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Rev. Rodney Miersma – Ministering to the Nations

Rev. Rodney Miersma was born on May 2, 1945, in Luverne, Minnesota. His parents are Henry and Ann Miersma. Rev. Miersma grew up on a farm in Edgerton, Minnesota, with his six younger siblings. For his first years of schooling, Rev. Miersma attended Free Christian School in Edgerton and then Southwest Minnesota Christian High School. At the time of the split of 1953, he was eight years old, and both sides of the split attended the same school for one year. As a child, Rev. Miersma especially loved reading. 

Further continuing his schooling, Rev. Miersma attended Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, for his freshman year of college. He then attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, until he got his degree. While in college, Rev. Miersma kept busy with many jobs, including working on the farm, road construction, and building houses. He also worked for a florist and a Christian rest home. 

Next, Rev. Miersma went to the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was in the old First Protestant Reformed Church basement at the time. He was taught by Professors Homer Hoeksema and Herman Hanko. He would go to student club once a month with the students, professors, and area ministers where they discussed various topics. 

During his last year of college, Rev. Miersma married Sharon Van Dyke on September 1, 1967.They first met at a friend’s house on a Sunday night after church. They have one son and four grandchildren. 

Rev. Miersma was ordained in 1971. Little did he know that over the next 40 years God would call him to preach the gospel in seven countries over four continents! His first charge was Hope Protestant Reformed Church of Isabel, South Dakota. He and his wife were there until 1978. In Isabel, he experienced living on wide open prairie. While he was there, he was asked to assist in the disbanding of the church in Forbes, North Dakota. 

When Rev. Miersma’s work in Isabel was finished, he went to Pella, Iowa until 1980. During this time, he had the opportunity of speaking on the radio. When he took the call to Holland, Michigan, he remembers people in the area calling him and thanking him for the messages on the radio. 

From Pella, Rev. Miersma went to the First Protestant Reformed Church of Holland, Michigan. He arrived there in the middle of a large snowstorm in December of 1980. There the Miersmas experienced much snow and remember the children often not being able to get to school because of the lake effect snow. While pastor in Holland, he spent several weeks on a mission trip to Jamaica. 

Rev. Miersma labored in New Zealand from 1988 to 1996 and helped organize the Protestant Reformed Church of New Zealand.  He remembers New Zealand as being unique and beautiful, with diverse weather. There was ash dust in their yard from volcanoes and they experienced several earthquakes. During one memorable experience the Miersmas were traveling by ferry over Cook Strait and they hit a storm, which resulted in almost forty foot waves! The Miersmas kept contact with the saints there after they left. Rev. Miersma also ministered for a short time in Australia while in New Zealand. 

After New Zealand, the Miersmas went to the Immanuel Protestant Reformed Church in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. They labored there until 2002. While in Lacombe, they moved three times within one year and also visited the Philippines to preach and teach there. 

Following Lacombe, Rev. Miersma was a missionary to Ghana, West Africa. The great poverty of the people in Ghana made a big impression on him and his wife. People would come and beg at their gate for food. They both took classes in Twi, the language spoken in Ghana. Their helpers in Ghana were first Justin and Kathy Koole and later on John and Judy Bouma. On returning in 2006, it was not easy to keep contact with the people of Ghana because the people were too poor to return a call and had to go to an internet café to receive emails. 

Rev. Miersma’s final charge was in Loveland, Colorado, where they enjoyed having a school right by the church and hearing the students on the playground. While in Loveland, he experienced two strokes. 

Currently, Rev. Miersma and his wife live in Hull, Iowa. They moved there to be close to family. Rev. Miersma’s mother lives in a nursing home nearby. 

As advice to young people, Rev. Miersma says to be faithful to the Word and be thankful for Christian schooling and catechism. He also advises young men to consider the call to the ministry, for the harvest is great but the laborers are few.  

 

Archivist’s note:

This article was submitted to a Beacon Lights writing contest, with the prompt to briefly describe the life and service of a Reformed minister who had since retired or gone to glory. The article above was selected as one of the top 5 submissions in its category.