News From Our Churches

Mr. Wigger is an elder in the Protestant Reformed Church of Hudsonville, Michigan.

Mission Activities

The Foreign Mission Committee of our churches met in late November at the Hull, Iowa PRC. Most of the business that morning centered in the report of the recently completed trip of Pastors A. den Hartog and R. Smit to the Philippines. However, the committee also reported that they had just recently heard from the Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, that they will consider our churches' inquiries and requests with respect to sponsorship by the end of November. We should hear from them soon. In anticipation of this, our FMC planned to spend some time on the subject of Ghana at a special meeting after receiving that material.

Rev. B. Gritters, pastor of the Hudsonville, MI PRC, reported to his congregation, by way of their monthly newsletter, "A Closer Look," about his and Rev. K. Koole's recently completed trip to the Emerald Isle. They visited our churches' missionary there, Rev. R. Hanko, and his family, and the Covenant PRC in Northern Ireland. Since Pastor Gritters can say it so much better than I, I include a few of those highlights here for you as well.

The congregation had arranged that we stay in the homes of four different families of the congregation (the Hankos, Clarkes, Reids, and McAuleys). In addition, many members of the church wanted to have us over for a meal during our stay. The result was not only that I gained a good part of a stone in weight(no word on Rev. Koole), but also had interesting and profitable fellowship with the saints there.

Our consistory (Hudsonville) and the Domestic Mission Committee had given us a specific, written mandate with regard to the oversight of our missionary, his family, and work. Part of it was to conduct "church visitation" with the consistory there. But the most important part of our work was to discuss with the consistory the possibility of "sister-church relations" with them. Rev. Koole's place in our delegation was to represent our Committee of Contact with other Churches. The uniqueness of this proposed relation is that Covenant PRC is not a denomination but a single congregation. They have no classis or synod. Without them there is no possibility of protest or appeal from them so they seek that right through our churches. Synod will finally decide all these matters, but we made good progress and have a good hope that we will be able to relate in a profitable way to this new and little but quite mature congregation.

The next meeting with the consistory was for church visitation. We are glad to be able to report a rich peace and unity in their congregation in large part due to the diligent and faithful labors of the officebearers. The consistory reports their great love for our missionary among them. Rev. Hanko continues to be greatly appreciated for his faithful labors of love for the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Since I first visited in the early 90's, the group has doubled in size. There were over 60 people at each of the services we attended.

We also conducted family visitation with Pastor Hanko and his family on behalf of Hudsonville's

consistory. The Lord gives fruit to their work, which is a good encouragement to them. Their children are well adjusted and happy in their work and studies.

Pastor Gritters goes on to say that "if we learned anything, we learned of Covenant's great love for the truth of the Reformed faith and for its messenger, Pastor Hanko."

Sister Church Activities

In looking over recent bulletins sent from the First Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore, we found a reference to a first in the history of that congregation. On Sunday, August 30, one of their members made confession of faith. Nothing very unusual about that, unless you consider that this was the first time in that church's short history that one who was baptized as an infant in their church made public confession of faith when reaching the "age of discretion." We pause and add our thanks for that evidence of the work of God's grace with their children.

Congregation Activities

In a follow-up to a recent council survey, the council of the South Holland, IL PRC decided that there was enough interest regarding a possible daughter church among their members. South Holland decided to arrange a meeting to which all those interested would be invited. The date and details of that meeting were to be announced later.

Following the evening service on Sunday, November 22, the Choral Society of the South Holland, IL PRC presented a concert for the spiritual enjoyment of their congregation.

Minister Activities

Rev. R. VanOverloop, pastor of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, sustained injuries from a bad fall in mid-November while working at their new church construction site. He fell about 18 feet, breaking ribs, his jaw, and bones in his face near his eye. He submitted to surgery later that week. He continues to recover, but at the time of this writing (early December) he still suffers from double vision and a misaligned jaw, which makes it difficult to chew. The Lord willing he will begin a gradual resumption of his labors this week, starting with leading Bible studies, adding catechism teaching, and finally preaching, perhaps towards the end of December.