For the news column of this issue of the Standard Bearer, the mailman was hardly cooperative. During the past two weeks he brought not one single church bulletin. Bulletins have been slow in coming on occasion in the past, but this is the first time I’ve hadnone. None that are new, that is. Without my little box, I would be in bad trouble. Just imagining the predicament in which I could otherwise find myself, is enough to give me gray hair—which, come to think of it, would be a vast improvement, on a head as smooth as mine.
Before I turn to The Box, however, let’s check on Rev. Lubbers. As you know, our missionary to Jamaica was granted a six weeks’ vacation to rest from his arduous labors on the island. During his stay in the states, he undoubtedly had quite a number of speaking engagements. He led chapel exercises, for example, for the students of Adams and Hope schools. He spoke at a society after-recess program at Southeast. And, after conducting a Sunday evening worship service in First Church, he gave an account, to those who remained after the service, of his work in Jamaica, At this last meeting, Rev. Lubbers stressed again the fundamental importance of the training of future ministers on the island, and of the importance, therefore, of our school there. And, in that respect at least, our missionary is greatly encouraged. Two years ago, he said, the students had difficulty even writing a complete sentence. But they have learned well—not only in their command of the language, but also as far as their knowledge of the truths of Scripture and the Confessions is concerned. He sees the makings of ministers in these young students.
The labors of our missionary on that island are sufficient to drain the energy of a strong man. There is “the teaching, the driving, the heat, and the loneliness of Jamaica.” After listening to the account of some of his experiences on the island, we can well agree with his assertion that one needs the patience of Job, the courage of David, the meekness of Moses, and the persistence of Paul.
During the two and one-half years that he has spent on the island, he has put 44,000 miles on his car—and it’s the type of driving which requires two hours to travel forty-five miles. Through it all he has had the indispensable support of his wife. Mrs. Lubbers recently suffered a sprained knee, as a result of a fall. Despite considerable pain, she insisted that she accompany her husband on his trip to school,—140 miles round-trip rubbing linament as they drove. “I can understand,” said Rev. Lubbers, “God’s choice of a wife for me, since I could not imagine any other woman going with me to Jamaica.”
But it’s the separation from friends and family which can be particularly depressing. Rev. Lubbers noted that there is a “loneliness there that creeps in on one’s soul.” And it was especially with respect to that, that he made a plea for our prayers and letters. “When you send a letter,” he said, “somehow the day is made. When the mailman let’s us down, we go home feeling glum.” Another remark of his deserves repetition here, I believe—”Don’t think that you have nothing to say. Just write, ‘We’re thinking of you, and praying for you,’ and, perhaps, mention something that happened during the day—as, for example, ‘The baby is sick and vomited all over the floor.'”
Rev. G. Lubbers
Jamaica, West Indies
Things are looking up. I just received a welcome contribution from our Business Manager. Welcome it is, not only because it’s a ready-made, well-written item for a news column hurting for news, but because Mr. Vander Wal’s observations are always of interest. This one is no exception.
“The Business Manager of our Standard Bearer has reported that ‘hunting in Utah’ for new readers of our magazine has proved very successful; At this writing (Dec. 11)) not one, but five names have been submitted by our readers. Three of those suggested reside in Salt Lake City, one in Ogden, and one in Brigham City, Utah.
“We thank our subscriber in Wayland, Michigan, and the Dominee in Baldwin, Wisconsin, for submitting the names and addresses of the new recipients of our magazine, and for their generous gifts in helping to pay for the printing and mailing of the Standard Bearer to these people in Utah.
“Our next ‘hunting ground’ is—’Poor Little Rhode Island.’ Not one subscriber there! Our readers in the eastern portion of the U.S. can, no doubt, furnish us with a few names and addresses in that part of our country. New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine—are you ‘hearing’ us?
“A free three-months’ subscription will be sent to any resident in the State of Rhode Island whose name is submitted to our Business Office.
“Horace Greeley once said, ‘Go West, young man, Go West!’ Well, we are going EAST! We hope our ‘hunting trip east’ proves as successful as our ‘Western Trek.'”
Well, what do you know about that! It wasn’t even necessary to dip into my reserve material. I had put together a couple of paragraphs dealing with the work of South Holland’s Evangelism Committee, but it’s apparent that it’ll never fit. So, till next time . . . back into The Box.
Meanwhile, keep those bulletins coming, please.