Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

From the Editor

Written by George Bok
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 11,12)

The promise of the Redeemer to come was given by God Himself to Adam and Eve to comfort them and their descendants after their fall into disobedience and separation from God. This hope was kept alive by our first parents as they undoubtedly spoke about it to their children and grandchildren.

But as time passed, the promises were forgotten by most people and darkness filled this world. The Lord, in His goodness, renewed His promises time and again. He kept them alive in the hearts of Enoch, Noah, Abraham and David. But when the promises were forgotten, despite many warnings through the prophets, darkness filled the earth and gross darkness the people. Men loved darkness rather than light; when the Light came they did not recognize the Saviour and crucified Him.

He came unto His own to seek and to save the lost, to lead them back to sweet communion with God, His Father. We are all familiar with the history of Jesus as Saviour and Redeemer: how God was faithful to His word and promises and how Jesus suffered and died and arose from the grave to redeem His church without spot or wrinkle. The message is preached and as many as receive Him to them He gives power to become the sons of God.

We, as a denomination, may also be involved in the gathering of the sons of God, for the Lord uses the preaching of the Gospel to accomplish it. This is a great task and takes a lot of devotion and zeal. To preach the Gospel to the Achi people we need to know their language. Gary DeSterke and his team are busy with this work; volume two of Genesis is almost ready for the printer. Four booklets will be distributed to the Achi people and will be used by the literacy program which the Guatemala government is promoting. This secular government is using the Bible to teach the uneducated tribes to read! The Lord governs all things. Also the first of a planned 3-tape set of new songs in the Achi language was recorded, distributed, and greatly appreciated. For all this work time, talent and money is needed, but the Lord has provided and will provide.

Rev. Herfst is working in new areas around Cubulco and is excited about extraordinary opportunities to preach the Gospel. On one occasion he was asked to preach at the ceremony in which the Cubulco mayor was inaugurated. He sees these events as encouraging indications of the fact that the "Eglesia Reformada" is being recognized and accepted in the Cubulco community.

Besides the "aldea" (village) churches, where the Gospel is preached already, there are opportunities to begin preaching stations in other aldeas as well. As a result of preaching and teaching new member classes by pastor Herfst and his helping elders throughout the aldeas, 74 members were baptized, comprising 15 families and 3 young confessing members.

The dedication of a new church building is to take place soon and Nico Kattenberg from the Chilliwack congregation is scheduled to join Rev. Herfst to assist him in his increasing missionary work load; all the Lord willing.

One of the decisions of Synod '98 was to approve a mission budget of $340,000 for '98-'99. We ask the congregations to give our mission work priority so that we may continue to be faithful to the work which the Lord has given us to do.

This issue features an update from John and Connie Otten and their work in the hospital at Cubulco. In addition to the Guatemala mission activities, in the future we also hope to publish some articles from Free Reformed members who faithfully work to promote the Gospel on other mission fields. These articles will supplement our regular mission newsletters.

May the Lord prepare many hearts to receive His Work as it is
made known throughout the world.
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