Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Interview with Student Joel Overduin

Written by Student Joel Overduin
Joel Overduin is in his last year at PRTS. He and his wife Marianne are from Chilliwack, B.C. Recently they had their first baby. They live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
This past June I had the privilege of working as a student intern under the guidance of Rev. Pronk and the consistory of the Brantford Free Reformed Church. It was truly a special month. My wife and I experienced the warm welcome and generous hospitality of the Brantford congregation and especially the kindness of Peter and Audrey Hamstra, whose beautiful basement apartment became our home for the month. We have good memories of our time there.

The purpose of this internship was to expose me to the life of the ministry with all its variation and diversity. In addition to preaching responsibilities, at least one service per LordÕs Day, Rev. Pronk and the elders kept me busy with sick calls and house visits. Additionally, I attended one consistory meeting, one deaconsÕ meeting, and one eldersÕ meeting. During this time I learned more about the pastoral side of the ministry, the need for wisdom and gentleness, and the importance of bringing the Word of God to the congregation in all her various conditions. On two occasions, the elders held supervisory sessions with me during which we discussed the internship in general and more particularly, the sermons I preached to the congregation on previous LordÕs days. These sessions proved helpful as the elders offered constructive critique and encouragement. Indeed, one of the valuable advantages of an internship is the opportunity to preach consecutively to one congregation while at the same time learning to know the people through weekday contacts.

As I reflect on those days now, two distinct memories come to mind. The first is the mission presentation in early June by Fred and Arlene Jonkman, members of the Brantford church, serving in Ecuador. Not only was the presentation attractive and informative, but the real need of this world for the gospel became very clear. Fred spoke fervently on this point and challenged the assembled people, also many children and young people, whether or not the Lord might call anyone to serve in a special way in His kingdom. Then, several weeks later, I spent a morning at the Brantford Blessing Centre, a local ministry to the homeless. While there, I met many people, almost all with broken lives, and especially blind eyes to the gospel of the Lord Jesus. How these two experiences served to reinforce to me the great need of the ministry of the Word of God together with the indispensable work of the Holy Spirit, not only in our own churches but also in the world in which we live. May the LordÕs kingdom come.

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