It is fitting that JP Sundararajan, director of RCA Global Mission, gave the presentation to General Synod about the work of Global Mission. On Monday, June 10—200 years and two days after John and Harriet Scudder stepped onto a boat to sail to Calcutta and begin RCA mission work in India—Sundararajan said, “Did they ever wonder if 200 years later, from the soil of that unknown land, would come somebody to serve the RCA in this capacity?
“I stand here today as a fruit of that labor, a fruit borne from centuries of human faith coupled with God’s faithfulness.
“My first memory of the RCA and RCA missionaries came when I was about six years old. Dr. Harvey Hoekstra was in India working with my family in establishing the work of Portable Recording Ministries in India. We had a rented home where my father had converted the garage into a makeshift recording studio where the Tamil audio Bible was being recorded by my parents. And every morning, after I finished the rituals of putting on my school uniform, polishing my shoes, and combing my hair, my mom would hand me a small container of milk that I would carry three streets over to where the Hoekstras resided in another rented home. I would peek inside, fascinated by the way these missionaries lived … The Hoekstras were sweet. They would invite me in, they would talk to me, and once in awhile they would take a photo of me with their polaroid camera. … And now I wonder, did they have any idea that that little brown kid in his school uniform would one day come to serve you this way?
“The fruit that the RCA has sown worldwide is bearing fruit, my friends. I have seen it in the bushes of West Kenya, in the mission hospitals in Bahrain, in the faces of lepers receiving God’s Word for the first time in their heart languages in India. And now I see that prophecy being fulfilled in my own life.”
Sundararajan also issued an invitation to Mission 2020, January 16–18, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. Mission 2020 is a celebration of 377 years of history and an opportunity for reimagining the future of RCA Global Mission.
General Synod set the 2020 Partner in Mission share, which supports missionaries, at $6,800.
Sundararajan honored retiring missionaries David and Charlene Alexander and Harry and Pat Miersma. He honored transitioning missionaries Jim and Beth Harrison, who moved to Michigan so that Jim could take up his role as coordinator for prayer mobilization at the RCA offices in Grand Rapids, and Jeffery and Chelsea Lampen, who moved to Illinois for full-time pastoral ministry.
Sundararajan also welcomed new missionaries Cheryl Barnes and Denise Kingdom Grier. Barnes is serving as education facilitator for the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian. Kingdom Grier works with Setshabelo Child and Family Services in Botshabelo, South Africa.
“This is a new season in RCA Global Mission,” said Sundararajan in closing. “We are excited to see what God has been doing, is doing, and is inviting us to do going forward. We thank you for walking this path with us. We cannot wait to see who will stand here 200 years and two days from today.”