Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ministry Messenger

The following is an article posted in The December 2010 Ministry Messenger, a newsletter for the Classis Central Plains Churches from the Classis Pella Diaconal and Home Mission Committees.

New Prison Ministry 
to be Launched
God is opening the way for New Life Prison Church

A new prison ministry will be launched early next year
led by Rick Admiraal, a recent seminary graduate.  Rick and his family plan to move to Pella between Christmas and New Year’s from his home in Zeeland, Michigan, having accepted a call from Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella to be the planting pastor for New Life Prison Church. 

Rick, Rose, John (age 15), and Annaliese (age 9) Admiraal

“We plan to
begin this ministry
with Bible studies and
prayer groups with
the goal of creating
a new church,” said

“This is about establishing a new congregation of believers behind the walls.” The career path to becoming a pastor at a prison church has been a winding one for Rick. He initially was a math teacher, and then worked at a land survey firm as a CAD draftsman. While he was working, he volunteered his time in a prison ministry, and it was while doing that work that he discovered his true vocation.

In 2006, he began his studies at Calvin Theological
Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After he graduated
this past spring, he prayed for God’s direction. “I was open to
God’s call,” Rick said. “I found a couple of smaller churches
that were outreach-minded that interested me. But deep
down, I knew that prison ministry is where I fit the best. It
is my passion, and it fits my personality.”
Rick comes to his new calling with experience. He
and his wife, Rose, who is gifted at music, both have
been volunteering at a Michigan prison. In addition, Rick
completed a 10-week internship in the summer of 2009 with
the Cornerstone Prison Church at the South Dakota State
Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. 

“A prison ministry is about reaching out to people who
are typically forgotten,” said Rick. These are the types of
people whom Jesus reached out to when he was on earth,
and I want to reach out to them too.” 

Rick and Rose, and their two children, John, who is 15
years old, and Annaliese, who is 9 years old. The children
plan to enroll in the Pella Christian schools.
Rick will have office space in his calling church, Calvary
Christian Reformed in Pella. Initially, he will be working to
identify church leaders, people within the prison who have
good leadership skills. 

“We will have to build a church, not
with bricks and mortar, but with people, Rick said. 

Initially, he hopes to start with a Tuesday afternoon prayer group and a Thursday evening Bible study. Lord willing, the church will begin weekly worship services within a year.
In the meantime, Rick will be looking for people willing
to be trained as volunteers to help with his new ministry.
This work will involve spreading good will, fellowship, and
meeting in small-group Bible studies or prayer groups. 

Good listening skills are especially important for
volunteers to have, he said. Anyone willing to volunteer
can contact Rick.
Financial support also
will continue to be important.

The ministry has been supported by the Classis Central Plains, by Home Missions, by the Vermeer Charitable Foundation, and by individual churches. “These groups have been so generous, and I am very thankful to have their support. I am also grateful for the support I’ve received from Pastor Art Van Wolde and the others at Calvary CRC,” Rick said. In addition to volunteers and financial support, Rick is asking for prayer. “Many new ministries fail, so I want to be sure to get this one off on the right foot. There will be plenty of obstacles. It will be critical for me to build trust with the prisoners and the prison staff. I ask for continued support through your prayers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet Glenda

My name is Glenda Vander Leest and I am a member of the New Life Prison Church launch team.  I would like to introduce myself by giving you a little bit of my history.  I grew up on a farm near Pella, Iowa, attended the First Christian Reformed Church of Pella and graduated from Pella Christian Grade and High Schools.  When I married, I moved to Sully, Iowa, where my husband, Dwight, owned a business.  Dwight and I have been members of the Sully Christian Reformed Church all of our married lives, during which we brought four children into our family and church home.  

Today, our grown children, who graduated from Sully Christian Elementary School and Pella Christian High School before going on to college, have blessed us with twelve grandchildren.

I have always enjoyed being active in the Sully church, and am currently the church secretary, in addition to working part time at Vermeer Corporation in Pella, where my husband is also employed.

Christian Reformed Home Missions 

For several years, I have been a member of the Evangelism Committee in Sully, and a year ago I was selected to be a member of the Classical Home Missions Committee of Central Plains, which is how I became acquainted with Rick Admiraal.

I am very eager to begin the launch of a new prison church. Rick exudes enthusiasm that is very contagious and it is exciting to see what God is already accomplishing through Rick's work.   How the Lord's plan will unfold through this ministry in the coming year is unknown to us, but what a thrill it is to be part of this adventure!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Little Help From My Friends

This past week marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death.  In honor of Lennon & the Beatles, I've attached a link to one of their greatest hits -

The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr

The Beatles were right.  We could all use a little help from our friends.

The New Life Prison Church has received help from its friends.  Here are two good examples.

Marv Visser of Holland Special Delivery has offered to move all our stuff from Zeeland, Michigan to Pella, Iowa.  We're packing up the Semi-trailer on December 28.  Then Marv is driving the truck out to Iowa on December 29.  He's only charging us for gas and mileage.  That will save the new ministry lots of $$.

Vermeer Charitable Foundation said yes to my grant proposal.  Vermeer has given a lot of money to various charities, demonstrating a generous spirit.  Vermeer already sent us the check to be used by the new prison congregation.  The money will be used for Bibles, Bible study materials and website development.

Vermeer Charitable Foundation  

The key verse cited on the Vermeer Charitable Foundation web site is II Corinthians 8:7 ~ "But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in 
this grace of giving."

I know that New Life Prison Church will make good use of these gracious gifts.  Praise God for the generosity of my friends.  And praise God for the Christian Community, which is united by our faith in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Capital L for Life

In Christ, we have Life with a Capital L.  A giant L describes the Life with God.  It is New Life, Eternal Life, a Life of Fullness in Christ.  And for my Spanish readers (if I have any), it is Vida with a Capital V - Nueva Vida en Christo!

This week Sunday morning, our pastor read the following passage from the Gospel of John: 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  (John 1:1-5)

The Life in Christ shines like a spotlight into the darkness.

Sunday evening, I preached at Lamont Christian Reformed Church.  Lamont is a small town near the Grand River near Allendale, Michigan.  The sermon text was II Corinthians 5:14-21.  

II Corinthians 5:14-21 

Hear this key verse from that passage of Scripture. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!  (II Corinth. 5:17)

God initiated the action.   God is at work, making us new in Christ.  Praise God!

Pray that God will bring Newness and Life with a Capital L to the inside members of New Life Prison Church.