Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Home Mission Report - Bellevue -

Written by Rev. Kuldip S. Gangar
There are so many reasons to give thanks to the Lord. I would like, in this brief survey, to highlight some of them.

(1) A Place of Meeting
When I arrived in March 1991, the group was meeting in a school gymnasium. This soon proved to be inconvenient as individuals would arrive to play basketball while we were finishing the morning service. We then moved to a Parks Department building--one that also proved to be not suitable. Since the building was shared with other groups, we had to compete with the smell of incense from others who met for their worship, between services. Next we moved to an adult day care facility. After a while, its room was too small for us. During all these moves, there was never a Sunday where there was not some place for us to meet.

We rejoice that the Lord has now given us a permanent rented building. It is in a convenient location and consists of adequate space. Unlike all the previous locations, we are now able to have a regular church education program since there are three classrooms available. Having a permanent meeting place has also increased our attendance from outsiders because moving every six months or so gave us the appearance of not being a church.

(2) Preaching and Teaching
Right from the beginning we have had two services. It has been a blessing because it attracted to our group regular visitors who were looking for a faithful church. At first there was no church education program since the group was small and we had no classrooms. In the present building there are three classes and about twenty children, along with dedicated teachers.

Thanks goes to elder Jack Vander Zwan of Langley who helped tremendously with the present building and installed a sound system. This has been a real blessing, as services can be recorded, and last year alone, over 500 tapes were distributed. The Word is bearing fruit both in terms of bringing individuals under conviction, as well as in the lives of those who regularly attend. A monthly preaching service is also held in a full-time adult care facility for the elderly. Three others from the church aid in this service and deep appreciation is expressed by the staff for our coming to minister.

(3) Attendance
The fact that we had to move nearly every six months did not attract people to join us. We were considered just another small group with only 25 people to start with. The Lord has added to our numbers over the years. This has been especially true since we obtained our present facility in May 1993. In March 1993 the group was comprised of twelve communicant members and five baptized children. At present there are twenty-four communicant members and twenty-two baptized children. From seventy-five to eighty-five are in attendance.

The Lord has added to our number on a regular basis. We look with anticipation to the years ahead. We're in the process of looking for a larger place because the sanctuary holds only about eighty and we've had as many as eighty-seven. Even though our membership is forty-six, there are an additional fifty-four individuals who simply attend. It is our prayer that once the church is instituted, many of them will commit themselves also in membership. Finally, we rejoice that the ministry of the Word is truly international in scope. There are a dozen or so people from the Baan Company who are working temporarily in the Bellevue area. Those who have returned home to the Netherlands have expressed how they miss the fellowship and the Free Reformed preaching.

(4) Financial Situation
When we began, the group was self-sufficient in terms of meeting the rental cost and help was given towards the pastor's salary. Since moving into the present facility our cost has increased, but the Lord has also brought in those who have desired to see the Lord's work prosper. Giving has been very good considering there are only fifteen or so employed persons in the congregation.

An area where we have witnessed this most is in the building fund. There is a true desire to see a church building. Recent gifts have given the church the new responsibility of seeking either a piece of property, or looking into renting a church. We thank the Lord for granting such gifts, and pray for wisdom for those in the building committee--how best to use them. Supplying 67% of the budget, we pray that before long, we may be in a position to support other mission works.

(5) Looking to Institution
At the February 1996 congregational meeting, plans to overture Synod 1996 for institution, were discussed. There was overwhelming support. A petition was signed by twenty-nine adults. This was adopted by our supervising consistory. We look to the Lord to provide godly men to be office bearers. Presently there is an office bearers' class with twelve in attendance. The church has, at the moment, one elder and one deacon.

As we await Synod's decision, please continue to pray for us. We would ask you to pray in the following areas:

1. We may see the Lord bless His Word to the saving of souls--especially to those presently under conviction.

2. We may continue to see additions to our fellowship.

3. That those who are regular attenders may join us in membership, and serve the Lord.

4. That we may see the generous giving to the church continue, so that we may have our own building.

5. We may be granted holy men for the offices of elder and deacon.

6. That the fruit of the Word may continue to multiply, not only in Bellevue, but wherever it goes via tape and also by word-of-mouth of the members.

I cannot conclude this report without expressing our appreciation to both the Langley council and congregation: to the Langley council for their continual support and supervision, and to the Langley congregation for their prayers and generous gifts to the work. We also thank the Home Missions Committee for their encouragement and advice given throughout the years, and for the visits we have received, showing their interest in the work.

To all our brothers and sisters in the Free Reformed Churches, we are greatly indebted for their prayers and support. May the Lord continue to bless our denomination with a vision for the spread of the gospel through further mission stations.

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