Subscribe Login Sign up. Foreign Policy. Download Audio. Protesters chant slogans during a rally against former militia fighters in Tripoli, November Violent deaths and other human Loading, please wait Most Read Articles The U. Afshon Ostovar. More: Libya Obama Administration Best of Jump to navigation. President Barack Obama, authorizing military intervention in Libya. The goal, Obama explained, was to save the lives of peaceful, pro-democracy protesters who found themselves the target of a crackdown by Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi.
Not only did Qaddafi endanger the momentum of the nascent Arab Spring, which had recently swept away authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, but he also was poised to commit a bloodbath in the Libyan city where the uprising had started, said the president. Seven months later, in October , after an extended military campaign with sustained Western support, rebel forces conquered the country and shot Qaddafi dead. In the immediate wake of the military victory, U.
Writing in these pages in , Ivo Daalder, then the U. That verdict, however, turns out to have been premature. In addition, we have just started the sacraments section of the Heidelberg Catechism again. We also met a lady from Limerick who has since started coming to our Bible studies—she is a neighbour of Noel Kelly, who also attends the Fellowship. She has agreed to bring Noel to the Bible study every week, and she has also expressed interest in coming to our services, but so far she has not come.
Pat, another somewhat regular attendee, expressed interest in having his daughter visit our Bible study. He says that she needs good teaching, so we shall see if she begins to attend our studies on I Peter. Friends at AIG Conference Another very exciting recent development was an email I received on August 17 from a young man in his early twenties. I met with him on his lunch break the next day and discovered that he had been reading the Bible and Reformed websites and had come across the LRF website.
He has been attending the LRF ever since—many of the services and most of the Bible studies.
There are hindrances to his coming, however. His mother suffers from a very serious illness, for which she recently had surgery, so that he has had to look after her and even bring her to the hospital on certain Sundays, a work of mercy. He is also only one of two qualified drivers in his household, which means that his family either need the car on Sundays or want him to drive them to various places. When he cannot get to the services, he listens to the sermons online. He also has friends whom he wants to invite to the LRF, but they are quite hostile to Protestantism.
Until recently, he and his friends attended Mass regularly, which is quite rare among the youth. Some of his friends even tried to persuade him to attend the papal mass held by pope Francis in Dublin on August 26, but he declined to go. We continue to pray for him, his mother, brothers, and friends.
Colm Ring managed to persuade a goodly number of people to come to one of our worship services recently. He took the contact details of one of them and invited him to the LRF. The he called us to see if we would host them for Sunday lunch Colm and Irini usually have Sunday lunch with us. We agreed, expecting three to five people. However, on Sunday morning, the day after the Creation Conference, a larger group arrived, 12 adults and 3 children! With Colm, Irini, Emily-Kate, Felicity, the Church of God people, Larisa and me, we had 21 people crammed into our house, and we did have adequate food stir fry to feed them all, although we had only 11 chairs.
After lunch, three of the young men sang Amazing Grace for us and then they all headed up to Dublin. I am still in contact with the group and hope to arrange another meeting with them. We have also had other visitors in the past few months: Brian and Holly Fournier and their four daughters, a Reformed Baptist family from Massachusetts September 2 ; my parents September 9 ; Todd and Julie Wagenmaker, parents of Bethany who attended the LRF in while on a study abroad program October 7 , and Rev. Ken Koole October Feedback has been encouraging. This is my first newsletter as a married man: as all of you know, Larisa DeJong and I were married on April 6.
She also hopes to compensate for the lack of fresh Michigan fruit raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are expensive here by growing her own. We shall see how that goes in the Irish climate. In addition, we have made good progress in our application with the Irish immigration service for permanent residency for Larisa in Ireland.
As I always say, you can never have too much cake, especially if it is chocolate cake! While I was in the USA for the wedding with all the preparations that such things entail, including entertaining my family—my parents, siblings, brother-in-law, and three nieces—who were there for the occasion, and spending time with my American friends , Jonathan Langerak, now pastor-elect Langerak, was ably holding the fort: he and his grandparents, Harry and Evelyn Langerak, occupied my house during that time, and Jonathan preached, taught catechism, and led Bible study: the saints greatly enjoyed his ministry; our only regret is that he was not able to finish his sermon series on Jonah, for which he has an open invitation to come back.
Pastor-elect J. Langerak with Jimmy Hogan and Noel Kelly. My last newsletter was March 2, so I did not mention the kerfuffle we had on March 4: on that Sunday morning we arrived at the hall to discover that the access code had been changed and that the employees at the building did not know the new one.
