In addition to the calling to spread the gospel abroad (see Foreign Mission), we also understand the command to be lights in our own country, our own communities. As Christians we share in Christ’s anointing. Christ fills us with His Holy Spirit and calls us to be His prophets who confess the Name of Christ to all.
Though we may and must do this as individuals, the church also sees fit to organize such domestic mission collectively. Mission work is understood to be the responsibility of the local church which neighbouring sister churches then support. By God's grace and abundant blessing, over the half-century of our existence in Canada, several home mission posts have been established in various parts of the country.
The current mission posts are as follows:
Mission Smithers, BC -- Fort Babine/Wit'at Reformed Fellowship
The Canadian Reformed Church at Smithers, in cooperation with supporting churches across the country, has been involved with ministry to First Nations in northern BC since 1983. Most of those years saw missionaries and mission workers involved with evangelistic outreach in the town of Smithers and outlying communities. The first missionary, Rev. C. VanSpronsen, was installed in 1983.
Concentrating on the town of Smithers and also working partly in the reserve community of Moricetown, Rev. VanSpronsen served the local First Nations until 1987. At that time, then Rev. M.K. Marren was ordained as the missionary. He also worked primarily in Smithers, but additionally gave attention to reserve communities such as Moricetown and, later on, Fort Babine. After 1992, there was a vacancy once again.
Over an eight year period of time, the mission work continued in Smithers and Fort Babine under the leadership of mission workers such as Doug Boersema (who had also helped after the brief vacancy after Rev. VanSpronsen) and Hilco DeHaan (1995-1999). The vacancy was filled in July of 2000, when student Wes Bredenhof accepted the call to serve in Fort Babine.
Since October 2000 the Church at Smithers has been involved with a dedicated church-planting ministry in the small reserve community of Fort Babine (approximately 100 km north of Smithers). For four years, until December, 2004, Rev. W. Bredenhof and his family lived and ministered at Fort Babine on full-time basis. The mission congregation, Wit'at Reformed Fellowship, continues today as a small fledgling group of native believers. Regular worship services, Bible studies for men and women, Catechism classes, and visiting/counseling are important aspects of the ministry in Fort Babine. Since the vacancy in late 2004, this work has been continued by the minister and elders of the Canadian Reformed Church at Smithers.
Chinese Mission in the Greater Vancouver Area, BC
The Canadian Reformed Churches at Cloverdale and Langley, BC, are partnered together in the work of urban mission among the Chinese people in the Greater Vancouver area. Many sister churches throughout western Canada also support this endeavour. This work began in 2000 when, for the first time in Canadian Reformed history, a Chinese student became available for call, Frank Dong. Rev. Dong has a university education from mainland China as well as a four-year Masters of Divinity degree from the Theological College of the Canadian Reformed Churches in Hamilton, Ontario.
Rev. Dong began the work in Surrey focussing on the Mandarin-speaking peoples of China and others parts of Asia. Soon the headquarters moved over to Burnaby, a more central location to those visiting the Bible Study group. Before too long, by God’s grace, there was an established fellowship group and since 2004 this group has gone by the name of the Chinese Reformed Church. Presently there are eleven communicant members, various regular visitors, and also those preparing to make public profession of faith. The group has plans to return to the Surrey area and make this their centre of fellowship and worship. Meetings are held every Sunday afternoon. An ESL (English as Second Language) class has also been started there. Mandarin is spoken and sung at the weekly meetings. The adherents of the Chinese Reformed Church also enjoy a close social relationship with each other. Visitors are always welcome.
Streetlight Ministries in Hamilton, ON
Streetlight Ministries is a joint project of the Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church and Fellowship Canadian Reformed Church of Burlington-South, begun in 1998. It is supported by many sister churches through regular collections. Streetlight Ministries' mission is to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of downtown Hamilton. It is the aim of Streetlight Ministries to use volunteers from the supporting churches to teach others the glad tidings of God 's grace, to be received by faith alone, for the salvation of all those who repent of their sins and believe that Jesus is Lord of all. (Romans 3:21-26). At present this work is coordinated by a full-time mission worker, Richard Bultje. Ancaster Church intends to further the work by calling and commissioning a missionary.
Richard holds regular Bible study meetings, visits many people in their homes, and coordinates a weekly time of corporate worship and fellowship on Sunday evenings. The hub of this work is the Ministry Centre, located at 82 Ferguson Ave in downtown Hamilton.
For more information, visit: www.ancasterchurch.on.ca/streetlight/about.html