At the last meeting of the Foreign Mission Committee the chairman instructed the undersigned to write an informative article concerning our labors in Singapore. It is our desire to inform our people of our activities because of your interest in the spread of the gospel and because we as a committee represent you.
As I am writing this article Rev. James Slopsema of our Edgerton, Minnesota congregation and elder Dewey Engelsma of our Hope, Walker, Michigan congregation are making final arrangements in preparation for their departure to Singapore later this month. Hopefully, they will begin their labors in Singapore on the 24th of March. Our emissaries have been asked to labor there for from one to two months. The time for the actual termination of their labors is left to their discretion. The consistory of our Edgerton congregation has graciously granted our request to send Rev. Slopsema to Singapore. We ask that you remember these brethren before God’s throne of grace as they bring rejoicingly the gospel of Christ Jesus in a foreign land and among people of another culture.
The mandate given our emissaries is to investigate this field through preaching and teaching the gospel of sovereign grace in Christ Jesus. They are to determine, if possible, whether or not God has indeed prepared the hearts of some to receive the Word. We want to know if God has given us as churches an “open door” and thus a field of missionary endeavor.
Let me at this time give you some specifics concerning the physical and spiritual characteristics of the group of people who have asked us for this help. They are all young, English-speaking Chinese men and women. They are all unmarried individuals, predominantly in the age bracket of from eighteen to the early twenties. Some of these individuals are university students. The group numbers about one hundred souls. They have organized as an evangelistic society and call themselves the G.L.T.D., that is, theGospel Letters and Tract Department. They are not an organized church nor are they affiliated with any ecclesiastical body. They have no minister, nor elders or deacons. There are three young men who hold positions of leadership in the group.
These young Chinese believers have come to the knowledge of the Christian faith evidently through the labors of a missionary who held to some Baptistic tenets. The group has experienced considerable turmoil in the past year. The missionary of Baptistic convictions has resigned and no longer is affiliated with the group. The group has committed itself to the doctrine of infant baptism. The interesting thing about this group is that, in all their correspondence concern has been exclusively to gain answers to theological or doctrinal questions. They want desperately to be instructed in the truth of God’s Word. Their correspondence with us reveals therefore an earnest spirituality. Especially did I appreciate the emphasis of a certain Mr. Johnson See Choon Hock, who in his letter to brother. Hoeksema expressed himself thus: “I want to seek the truth and let the truth to set me free.”
You may ask how the Foreign Mission Committee came in contact with this group? Prof. Hoeksema submitted to our committee, in October of 1977, correspondence which he had with a leader of this group. Originally, this group was introduced to our churches by a Mr. Van Rij, of Christchurch, New Zealand, who had arranged for Rev. C. Hanko and Prof. Hoeksema to visit this group on their Australasian tour.
It would be good to point out that our committee sent this group a detailed letter asking many specific questions concerning exactly who they were and what they believed. We asked for a written response signed, not only by a leader or two of the group, but by as many representatives of the group as possible. Thus we received an answer to our inquiry containing the signatures of some thirty-five members of this group.
These young believers asked for help and guidance in their journey to an understanding of and establishment in the truth of God’s Word. We felt obligated to investigate and, if possible, assist them. In just a few, months we will present a full report to Synod for its consideration.
May the blessing of our covenant God rest upon the labors of our emissaries as they bring the precious gospel of Christ crucified and raised from the dead for the justification of all those given Him of the Father from all eternity.
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John.” Acts 8:14. “And the hand of the Lord was with them; and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas that he should go as far as with Prof. Hoeksema and with our committee, their Antioch.” Acts 11:21-22.