24 April, 2006

A Seminarian on the Other Side of the Globe

Here is a letter from Puritan Reformed Seminarian Terry Klaver who is ministering in Tazmania. I thought that you could all pray for him and be encouraged by his words:

The Lord has continual provided things for me to do here in Tasmania. The longer I am here the more I see the Lord at work in the hearts and minds of the people, and the field here is truly white and ready for harvest. Please allow me to share with you some of the many things that have been going on here since I last wrote.

I continue to preach twice every Sabbath day. The people have appreciated my ministry among them, and the Lord’s Word is not coming back to Him void. Of late there have been several family visiting the Southern Presbyterian Church here in Launceston. The visitors have been from other parts of Northern Tasmania that are looking for true gospel preaching. There are several people in the area hungry for Biblical expository and experiential preaching, and many newly discovering the Reformed faith. By the grace of God, they are finding the necessary food for their hungry souls in the Southern Presbyterian Churches.
The Bible studies I have been leading with a small group of 10 to 15 of these hungry Christians has continued. The Bible study is in the Northern City of Lowhead, about a 45 minute drive from Launceston, near the mouth of the Tamar river. After having an introductory study from the book of Galatians, we have continued onto the theme of "Experiencing Salvation." We are considering together what the Word of God teaches about our sinfulness, how salvation has been provided by the Lord Jesus Christ, how the Spirit applies salvation, places a sinner in Union with Christ in the effectual calling, and the benefits of Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, and Perseverance, that flow from being united to Christ. For many of them this is the first time they have had the gospel clearly explained.

There has also been several opportunities to meet with other Christians looking for help. I have been able to make several visits, have dinners, teas, and bush walks with many searching for a clearer understanding of the Word of God and how it is to be practically lived out. Several of the people are beginning to discover sovereign grace, covenant theology, and the Puritans after being taught Pelagianism, Arminianism, and various types of works righteousness theology. They are growing but, in need of direction.

There also continues to be work with the members and adherents of the church in Launceston. I continue to visit them in their homes. The people are quite open to have you stop by if you are in the area, and seem to greatly appreciate the reading of the Word and prayer. Some of the families have even included me in their various family outings. I have been invited for family dinners, gone on day trips, and been privileged to visit with their friends and family members who are ill, or in need of encouragement. In each circumstance the Lord has helped, and we have had good and encouraging times of fellowship.

The Lord also made a way open to visit several like minded Christians from a church in the city of Ulverston in the North. In the short four days I was there I was able to make several visits, receive visits from others, and various times of tea and dinner. I was also able to meet some of the friends and loved ones of the Krul families from the Heritage Reformed Church of Chilliwack British Columbia.

I have also sought to try and understand Tasmanian history and culture a little while I am here. I have made it a priority to do some reading about the trials and difficulties of the convicts sent here, the coming of early settlers, and their relationship to the Aboriginal peoples. Early tomorrow morning I hope to go to a sunrise service in commemoration of ANZAC day. On this day the Australians remember all those who have served in the A.ustralian N.ew Z.ealand A.rmy C.orp. History is important to Australians, and in a special way it seems to the Tasmanians, but their military history especially so.

I have also tried to get a feel for the different Christian denominations, other religions, and the general outlook of the people. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists all have a presence, as do the major cults, a remarkably large number of Free Masons, Neo-Paganism and the occult, atheism, and deism. Tasmania is a "post-Christian" place, with many people looking almost anywhere for what only the Lord Jesus Christ can provide. Sadly, many have rejected Christianity out of hand because they have never truly heard it taught, or seen it rightly modeled. The genuine Christian witness has always been small, but never more then of late it would seem. By the grace of God their was a type of "mini- revival" of the historic Reformed in Northern Tasmania 50 years ago, but due to fraction, division, and lack of sound guidance, the hot coals and bright flame has gone to embers over the years. But is appears things are changing.

The Lord is doing a work here in Tasmania, and I have been privileged to be a part of it. It will be difficult to leave. I agreed to stay in Tasmania until May 30, but will be returning home early, May 15, to my graduation from seminary on May 18, DV. The people of the church of Launceston have freely aloud me to leave early, despite agreeing with them to stay longer, and they even graciously absorbed the added cost of changing my plane flights.

During my brief few months in Tasmania, I have developed a bond with these people, and a great burden for this island. The people have begun preparations for possibly extending me a call to minister here among them. Please remember them in prayer as they contemplate extending a call, and myself as I will have to seriously consider a call if it is extended. I have no desire to leave the Heritage Reformed Churches whom I greatly love, and who have sacrificed so much for me and my training. The HRC is my Church home and Church family, but I must be open to the leading of the Lord.

Wishing the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ from Van Diemen’s Land (otherwise known as Tasmania).

Love through out Lord Jesus Christ,
Terry Klaver

2 comments:

Johannes Weslianus said...

Thanks for sharing that letter with us, Nate. What a beautiful and stirring letter. It's great to see not only what God is doing with them but also with Terry.

Joe Schelling said...

Having never personally meet Terry, I feel as though I know him. It seems as though every one I meet knows him and asks me if I know him. This includes family and friends (he even went to high school with my wife)

I did not know that he was overseas. I pray for saftey on his journey home and blessing on his ministry