The April 27 bulletin of Hudsonville, the calling church for our second home missionary, included a couple of brief references to progress of the work being done in Maine. I’ll quote the last three sentences of a paragraph entitled, “Church News.” They read as follows: “Reports from Skowhegan inform us that there seems to be some new interest arising in the area. The radio broadcasts of Rev. Kuiper are being aired weekly. Fifty people attended a lecture of Rev. A. den Hartog last Wednesday evening; the best attendance they have had so far.”
How about some school news? It’s been quite some time, I think, since we last included any of that in this column, and there have been some interesting developments lately. The spring issue of Loveland’s “Ledger” for example, includes a report from the school board indicating that “the new school is finally nearing its last stages of construction.” Much of the work, apparently, was done by volunteer labor. According to the report, “most every evening finds our volunteers setting tile, hanging doors, and building cupboards.” The school’s principal/teacher, incidentally, was put in charge of the painting, and, according to the report, did a good share of it himself. Mr. Kuiper is a summer-time painter from way back, you see, so he was able to put his non-professional skills to good use in the new building. The Ladies Circle, meanwhile, has been busy with various fund-raising activities, with a view to purchasing new things for the school. They hoped to provide, for example, a conference table, with eight accompanying chairs, and a new duplicating machine (which Ledger readers will probably appreciate almost as much as do the teachers).
“Soon this long looked for and worked for school,” the article concluded, “will be a reality.” Both students and teachers, according to another article in the “Ledger,” look forward eagerly to that reality. An eager 1st grader, after what the principal referred to as a “guided tour” of the new building, was heard to exclaim, “Goody! All we have to do is sweep the floor and we can move in.” And Mr. Kuiper, after teaching for some time in the church basement, admitted that, “Looking at the spacious, well-lighted rooms, large bathrooms, and the plentiful storage areas, Miss Lubbers and I can’t wait for that moving day either.” Perhaps our seminary professors and students know, better than anyone else, how they feel.
Then there’s the news concerning the realization of Redland’s plans to begin a school of their own. That their progress is of more than mere local interest is plain, I think, from the fact that the following information comes from a bulletin of our Randolph congregation. Here it is:
“After much prayer and planning, the Redland School Society plans, the Lord willing, to open their own Christian School in September of 1975. On a two-acre parcel of ground they are at present building a three-room cement-block school. Two of the rooms will be classrooms: one for kindergarten through grade 4, the other for grades 5 through 9. The third room will be a small all-purpose room.
“The first year, 1975-1976, they anticipate 28 children to be enrolled. They hope to have two full-time teachers, with possible help from ladies of the congregation for the kindergarten children.
“. . . Let’s rejoice with them and help as we are able in this worthwhile project.” Since the time of the writing of that April bulletin, the anticipated enrollment was increased to thirty-one. Three, children, who would otherwise be attending Hope School in Grand Rapids, will be moving to Redlands with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Huisken, who have been contracted to teach next year in the new school.
Continuing with our school news, I’d like to pass along a bit of information taken from the March 9 bulletin of our Hull congregation. A paragraph entitled “News From Our School Board” reads as follows:
“The board has been busy with working out details on our own school. We have taken possession of our property and have since rented out the house. The committees have been working on the various aspects of our school—building, desks, books, etc., are being looked into. We hope to have more details by our next annual society meeting. May the Lord bless us as we labor in this calling.”
And, finally, we note that another of our smaller schools is thinking of possible expansion. A newsletter distributed by the Protestant Reformed Christian School of South Holland reported an ever-increasing enrollment. We quote:
“Our enrollment has increased and, with the Lord’s blessing, we pray that it may continue to grow and be used for His kingdom. But with increased enrollment, it seems we are becoming crowded for space. All rooms are now being used as classrooms. The Board has a committee working on future expansion. We will be hearing from this long-range study committee and when we do we will pass this information on to you. We look forward to their findings and recommendations.”
I’d like to conclude this article with the final paragraph of that South Holland newsletter. The sentiments expressed in it are fitting for each of our Protestant Reformed Christian Schools. It reads thus:
“Above all, we covet your prayers for our Christian school. May our God bless and use the work being done here, because without His blessing we labor in vain.”