News From Our Churches

I finally received a welcome letter from Rev. T. Miersma written by his wife Jan. The letter cleared up the question about the difficulties they were having with the Canadian Consulate in Detroit. Actually there were no difficulties, as this quote will show, "To our surprise when we had the interview, on September 27, and asked about the possibility of getting such a permit (work permit), the vice consul replied, that he could write that up for us a minute, and so we could move immediately if we wanted. . . . Two weeks from the date of the interview we were on our way to Alberta in a caravan of two rental trucks and our car." The trip lasted four days. Edmonton is approximately 800 miles (1,280 kilometers) from the nearest Protestant Reformed Church which is in Lynden, Washington. I am certainly happy that things went smoothly for the Miersmas. 

The program presented by Rev. den Hartog was extremely valuable for all those who attended. It was a good thing that the program was held at First Church, Grand Rapids because the balconies were partially filled that fine evening. Rev. den Hartog presented an overall view of the people and the church in Singapore. I know that the people in our churches in New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington will be thankful that they were able to see the slides of Singapore and also to meet with Rev. den Hartog. We are certainly thankful to God for the work that He has performed through Rev. den Hartog in Singapore. In a heathen land, the Scriptures and those who trust in them stand out as shining lights in the midst of darkness. The church can not exist without them, as this quote from Covenant Protestant Reformed Church's bulletin informs us: "for this reason Scripture has by divine ordinance, been made so necessary, that it pertains not only to the well-being of the church, but to its very being, so that now the church cannot exist without the Scripture" (Turretin). 

The following quote, also from the bulletin of Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, clearly describes the work that Reverends Houck, Van Overloop, and Hanko were involved in: we ". . .spent a very profitable week, visiting and ministering to the needs of various individuals and groups in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland this past week. Wherever we went we were able to rejoice in the communion of the saints, even with those we had never met before, and always our bond of union was the glorious truth of God's sovereign grace. We thank God that He has brought us safely to the end of this work and we pray that it may bring forth fruit, especially if it be His will toward a field for home missions labors." I hope that this is only the beginning of home missions work on the east coast. It is important to realize that their schedule was to meet with two or three families in Plymouth, Vermont; a group near Boston, Massachusetts; two families in Hagerstown, Maryland; a group in North Cape May, New Jersey; and a group in Blairstown. May God bring forth fruit from their labors.

Kalamazoo Protestant Reformed Church's Young People's Society has been studying the history of our churches. To get a clear picture of the years 1930 to 1950, they have asked Prof. H.C. Hoeksema to talk to them about the development of the church during those years. I believe that they have also asked Rev. C. Hanko to speak to them. 

The consistory of First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta has "decided to make the term of office of the deacons to be the same as that for elders; it has therefore been changed from two years to three years, as the consistory felt that two years was too short a time to begin and effectively carry out the work required by the office." 

What about the church building in New Jersey? "The steps were installed last week on the inside of the building. We hope that the work of the electrician will also soon be finished." 

—DH