In news from Ghana we found that our missionary, Rev. W. Bekkering, with help from his wife, Phyllis, have decided to start a library for the benefit of the members of the Fellowship there in West Africa. They have painted the “consistory” room in their church and have added some bookcases. The mission has a number of books that the Moores left behind after retirement, and Audra Bol also brought some books from the members of Georgetown PRC when she was there as part of a Calvin College tour. Hopefully this will give the serious reader in Ghana a place to read and learn more about our churches and the Reformed faith.
The Bethel PRC in Roselle, IL now has a Mission Bulletin Board located in their narthex. This was constructed by one of their members. The hope was that Bethel would make use of this means of keeping in contact with our missions and missionaries. Bethel’s Evangelism Committee was looking for families to volunteer to maintain current information on each field. This board contains several elements. The first is a world map on which locations of our mission work are noted. Also marked on the map are all our PR churches. The map also shows any Bethel members in distant locations, such as students. Alongside the map there is information about missions: missionary profiles, upcoming mission activities, and possible requests for prayer from each field.
A delegation from our churches’ Domestic Mission Committee visited our mission in Pittsburgh, PA, March 28-31. Gary Boverhof and Rev. B. Gritters went together by car, leaving Friday morning and returning home on Monday afternoon. This was the DMC’s annual visit. The saints there are doing well. The visit not only served to encourage them, but also gave the delegation time to meet with Rev. and Mrs. Mahtani, as well as the Mission’s steering committee, to hear their perspective on the work.
Coincidentally, the same weekend that the two members of our denomination’s DMC were visiting, approximately eighty young people from the Covenant Christian High School Band in Grand Rapids, MI, along with several chaperons, paid the mission a visit. They were there March 27-29. Thursday night they gathered at Trinity Christian School for dinner and fellowship, followed by a ride to Mt. Washington. On Friday morning they visited with the students at Trinity, visited the Mission office, and toured the Science and Sports Centers. In the evening the band gave a concert at Trinity.
At least three of our churches in west Michigan (Grace, Grandville, and Trinity) sponsored visits to the Van Andel Museum Center in downtown Grand Rapids, MI in past months to visit the exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A lot of excitement and anticipation from local church leaders and archeologists has certainly added to the interest of this exhibit this spring, and a visit certainly proved of interest to members of our churches too. It was surely worthwhile to see the connection these scrolls have to our Bible and the Christian faith. It is noteworthy that these scrolls are almost identical to the previous oldest text used as the basis for the King James Bible.
For some time now our Byron Center, MI congregation has supported what they call a Children’s Activity Night. This night consists of one meeting per month, where the children of Byron Center from grades 4-8 meet together, with help from parents, to work on various projects and spend time in the study of God’s Word and song. Byron Center is somewhat unique in that it has children in three of our Christian grade schools, and it was thought that these activity nights could help these different groups get to know each other a little better. This past year, besides monthly Bible studies, activities have been as varied as a summer outing to a member’s nearby cottage, to writing letters to Byron’s shut-ins, to making and launching home-made rockets from their parking lot, to racing derby cars across their all-purpose room. Later this April the children will also enjoy their annual overnight camp-out north of Grand Rapids. They stay in tents while the adults spend the night in a cabin. In the morning all the campers are given their own mess kit of two eggs, two slices of bread, and two sausage links. It is their responsibility to prepare their own breakfast over an open fire. Needless to say, there are some interesting results.
The Evangelism Committee of the Peace PRC in Lansing, IL sponsored a spring lecture on March 21 at their church. Prof. D. Engelsma spoke on “Labor Unions in the Light of Scripture.” The Peace Choir also sang a few songs, and a time of fellowship and refreshments followed this timely lecture.
Rev. D. Kleyn, pastor of the Edgerton, MN PRC, received the call from Hull, Iowa to serve as our denomination’s second missionary to Ghana. Rev. R. VanOverloop declined the call he had been extended from the Byron Center, MI PRC to serve as their next pastor. Byron’s new trio is Rev. M. DeVries, Rev. M. Dick, and Rev. J. Mahtani. Rev. G. Eriks declined the call he was considering to become the next pastor of the Faith PRC in Jenison, MI.