Dear family (by blood and by faith),
Today (Sunday) is difficult to put into words. For a while now I've been thinking about how to describe and summarize it, but I'm not sure I can. It was a day of sensory overflow—physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Some of the more physical things are easier to describe, although impossible to express. We were on the road by 6:30 this morning, in order to travel the 2 hours to the PRC of Bulacan. The ride put into perspective the 20 steps I have from the backdoor of the parsonage to the church, even on the windiest, coldest Iowa morning. Along the way we had to creep through a large, street-side market swarming with people, and vehicles, and people, and animals, and more people. The sights, the smells, the sounds—they were almost too much to handle at once. My head was on a swivel and I still missed 95% of it, I'm sure.
That was the easy part. Now comes the hard: describing our time with the congregation and council of Bulacan. How do you put into words the genuine, Spirit-worked thrill of worshiping God with the brothers and sisters in Bulacan? Impossible. How do you describe the smiling faces and joyful greetings in the Lord? It can't be done. How do you even begin to convey the soul's rapture at hearing Psalter numbers sung in a language you can't understand but yet you do understand, hearing the soul-stirring cry of Ps. 51 in the Tagalog tongue express one's own sorrow for sin? Inexpressible. How do you communicate the rush of silent tears of joy and gratitude? God alone has them bottled.
Today we met some other members of our family. They are different from us. Their native tongue, their skin color, their backgrounds, their taste buds, their culture—all is different. And yet we are the same. One in faith, one in hope, one in love for God and for his church, one in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A beautiful Sabbath.
And I realize that as I write this at the end of the Sabbath here, the Sabbath is just beginning for many of you. May you also enjoy a rich blessing in this day. We miss you all very much.
In the love of Christ,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma is pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.