A football tournament, a trip to Niagara Falls, and an elegant Thanksgiving dinner are all yearly traditions of the ministry to migrant workers supported by Holland Marsh (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church and Springdale CRC in nearby Bradford since 1985.
On Sunday, October 6, the two congregations held a joint worship service attended by migrant workers from the neighboring farms. The ministry was started by CRC farm owners Bryan and Rita Lise, with help from Jim and Susan Verkaik and the spiritual support of elders from Holland Marsh CRC.
Over the past decades, the ministry has seen many Mexican families turn to Christ under the guidance of workers who returned home after the growing season, bringing with them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With the volunteer help of Hispanic ministers Eliseo and Sonia Utreras, who joined the ministry in 1989, workers have access to counseling, guidance, English classes, and food and clothing. They meet weekly at Springdale CRC.
Mexican workers Rodolfo Lopez and Armando Gutierrez spoke of the great blessing this program has brought to their lives as they found so many brothers and sisters in Christ giving with their hearts and loving unconditionally.
Springdale pastor Paul Van Stralen pointed out that seeing the two churches come together with this vision gives us a glimpse of the future glory when Christ comes and all the nations worship him. “Sometimes there are disagreements,” he said, “but Christ overcome those disagreements, and the end result is obvious.”