When the Christian Reformed Church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2007, William Sweetman, a retired teacher from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Rev. Peter Borgdorff, executive director emeritus of the CRC, organized a series of tours to visit various parts of the denomination. The purpose of the tours was twofold: to trace God’s faithfulness through the generations and to see the beauty of God’s creation along the way.
Most recently, 39 CRC members from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario traveled to British Columbia, Alberta, and the Pacific Northwest. Previous trips included visits to the Eastern United States, Colorado and Red Mesa, Ontario, and the Maritimes.
“On each trip, participants listened to representatives from congregations in the area about how church members were led to where they are today, the ministries that engaged them along the way, and how life is lived there in the present time,” Borgdorff explained.
The trip to British Columbia included a stop at Willoughby CRC in Langley, where the group listened to a presentation by Nick Loenen of Ladner CRC. He traced the development of the church’s presence in British Columbia from the early 1900s, stressing in particular the importance of the American home missionaries and the establishment of Christian schools.
“That history parallels the settlement of the CRC in many other places throughout the continent,” Borgdorff said. “The stories told and the experiences relayed speak volumes about how God’s faithfulness registered with both previous generations and the present CRC members who live and serve there now.”
In addition to visiting ministry sites, the group also enjoyed the evidence of God’s creation as seen in everything from national parks and beautiful scenery to urban centers and historical sites.
“Each day as part of our devotions we sang ‘This Is the Day the Lord Has Made,’ and together we rejoiced in the evidences of his goodness and faithfulness,” said Borgdorff.