At the time of the writing of this contribution for theStandard Bearer Mrs. Lubbers and I are at home in Michigan. It was a real joy to arrive in the Kent County Airport on June 5th to be greeted by our family and friends; it, was also most blessed to be greeted and received by the many, many brethren and sisters of the various churches in and around Grand Rapids. Really, I am thinking in this sketch very much about the dear brothers and sisters in the congregations outside of the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.
Synod of 1972 is about to come to the conclusion of its important labors. I might personally attend many of the sessions. After many days of waiting finally the matters of the Jamaica Mission were brought under discussion. Some important decisions were taken. Permit me to tell you a bit about the Jamaican problems which Synod faced and on which they gave directives, looking for the gracious blessings of the King of the church.
One matter of extreme importance is the matter of giving help to the undersigned by calling a second missionary. Synod seriously faced this reality, discussed the various facets of it, the problems involved, the advantages to be gained by it. However, Synod was not ready to thus decide. Instead they decided an alternate proposition, to send a man for two three-month terms to Jamaica in the next year. Of course, this will needs be one of our ministers now serving in one of our churches. There are reasons for this. In the first place, one coming to Jamaica to aid in the work must be able to preach in Christ’s Name. Then, too, one who comes should be able to teach for three months in the “Protestant Reformed Jamaica Bible School.” He will need to teach courses in Hermeneutics (Methods of Bible Interpretation) and Homiletics (art of Sermon-making). The undersigned would then continue in teaching the four students in Doctrine, Bible-History, Church History and English Composition. Thus we will have more than one string on our teaching-harp.
We are thankful to God for Synod’s decision. We realize that this involves more expense. However, the Jamaica Mission is conducted ever with minimum possible expenditures. A realistic sum of some $5,000.00 (American) was allotted for this purpose. This should cover traveling for two trips, the renting of a second car, and the renting of suitable quarters for the emissary minister and his wife. It would hardly be correct to decide that the emissary and his wife move in with the missionary and his wife for a period of two three-month periods. Synod did not even suggest such a possibility as a workable solution. So a sizable amount of money is needed for this emissary (s) to Jamaica. We are most confident that whoever the Mission Committee requests to go will have the whole-hearted support from his consistory and congregation; moreover, they will receive the blessing of the Lord for such a sacrifice of love!
Perhaps it will interest the reader to know the grounds for such “help” for your Missionary and his wife. I quote the following from one of the “reports” as the grounds submitted by the undersigned for a helper, yes, for a second full-time missionary.
1. A missionary needs the spiritual and moral support of a fellow-missionary. Paul ever had such a man. Christ sent out two-by-two.
2. The field needs more preaching, incisive preaching, inculcating the Reformed principles. Their ministers do well there, but there are not enough of them. There is need of more preaching in more churches each Sunday and during the week. And the students are not yet ready to meet such responsibilities.
3. The School (the students) would profit by having another minister teaching, besides the undersigned.
Mrs. Lubbers and I face an immediate problem when we return to the island of Jamaica. This is a matter for which we covet your earnest prayers. We will need to move from our home in Coral Gardens which the Mission Committee has rented now for over three years. The present owner bought it so that he might rent it out. Thus we and our interest were vouchsafed. The problem now arises in that Mr. Anderson must sell, and attempting to sell it to one who would rent to us limits his selling prospects greatly. Mr. Anderson gave us therefore the first opportunity to buy it as churches for a sum of seventeen thousand five hundred Jamaican dollars, or about twenty two thousand United States dollars. The Synod did not decide to purchase this property. They declined on the following grounds:
1. That the location is not good. The missionary should live in or around Savanah-La-Mar. This is also lower rent community and the Missionary would live nearer to more of the churches; he would also be thirty-five (35) miles nearer to the school.
2. The price of the property is too high; it is inflation price and the roof needs repairing.
Now we will need to be led by the Lord Himself to our next place to live. May the Lord direct our footsteps and give us once more a suitable place to live; a place where we can have discussions for the ministers, where the clothing can be stored from the clothing-drive.
Pray for us, brethren!
There are more matters with which we would inform you, but this must wait for a later sketch of our labors.
We would then desire to inform you concerning some of the basic church-political problems on the island and also concerning some important decisions which were taken by the Jamaican brethren to have some more order in their churches on Presbyterial—Biblical principles.