Such flexibility is necessary on the mission field. My catechumens are very intelligent, which a few stories will illustrate. May the Lord bless His Word to their hearts and lives! We have made very good progress, for both are very keen to learn. We finished Lessons on Theology proper.
Irini is on vacation for a few weeks in Greece, but after she returns we hope to continue with Lesson 8 on Creation. On May 25 the Irish electorate voted to remove the right to life of the unborn from the Irish Constitution. I reported more fully on the referendum in the August issue of the Standard Bearer. The British Reformed Conference July has just ended: it was such a wonderful, spiritually uplifting, and encouraging week: excellent speeches, delightful fellowship, enjoyable activities, and good food.
The airlines managed to make the return journey from Wales to Ireland unpleasant, however: although we should have been back in Limerick on Saturday July 28 at about am, we arrived at 1 A. Although we were tired, we had our two worship services and a congregational get-together with food in the afternoon.
Visitors are always welcome!
The president and his staff for sure were also very much concerned with the region stability. Additionally, education and polity continue to be significant and in the unexpected direction. Now, President Obama has stated repeatedly that he will do what is necessary and what is in our national interest to confront ISIL and the threat that it poses to the security of the region and to our security in the long run. More broadly, through my travels as secretary of Defense over the last eight months, a consistent theme has been the desire by countries across the globe, including our allies, old allies, new partners, to increase their partnership with our military forces. It is time to turn the page in the War on Terror.
We trust it may be the same for you. As many of you know, Rev. Trinidad was able to attend the synod as a representative of the PRCP.
He thoroughly enjoyed his time at synod and among the saints in our churches. Upon his return he was very excited to tell us about it. He also appreciated very much and we do too the hospitality he was shown. As missionaries, we continue to labor in the PRCP churches. We serve as advisors at their classis and consistory meetings, assist in church visitation, serve on their standing committees for missions, contact, translation, theological training, etc.
The need for pulpit supply sometimes arises when the pastors are busy on certain Sundays with congregational outreach work preaching and teaching among various contacts the churches have. It also arises when the pastors are on one of the monthly visits that are made to the Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, Leyte pictured above. For now the PRCB is sending a monthly delegation over a weekend for preaching, teaching, pastoral work, etc.
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The goal, however, is to call a missionary, and the main preparation that is currently being done for that is to put together a budget for a missionary and his family to serve there. Once this budget has been presented to and approved by Classis perhaps this coming October , the PRCB will most likely begin the process of calling a missionary from among the pastors of the PRCP.
The standing committees of the PRCP have been busy lately with mission work the PRFA mentioned above , contact committee work sister church relationships , translation work translating the Three Forms of Unity , and theological training adopting various constitutions, organizing pre-seminary Greek, and preparing a seminary program.
As regards the latter, one of our missionaries namely, Rev. Smit has been able to devote the majority of his time to assist the PRCP with these seminary related matters. We are very glad that progress is now being made toward the PRCP having a seminary in the near future, the Lord willing. At this point in time, a definite start date has not yet been decided. Trinidad, Rev. Smit, Rev.
Ibe, and I. Approximately attended the conference pictured below. Sharon, with much help from others, set up a book table and sold close to books. These conferences serve well to bring together not only the members of the PRCP, but many of their and our contacts, too. As usual, lively discussion followed the lectures with many good questions from the attendees.
When did the reprobate become children of the devil? How do you distinguish between true preaching and Arminian preaching? Since we are saved by means of faith, what about children who die before birth or in infancy? Does 1 Timothy teach that God does really desire that all men be saved? Can God save without preaching?
Can a false gospel save and work faith? Because regeneration is immediate, is it possible that a regenerated person can live in sin for a long time prior to his conversion and believing? The Provident Christian Church in Marikina, in which we have been laboring since the end of , is hoping to be ready to join the PRCP sometime in the next six to twelve months, the Lord willing. Holstege mostly labors in this church.
The congregation has come to understand and love the Reformed faith not only through weekly preaching but also through a study of all three of our creeds. Holstege has also taught them the Church Order. We are grateful to God for the progress that has been made and look forward to another church being added to the PRCP, the Lord willing. Due to your generous support of the Philippine Bookfund, we were recently able to expand the use of the fund to include giving a larger discount to churches who buy the books for their church libraries.
Recently one of the churches did just that, purchasing over books. We also continue to use the funds to cover the cost of magazines, pamphlets, and the translation and publication of some PRCA literature into Tagalog current projects are Come Ye Children and various pamphlets. We express our sincere thanks for your generous gifts toward this fund. Monthly visits are still being made to the pastors in Southern Negros Occidental.
