From the April issue of Across the Aide, Rev. Arie and Sherry den Hartog write in part, “Let me begin by telling you what is uppermost in our hearts and mind. We thank the Lord for the gift of a son to our family last week Tuesday, Matthew Farrand. We are so thankful that the Lord has given us six healthy children. Both mother and son are doing well. . . . We are very thankful also that many of the members of the church are helping out in the home. Two ladies are taking turns bringing in the meal for the next two weeks. 

“The church has just rented two additional rooms at the kampong where we have our meetings. This has made it possible to move two of the meetings out of our apartment. . . . We still have at least three meetings every week. . . . We do enjoy being able to open our home for the members of the church. . . . 

“The biggest event going. . . is still the matter of the purchase of the building at Blair Rd. and the formation of the second congregation there. The purchase should be finalized this week. We already have 32 people signed up for the new congregation. . . . It probably will be several months before the place is ready for us to move in and for the beginning of worship services there. . . . 

“The numerous Bible study groups that we have. . .are well attended. . . .and serve a very good purpose in the church especially in the Singapore situation. 

“We have received another request from the brethren in Trengganu Malaysia that either Pastor Lau or myself come there for a couple of weeks to preach for them…. We want very much to help them as much as we can but because of the load of work we have in ERCS it will be difficult. . . .” 

Rev. Bruinsma has received the call to be missionary to Jamaica. Rev. Kenneth Brown, one of our Jamaican ministers, was in Grand Rapids and visited the congregation of First Church to tell them about the work on that island. Rev. Brown ministers to the congregation at Diaz. 

The congregation of First Church has decided to purchase the property at 2800 Michigan N.E. and to begin building there as soon as all the preparations can be made. The cost is $100,000. All the improvements are in and paid for except for a $2,018 sewer assessment to be paid within 5 years. Closing costs will consist of a $3,000 realty fee and about $500 for survey and title insurance. The property is very accessible for anyone using the Expressway or the East Beltline. 

An interesting fact is that a marriage ceremony took place during a Sunday evening worship service at Hope -Protestant Reformed Church, April 15. Some people have commented that it is about time our weddings take place during the Sunday worship services. Others say that having the wedding on Sunday draws too much attention to the people getting married. One thing is certain, and that is that every ceremony of holy matrimony must reflect the relationship of Christ and His church. The emphasis should always be on Christ, the bridegroom, taking unto Himself the church, the bride.

Newsletter No. 7 of the Randolph Protestant Reformed School Society reads in part, “Some are of the opinion that education is spiritually neutral. In other words, what is taught in the school is merely objective fact. In math, children learn to use numbers. In science, they learn about the earth-and the laws of nature. In history, they learn certain dates and events. They learn to read, write and spell. And, of course, if this be true, then there is no need for Christian schools. . . . 

“However, the fact is that education is never neutral. . . . Educators see it to be their duty to teach values. They set before the child certain goals. They seek to mold the child to live a productive life. . . . 

“The viewpoint and values that are taught in the public school are rather those of the world. That only stands to reason. If the church does not control the perspective of the school then the world does. . . . 

“Can we afford to send our children to these kind of schools? Financially the price is right. But what of the spiritual cost? Can we afford that?”