Crazy or Called?

To all appearances, Duane Terpstra has it all: a family, a home, and an executive job with a six-figure salary. At 53, he should be coasting to a comfortable retirement. Instead, Duane and his wife, Cindy, have decided to forgo the familiar and the comfortable to pursue what they believe is a calling from God to ministry in South Florida.

In addition to his full-time job, Duane is giving up a rewarding part-time interim position as a commissioned pastor at the Laos Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Mich. Cindy is leaving her job as church administrator at Calvin CRC in Holland.

“I may be flipping hamburgs to survive until the church grows,” Duane said, only somewhat joking. “If this isn’t a call from God, we must be nuts.”

The Terpstras are coming alongside Chris Cassis, former senior pastor at Calvin CRC, his wife, Viviana, and their young children to plant an English-speaking multicultural church south of Fort Lauderdale. The ministry is being supported by Christian Reformed Home Missions, Classis Southeast US, and Calvin CRC. Called The Source Church, it will especially reach out to young second-generation Hispanic immigrants.

Chris has felt increasingly called to serve that population over the past several years. He has seen a need for an English-speaking CRC in the area, one where Hispanic young people can feel they really belong. “I kept feeling that urgency, that they needed a church that’s for them,” he said.

Leaving their church and uprooting their family also required a leap of faith for Chris and Viviana. But they too have felt a clear call. From initially seeing a need, to having the right gifts, to finding God’s affirmation through circumstances, Chris said, “We could see God piecing this together more and more.”

“If you’re willing to give up what the world classifies as a wonderful life,” said Terpstra, “if you’re willing to give that all up and go by faith and see what happens, it can only be a call.”

About the Author

Susan Vanden Berg is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Holland, Michigan.

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