Tag Archives: missionaries

Get to Know Our Missionaries (3)

Our next stop is north-eastern Brazil where Rev. Ken Wieske and Rev. Julius VanSpronsen are labouring.  They have been sent out by the Maranatha church in Surrey, BC, and their work is supported by all the Canadian Reformed churches in western Canada and the USA.  The Maranatha church has been doing mission work in Brazil since 1970.  Former missionaries include Rev. Cornelius VanSpronsen (the father of Julius), Rev. Ralph Boersema, Rev. Piet Meijer, and Rev. Elso Venema.  As a result of their labours (and others from the Netherlands and Hamilton, ON), there is now a small federation of Reformed Churches in Brazil (Igregas Reformadas do Brasil — IRB).  Today, Rev. Wieske and Rev. VanSpronsen are concentrating on helping this small federation to grow and develop further.  The Aldeia Training Centre (in the Recife area) is an important part of this work, giving the missionaries an excellent teaching facility.  Although it does not appear to have been updated recently, the Maranatha Mission Board has a website here.

Get to Know Our Missionaries (2)

Rev. Frank Dong is a missionary whose work is overseen by the Langley and Cloverdale Canadian Reformed churches.  His main area of focus is the Chinese population in Metro Vancouver.  Rev. Dong began this work in 2000.  Over the last nine years, the Lord has blessed his efforts and the result is a small mission congregation, the Chinese Reformed Church.  They meet each Sunday for worship services in the building of the Cloverdale church.  With officebearer training well underway, their hope is to see this church instituted in the near future.  He is assisted by another full-time worker, Maple Zeng.  Besides working in the Vancouver area, Rev. Dong also provides Reformed theological training abroad.    While he is sent out by the Langley and Cloverdale churches, his work is financially and prayerfully supported by numerous other Canadian Reformed churches.

Get to Know our Missionaries (1)

Through the course of this week, I’m going to do a series of posts in which I introduce our Canadian Reformed missionaries.  Sometimes it’s said that our churches are doing very little with regards to mission work.  I think this series will demonstrate that, actually, we are involved in quite a number of missionary endeavours.  Yes, we could be doing more.  Yes, we could be more zealous for planting Canadian Reformed churches, especially in cities that have no Reformed witness.  But let’s also be thankful for what we have been able, by God’s grace, to do till now.  Let’s prayerfully support our missionaries and encourage them wherever we can.

Let’s begin with a work that is dear to my heart.  For many years, the Canadian Reformed Church in Smithers has been working among the First Nations of their immediate area.  I served as a missionary of this church from 2000-2005, working in the small village of Fort Babine.  After my departure, things wound down at the Fort Babine post and the attention shifted towards the largest city in northern BC, Prince George.  Rev. Jim Witteveen was ordained as their missionary in 2007 and his entire work has been focussed on PG, both with the local First Nations and others.  Rev. Witteveen is doing great work and it appears that the Lord is richly blessing his efforts.  Some day we hope to see a Canadian Reformed church instituted in this city.  You can find Rev. Witteveen’s  blog here and the mission website here.