious souls through the faithful exposition of the Holy Scriptures. 

“Two acquaintances of mine would also be pleased, as I myself, to receive any literature you may have available and thus in the days ahead be able, if God so desired, to increase the circulation of your publications here.”

Rev. D. Engelsma, as most of you surely know by this time, declined the call from our Faith Church in Jenison. Following that decline, Faith’s congregation extended a call to Rev. Woundenberg. Rev. Decker is still considering the call to serve as our home missionary in the northeastern part of our country. And, as will probably be reported elsewhere in this issue, our Synod has elected to extend the call once more to Rev. D. Engelsma, to serve as third professor in our Seminary.

News concerning the recent and current mission activities of our churches comes from various of our church bulletins. Rev. Decker has returned home from New Jersey, after spending several weeks in Fair Lawn, where he conducted services, taught catechism, and conducted an adult Bible class. Much interest was reportedly shown there. Rev. Veldman left on May 29, to continue the work in that area through the month of June. He reports that “most of their evenings are spent with interested groups discussing the truth and the church.” 

Rev. Schipper returned home from Maine on May 30. In giving an account of his activities there, he recalled that “each Sunday morning, one hour before the service, (he) conducted a class treating the Reformed Confessions. He preached twice each Sunday, except the first, when he preached only in the evening. He conducted a lecture each Wednesday . . . During the week, when he was not busy preparing to speak, we visited with the people of the church, most of the time into the wee hours of the morning. Our assessment of the area—a little nucleus of spiritually hungry souls, living in an area that is spiritually dead. Only the Lord knows what the future will bring in regard to the seed sown. We are reminded of the word of Jeremiah: ‘And I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.'” 

Rev. Kortering extended his stay in Philadelphia an additional week, to include the tenth of June. Rev. Kuiper planned, the Lord willing, to continue the labor in that field after the adjournment of Synod. Rev. Lubbers and Rev. Heys have returned from Jamaica. And, from one final bulletin, we learn that Rev. Woudenberg “has been requested to contact a group in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.” Hudsonville’s bulletin, which included some of the above items, added the hope and prayer that the Lord would “use our churches for the preservation and propagation of His sovereign grace; and may we faithfully fulfill the privilege extended to us by our Lord, ‘Ye are My witnesses.'”