Archives for May 7, 2022

Dr. Silva and the PRTS Picnic

Here I am with our PhD graduate last evening, Dr. Felipe Silva (photo 1), who is returning to Brazil to shepherd a congregation and to be involved in teaching for Martin Bucer Seminary, also in conjunction with Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS).

This evening, about 150 PRTS students and their wives and children gathered for a graduation/post-semester picnic (salad and pizza; photo 2). Please pray for many of our 28 graduates who will return in the coming weeks with their families to their 15 countries to proclaim the gospel in a variety of ministries.

Our Very First Grandparents’ Day Program

Yesterday my Queen and I thoroughly enjoyed our very first Grandparents’ Day program as our two oldest of seven grandchildren (plus one more coming soon, D.V.) are now old enough to be students in our Christian school. The entire 2-hour program was outstanding and absolutely precious as grandchildren ministered by way of song, Scripture memorization, and musical instruments to their grandparents.

It makes a grandparent overflow with love for God’s covenant mercies, love for the grandchildren and their parents, and love for Christian education and the teachers. And it also makes a grandparent pray earnestly for the genuine conversion of every grandchild, pleading for the spiritual legacy and promise of Psalm 128:6: “Yes, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace [that is, true spiritual peace in Christ most of all!] upon Israel.” Will you bow your head right now and plead for this spiritual legacy and this promise in prayer with me also for your grandchildren?

PRTS Graduation

We had a blessed evening last night with a great dinner and fellowship with our seminary graduates and their families, followed by the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary graduation of 28 theological students (our largest class to date) from 15 different nations, and the awarding of our first two honorary doctorates (photo 1, graduates with faculty, including Dr. Felipe Silva who earned a PhD, and two honorary doctorates, Dr. Neil Pronk and Dr. Franklin Ferreira who are on the first row, far right).

The Board of Trustees chairman, Kevin Ash, awarded the degrees. Our commencement speaker, Dr. John Tweeddale, spoke movingly to the students from Acts 1:8 about being witnesses for Christ (photo 2 of the speaker and photo 3 of the audience of about 600 attendees). I then gave a personal charge about living out of the triple office-bearing ministry of Jesus as prophet, priest, and king from Luke 22:31-32, and spoke some personal words to each student (photo 4) as well as to thank Dr. Michael Barrett who is passing on the baton of Academic Dean to Dr. Jonathon Beeke; Henk Kleyn who is retiring after serving PRTS faithfully for 17 years as the VP of Operations; Dr. Bill VanDoodewaard who served us well as church historian for 12 years and accepted a position VP of Academic Affairs and church historian at Greenville Presbyterian Seminary; and Dr. Greg Salazar who after serving us for 5+ years as PhD professor in Puritan theology accepted a call to serve as pastor in Savannah, Georgia. The imminent coming into the seminary of Dr. Bruce Baugus (systematic theology) and Dr. Maarten Kuivenhoven (church history) was also announced. The service concluded with the conferring of honorary doctorates.

Afterwards the fellowship was robust for another 1.5 hours in conjunction with delicious refreshments, and lots of picture taking with the graduates, including our son-in-law who received his MDiv degree (photo 5). God is good! Please pray that God will bless all these graduates with long, faithful, and fruitful ministries of preaching, teaching, church planting, and/or evangelizing in their various countries.