Saturday, November 21, 2009

Celebration August 15

"Great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:23)

Saturday, August 15 was a special day, a day of celebration for Adrian's 65th birthday, and thirty-five years of ordained ministry; he started as pastor in Terrace (BC), 1974. We also celebrated twentyfive years of overseas work in missions, the first ten years in the Philippines with Christian Reformed World Missions, as we taught and held Bible studies first in Bacolod City (Negros island), and later in Manila. We had an interlude of several years while Adrian earned a ThM in missiology (at Calvin Seminary) and a PhD in ecumenism (at the Toronto School of Theology). After that we served for fifteen years under the auspices of Christian Studies International (the Canadian branch of International Institute for Christian Studies), in partnership with CRWM: seven years at Moscow State University in Russia, almost seven years at the University of Jos in Nigeria, and finally a semester teaching philosophy at St. Augustine University in Tanzania. We have so much for which to give thanks!

Colorful flowers to help us celebrate

To mark the occasion we invited family, friends and colleagues, many who had faithfully supported our work over the years, to come and celebrate the day with us. The party was held at the Willowdale Christian Reformed Church from 4-6.30 pm. that Saturday. We are very thankful indeed for the many who turned up at the Willowdale CRC to join us in celebration.

The Willowdale CRC social hall is a lovely venue for such an occasion

As with any good party, there was lots to eat and drink!

We were honored by the attendance of Dirk and Rie Jongkind, former members of Toronto First CRC, now residents at Holland Home in Brampton

Fred and Jane Reinders in conversation with Wilma Bouma, who was among the first board members when CSI was newly organized and joined us all the way from Vancouver

A number of guests helped us remember the reasons for this celebration.

Fred Reinders, longtime chair of the board of CSI, brought words of appreciation on behalf of CSI

It was great that CSI colleague David Hallett, currently teaching in Beijing, was able to join us for this occasion

Trish de Jong of CRWM (Burlington office) brought greetings on behalf of our denominational mission

Bob vander Vennen, former executive director of CSI, reminisced about the years we worked so closely together

We really appreciated the contribution of Hanneke Cost Budde, missionary colleague working with AIDS victims in Tanzania, where we taught these last months

Wilma reflected with us on the many years of Adrian's ministry, beginning with pastoral work in Terrace BC, and later in the Philippines - she was one of few who actually got to visit us in these locations!

All in all, it was a wonderful celebration. We are grateful for those who joined us in person, as well as those who were unable to be there for various reasons, but who did send their best wishes. Our daughter Sharon deserves much of the credit for preparation and organizing the event.

Sharon also helped care for one of the babies in attendance

We are especially grateful to our friends Jack and Martiny Van Meggelen who hosted us after the reception to provide our out-of-town guests with an outdoor dinner.

Wilma and the two of us, with Jack and Martiny

Our thanks is extended indeed to all those who helped make this such a memorable day. Above all, we praise God for his faithfulness to us throughout these many years.

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