Smit and I usually make these visits. Smit is lecturing in Dogmatics currently in Christology. Recently I completed a study of the Church Order and am now giving lectures concerning the Reformed Creeds. This will eventually include instruction concerning Heidelberg Catechism preaching, something the men have specifically requested. Usually a group of 10 to 15 pastors attend each month pictured below. Currently Rev. Holstege has been preaching and giving presentations. From what we hear, the Holsteges are enjoying the time in the churches and the opportunity to be with their loved ones again for a while.
The next missionary to be taking a furlough will be myself and my wife Sharon. We hope to begin our furlough in January, and my plan is to use the time mainly for further studies in missions as well as for preparing courses that I might start teaching in the PRCP seminary here in the near future. My wife and I look forward to this upcoming furlough. We thank you for your continued prayers for us and for the saints here. We remember you all in our prayers as well. Greetings in our sovereign and gracious covenant Lord's name. I pray that you all will be in good health and peace of the mind for His mercy.
The month of March was quite special for us, because [for] the first time we are going to have a seminar without one of you come over and teach. At, seminar, as many as 38 people all over the country and from various denomination came. Two weeks seemed to be a very short time.
The men learned a lot in these short two weeks. Especially, the second subject, which is called "Reformed Man. They all are very much surprised and started to say, "We Burmese Christian never view [things] in those ways. The same with our children, they are actually created by God Himself through parents, so the real owner is our Covenant God, not the parents. In this area also, when we get to heaven, we will not be parents and children, rather we all will be brothers and sisters in His big covenant family.
So, [to] take care of them is covenant duty, so working for the family is not secular thing for the Reformed man but sacred thing, doing covenant duty for His glory; in other words, serving Him. In our Burmese cultural setting, doing religious means sacred thing, so have to forsake all earthly bounds and ties. The result is, feeding the children, working to earn a living to raise family is secular. But, I taught reverse with this popular view and set forth our covenant view.
To love our wives in our duty [is] not a shy-thing; we love our wives because the Bible demands it. I point out the texts, "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. They all love that very much, and they expressed they will not be the same when they return home. All these things, I can teach only because you invited me and my wife to live among you and learned about your way of Reformed living; during three weeks, I opened my eyes as wide as I can to learn how you live as Reformed people, now I can teach that experiences to my people; thank you for that.
And actually the success of this seminar is the fruit of your labors. And, to [be] call[ed] Reformed [we] must have confession; without confession, cannot be called Reformed church. Weather is extremely hot; last year, only the month of May, hot as now. This year is special, but for His mercy, we did not fell sick during the seminar.
And, after the seminar, Rakhine state churches demanded me to pay official visit, as well as, Nagah Land also asked me to come over to their place. I promised them, if the Lord wills, I will come, at least two weeks and teach in their places. We are so much thankful for all the Face-time and Whatsapp videos calls during all the two week seminar, every morning, that gave us real encouragement. Thank you very much for supporting my ministry, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please continue to pray for us, so that the Reformed truth that we hold dear as PR churches will be through out generations.
In my congregational prayer, I continue to pray, always for you, so that you also will have covenant strength to go on in the precious truth that you now have with you many, many generations to come. Daniel J. Daniel Kleyn This email address is being protected from spambots.
Richard J. I believe that you are doing well in this cold winter.
Here in our land, we had only about 63 degrees F. I like to express our thanks to little brothers and little sisters of Hope Christian School for their collections for literature works here. With me, the young people that are organizing the literature society also express their thanks. So, I like to report that the society has adopted now their name, that is "Hope Literature Society. Altogether round about 30 young people, but only 10 people have regular jobs, so from those that have regular job, they collect funds to publish books.
Their first project is to publish Doctrine According to Godliness , in Burmese. They are very enthusiastic about publishing it; I pray that they will fulfill the mission. Not only this book, but also all others books that I have translated in years, they would like to publish. Most importantly they are waiting for the KJV Burmese to come out and many other churches also asking me when I can finish. For that also your help and prayers are very encouraging. Thursday Bible classes begin again, now the first hour, we listen Prof. Commenga's seminary lectures on "Soteriology," that is doctrine of salvation.
We have now finished five videos, and learned a lot from prof. The second hour we continued to discuss how to make sermons the Reformed way, in Burmese. I stated a Reformed truth, such as when pastor preaches we hear the voice of Christ, Rom. And later part of half and hour, I helped them to see, the main thought of various texts in the Bible, and if they do not understand they ask me back. I believed that will go for a little longer, because we do not have good books in Burmese.
I have to read and teach them week after week, but they all said this was very helpful.