The Synod of 1944 had received an overture from Classis West that Synod “investigate the possibility of establishing an outlet for Foreign Mission Endeavor in the way of supporting some reputable Mission, now, and, in case this proves to be impossible, that a fund be established for this work in order that when the opportunity presents itself, either to support some reputable Mission or to establish our own Foreign Mission, we will be prepared to make use of it”.
The Synod of 1944 adopted this overture and gave the matter to the Mission Committee for study. It was also decided that the Mission Committee send a copy of its report and recommendation to the Various Consistories for study, previous to its discussion at Synod. Since nothing was accomplished before Synod of 1945, that Synod reminded’ the Mission Committee of its mandate. Since then the present Mission Committee has been studying this matter and is ready to report.
The Mission Committee feeling that this report is of interest to our Churches as a whole and not only our Consistories, and since, no doubt, all of our people, are interested in the matter, decided to publish its findings and recommendations in the Standard Bearer.
Instead, therefore, of sending a copy of the report to all our Consistories by private mail, we publish it in this issue of the Standard Bearer, and Consistories will please take note.
The report here follows:
The Mission Committee has studied the mandate received from Synod of 1944 regarding Foreign Mission endeavor (cf. Acts 1944, Art. 49). As a result of our study and investigations we offer the following advice and recommendations:
I. That our Churches raise a fund with a view to seeking out and establishing a Foreign Mission of our own at the earliest possible date.
- Foreign Mission activity is our calling, as churches of Christ, to preach the Gospel to all nations.
- The opening of a work of our own is the ideal in order that all of our Mission activity may be exclusively based upon and controlled by our own churches and their principles.
- Our Churches are now numerically and financially strong enough to support a work of their own.
- Missionary leaders of other denominations have advised that this procedure would be most preferable.
II. That the minimum amount necessary for the establishment of a foreign work is $10,000 and we suggest this as the initial amount to be raised.
Preliminary investigation reveals that this would be the amount required (in normal times) to provide for travelling expenses, investigation of field, language study, purchase or rental of buildings, etc., required for the establishment of a work.
III. That this fund, after its establishment, may be used to support some reputable existing Foreign Mission endeavor in case it becomes impossible to begin a work of our own.
- Many factors may make it impossible to establish a work of our own in the near future.
- Since we can do something, we are not to be excused from assuming our obligation in this respect but are in duty bound to do what we can.
- This would keep the work and principal of Foreign Mission activity alive within our Churches as preparatory to establishing our own work.
IV. That Synod consider China as the possible field to begin our Foreign Mission Activity.
- Many large portions of China have never heard the Gospel.
- Preliminary investigation indicates that China presents an “open door” for the Gospel and that work may soon be begun there.
- Testimony of Missionaries that have served in China reveals that the Chinese are generally of greater than average mentality.
- From testimony it is evident that the Chinese are receptive to the Truth and willing to give audience to the Missionary.
- A work in China would not be too great a financial burden for our Churches.
- Many lesser considerations, viz.: climate, transportation facilities, density of population, etc. favor the choice of China over other possibilities considered’.
V. That Synod devise ways and means to seek out and encourage young men to present themselves for this work.
- Foreign Mission service is work of a special nature and implies a particular calling, e.g. the Apostle Paul.
- About a year’s study is required beyond the theological training period to gain a working knowledge of the language. This would require young men for their ability to learn and in order to insure a greater length of service in the work.
- Particular training throughout the period of preparation would be beneficial.
VI. Finally, the Committee brings to the attention of Synod the question as to whether or not the existing Mission Funds should be used for the establishment of a Foreign Mission endeavor.
The Mission Committee:
R. Veldman, President
W. Hofman, Secretary
N. Vander Wal N. Yorker