News From Our Churches

David Harbach is a teacher at Adams St. Prot. Ref. Christian School, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Six years may seem like a long time to be away from home but for Rev. Arie den Hartog and his family this time has passed quickly. In the year ahead, Rev. den Hartog will be seriously considering what the will of the Lord will be for them as far as staying in Singapore or returning to the States is concerned. Here is the latest news in regards to their work on the island.

“December as usual will be a busy month in the church. Next week will be the Student’s Bible Camp . . . . I am to give four messages on the theme ‘The Christian’s Firm Foundation . . . . I have another three special speaking engagements . . . . One of these . . . meetings the church will be inviting parents and relatives to come to hear the Christmas story. The message will therefore be translated into Chinese . . . .

“The greatest problem we continue to face is that of having more girls than boys in our membership. The sisters who are getting older are discouraged at not being able to find Christian marriage partners.

+”The church is once again seriously considering the matter of starting another congregation. The two main reasons for this are the hope that in doing this we will be able to expand the witness of our church and the fact that Brother Jaikishin Mahtani will soon be returning from his seminary training in the U.S.A. The major obstacle that we always face however is the difficulty of finding a meeting place.”

Jamaica is the home for Revs. Bruinsma and Joostens and their families. They have been very busy on the island organizing the field so that the labors of Rev. Bruinsma can be beneficial to a greater number of churches. Here are a few sentences from Rev. Joostens’ letter to the congregation of First Church.

“We, that is Elder Reed and myself, have been going through the hills in Cave Mt. visiting the people . . . . The clothing we brought has been distributed in Waterworks and Beeston congregations. The next batch will find us dealing with Cave Mt. and Belmont.

“. . . I can report that though I miss the duties at First Church, I have found attentiveness here to God’s Word, and a readiness to learn. The singing is a high priority with us. We are looking forward to the Psalter booklets to facilitate this.”

And Rev. Bruinsma has also sent a letter in which he made the following comments.

“At this time there are three Jamaican ministers who each labor in a congregation. This means there are four churches who have been without a minister either for as long as they have existed or at least for many, many years now. It is in these congregations we have set up Sunday services, midweek Bible study groups, and organized Sunday School instruction. Besides this I am presently teaching elder Thomlyson in Beeston Spring to be a minister in his congregation.”

Rev. Joostens and his family have returned to the States for the Christmas vacation. Rev. C. Hanko has left for Bradenton for the winter.

First Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan is now holding services in their new church. But they will not be holding their dedication service until April or May because the building is not complete, December is a busy time of the year, and they will have more time to prepare a nice program which will include former ministers who are not going to be in the Grand Rapids area for December or January.

Tapes of the six messages and the question and answer period given during the conference on Marriage are available for $10 from South Holland’s Evangelism Committee, 16515 South Park Ave., South Holland, IL 60473.

In a good number of church bulletins recently we have noticed reference to the magazine of our schools,Perspectives in Covenant Education. The intent of the brief notice in each was to encourage subscription to “Perspectives.” We’d like, if we may, to underscore that. You will enjoy this little publication, which comes out three times each year. Many of you who do not currently subscribe have received a free copy of the Fall 1985 issue. Have you read it? Did you like it? Then ask to receive it regularly—by sending a card or letter to Perspectives in Covenant Education, 1150 Adams St. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49507.