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New Horizons

August, 2009: Home Missions

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Facing Hard Times

By now word has probably reached most readers of this magazine that the worldwide economic downturn has impacted the OPC. Reserves have dwindled for the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension. Giving to Worldwide Outreach has picked up in recent months, but so much of that money is needed by the churches that were started in 2007 and 2008. Is church planting in the OPC finished?

Before you conclude that no more churches will be started in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church for the next two or three years because of the present difficulty, remember that this is not the first time the OPC has faced severe financial shortages. As a matter of fact, she was formed in the midst of the Great Depression and its aftermath. And in the historical record of those early days and throughout times when funds for ministry were tight two things are never found. Read more

Missionary Impossible

Accustomed to bouncing along dirt roads toward church services, work sites, and classes, this look-alike for the resourceful MacGyver kept up a crazy, impossible schedule!

Imagine: four work sites and a VBS program, thirty gringos, two or three beat-up old vans, and only a handful of bilingual interpreters (including his three sons and one daughter) to translate directions for drywalling, mudding, electrical wiring, and pouring concrete. Add to that seventy-five PB & J sandwiches, a couple hundred flyers inviting folks to church, the tools needed at each work site, and thirty-five brief showers when evening comes—and you've got the makings of a summer day with Missionary Impossible himself. Read more

The Challenges for an Army Chaplain

"Incoming casualties! Incoming casualties!" blares out as you roll off your bed, pull on your uniform, and stumble into a tent of bright lights. You're surrounded by scurrying doctors, nurses, and medics. Three soldiers are wheeled into this makeshift emergency room, casualties of yet another IED (Improvised Explosive Device)—a homemade bomb.

You've been the chaplain assigned to this combat Army hospital for nine months, and you've seen countless other IED casualties. Sometimes you feel numb, and other times you think you're going to lose it entirely. Read more

Reflections on the OPC Timothy Conference

Adrian Crum once thought the gospel ministry was a blissful task involving little work. After attending the 2009 OPC Timothy Conference, the 20-year-old from Chula Vista, California, now has a different perspective. "I can look forward to Seminary and internships, realizing that I'll have to work hard, but that the work is glorious. I know now that I don't possess the strength or abilities to do this on my own. But leaning on the Lord will give me the strength to carry out this wonderful calling."

Adrian was one of sixteen young men, aged 16–21, who were nominated by their pastors and sessions to attend the 2009 Timothy Conference, held on April 16–17 at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana. The Committee on Christian Education's Subcommittee on Ministerial Training sponsored the all-expense-paid conference. Read more

Charity and Criticism

Dear James,

Has Facebook come to this? Your mom tells me that a number of your acquaintances at Rutherford College have declined you as "a friend" since your article appeared in the student newspaper. I guess you now know firsthand the consequences of taking on a popular professor in print. Of course, your friends may have other reasons for not wanting you as a friend. But your account makes sense. Read more

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