All the “Call” news for this issue concerns Rev. R. Decker, pastor of our church in South Holland, Illinois. Rev. Decker has declined the calls extended to him from the Randolph and Hope (Grand Rapids) congregations. And, at present, he is considering the call from Redlands. Redlands’ trio, incidentally, included Rev. R. Decker, Rev; R. Harbach, and Rev. J. Heys.
A pulpit exchange was arranged between Rev. C. Hanko and Rev. G. VanBaren for the evening of January 2. Rev. Hanko, then, preached for one of his former congregations (First Church), while Rev. VanBaren preached in Hudsonville.
After the worship services on that same Sunday evening, many of our people in the Grand Rapids area traveled to Hope Church to attend a program at which they were able to “meet and hear our Missionary tell of his labors in Jamaica.” The size of the audience was, in Rev. Lubbers’ words, “proof of continuing interest in and support of the work in Jamaica.”
In speaking of his labors on the island, Rev. Lubbers stated that, in order to make the brethren there Protestant Reformed in doctrine and in the use of the sacraments and in the exercise of discipline, it is of vital importance to prepare future ministers. To that end, he continued, we have a school there. Instruction in that school includes such things as Old Testament History and the Heidelberg Catechism, as well as English grammar. And, according to Rev. Lubbers, instruction is given with much profit. The students are able to acquire “profound theological insights.”
How are things progressing on the island? According to the testimony of our missionary, in a speech given at First Church last summer, it’s very difficult to give a progress report. There are “intangibles there that can not be measured. One can not measure growth of joy in Christ Jesus.” For himself, Rev. Lubbers asserted at that time, he “neither looks forward nor backward, but upward to God.” His progress report: “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.”
In both of the speeches Rev. Lubbers emphasized his desire for our prayers that he may have boldness in preaching the gospel. And on both occasions he added, “Don’t forget Mrs. Lubbers.” In his words, “she’s practically a second missionary on the island,” and, “only the Lord knows how valuable she is to the ministry.” Of the 16,500 miles put on their little Ford, he mentioned last July, “Mrs. Lubbers couldn’t have missed more than 200.”
From a January 9 bulletin: “Rev. and Mrs. G. Lubbers left from Kent County airport this past Thursday for their labors in Jamaica. May we continue to remember them in our prayers and through correspondence.”
And through correspondence.