Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From the Editor

Written by George Bok
As we are thinking of the work, and the great commission, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel," we must go back to the time when Jesus spoke these words to the disciples. It was just before He ascended to His Father and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus gave them the command to go, He would also equip them for this great task. Therefore, He told His disciples to wait for the promise of the Father, for "after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, shall ye be witnesses of Me." On the great day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given, and the disciples received power and went out to preach the message of forgiveness through faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Since that time God commands all men everywhere to repent and to believe the witness He gave of His Son. We also, as churches, seek to be faithful in following the Lord's command. We may be His witnesses and labourers, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. With our labour comes our need, and with our needs comes our prayer, "Make us Thy labourers."

The summer is past and things are getting back to normal. The Herfst family has returned to Cubulco from their furlough in Canada. Nico and Lia Kattenberg have returned to Costa Rico after a short trip home. John and Connie Otten with their children are still in Canada and hope to return to Cubulco late September, since John is taking some extra pilot training. Gary and Martha DeSterke with their children are making preparations to leave the mission field. In connection with their leaving, the Mission Committee sent a letter to inform our congregations. For those who missed it or worship in other churches, this letter is printed below.

During this past month, the Mission Committee has received notice from Gary and Martha DeSterke that they wish to be released from their labours on the mission field. In their letter to the Mission Committee, they give several reasons which they believe are God's indication that their work is done in Cubulco. At our meeting of June 29/99, the Mission Committee accepted their request effective October 1, 1999 and accordingly is informing the churches by way of this letter.

Gary and Martha DeSterke have been in Cubulco since September 1989. During this time they were involved in setting up the hospital with AMG/Word and Deed, were instrumental in organizing our mission work in terms of housing, legal and administrative set-up needs, and (after returning from a two year language study program in B.C. in 1995) were able to establish a translation centre and team in Cubulco to translate the Old Testament in Achi.

We may thankfully report that the work of translation is progressing smoothly and that it remains our goal to have the Old Testament completed in the Achi language within 10 years the Lord willing. Both Gary and the Mission Committee feel that the translation work need not be hindered with his leaving. He has ably selected and trained local Achi people who can continue the work with minimal supervision.

In their report to the Mission Committee the DeSterkes note that they "have no regrets and feel privileged to have sown the good seed and also to have seen fruit on it". On behalf of the denomination, the Mission Committee wishes to publicly thank Gary and Martha for their labours, recognizing as they do that the Lord has given the increase also in terms of the translation of His Word. To Him be all the glory.

As a postscript it can be added that their efforts and concern in regard to the adoption of Jonathan have been laid to rest. On August 16 the DeSterkeÕs wrote:

We rejoice in receiving the good news of the long-awaited approval of JonathanÕs adoption! We hope to sign the final papers this weekend. Then will follow 2 or 3 weeks of routine paperwork (municipal registration, amended birth certificate, passport, Canadian visa, etc.). We thank all who have interceded on our behalf. We and our children have once again been grateful witnesses that God hears and answers prayer! Rejoice with us!

With Christian greetings, Gary & Martha, David, Ruth and Jonathan

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