News From Our Churches

Rev. den Hartog, our missionary in Singapore, is visiting the Grand Rapids area for a little while. The Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Society of First Protestant Reformed Church is sponsoring a night with Rev. den Hartog and his work in Singapore, November 16, at 8 P.M. in First Church. We welcome the den Hartogs into our midst again while they are on furlough for six weeks. If you want first hand information on how Rev. Lau Chin Kwee and his family are doing, then make sure that you take the time to talk with Rev. den Hartog and his family while they are here. 

You may be wondering how busy are Rev. den Hartog and Rev. Lau Chin Kwee in Singapore. The articles in the Standard Bearer have kept us informed of their work. However, there are other sources that mention the work in Singapore, e.g., “Across the Aisle.” A few sentences from the October issue will give you a clear picture of the work of these two men. “Presently Pastor Lau and myself are alternating preaching at the morning worship service in our regular worship service and at the evening worship service in Toa Payoh. If the Lord continues to bless this work as He is doing it may not be very long before it will be feasible to start another congregation.” “Another exciting thing going on is our new study at Pacific Mansion every Thursday evening.” “I am continuing to give one brother in the church pre-seminary instruction.” “There continues to be a very great amount of pastoral work in the church. It is really good that there are now two pastors to handle this also. I am really convinced that a foreign mission field requires a lot of pastoral work. A missionary needs to do much more than just preach from the pulpit.” Perhaps you may want to know how Rev. den Hartog feels about leaving Rev. Lau all alone with such a busy work load—then read this quote: “We are looking forward to our furlough very much of course. Sometimes though I feel a little guilty about going away for such a long time. Pastor Lau is really going to have his hands full when we are gone.” We can appreciate Rev. den Hartog’s wanting to be with us again but also his being very anxious to be back in Singapore to continue the work. May our faithful covenant. God bless the den Hartogs while they visit with us. 

Now that the new school year has already started, some Sunday School societies have ended for the year while others have just begun the year. Don and Judi Doezema were busy again this past summer preparing the next series of Our Guide, the publication which has been the main curriculum material for our Sunday Schools throughout the years. The newest papers, we understand, will complete the current study of the New Testament and then return to a treatment of the Old. In a report to the Protestant Reformed Sunday School Association, Mr. Doezema predicts that the papers dealing with the first part of Genesis will, because of the nature of the subject matter, be something of a challenge. He admits to having spent several days on each of those lessons (“researching, writing, calling ministers, rewriting”)—about twice as much time as was needed for lessons of previous years. “Not only have I learned a whole lot in doing that,” he says, “but I’ve found the subject matter to be most interesting, even exciting.” He’s convinced therefore that, though the pace may seem sometimes to be slow, the lessons “can be taught—with profit, both for teachers and students.” Reflecting on ten years of preparing papers, Don says that “it’s beenhard work—no doubt about that. But, perhaps for that reason, it’s been immeasurably profitable.” And he adds, “I only hope that I’ve been able to communicate, over the years, something of what I’ve learned in the process.” 

Rev. Van Overloop and Rev. Houck visited the eastern part of the U.S.A. in the New Jersey, Vermont, Maryland, and Pennsylvania areas the first part of November. They did follow-up work with many contacts made in these areas. In addition, Rev. Van Overloop gave a lecture, a Reformation Lecture, on November 5, in New Jersey. They hope to seek out a field of labor for Rev. Houck. 

Can you be in two places at once? Of course not! But if you were with Rev. Engelsma on October 28, you would have seen him give a Keynote address to the Teachers’ Convention in South Holland, in the morning, on “Developing the Theme of Instructing and Preparing our Covenant Children for the End of Time,” and a Reformation Day Lecture in the Grand Rapids area the same evening, on “The Reformation and Christian Piety.” 

What is the “Question Box”? Find out next time.