(Veteran of World War II, Ordained Pastor, Army Reserve Chaplain, composer and publisher, editor of the Missionary Monthly, president of Reformed Bible College, developer of Summer Training Session (STS) in Mexico, and soon after, Middle East Training Session in Egypt and later in Turkey; leader of Christian Witness Tours around the world,, founder of IDEA Ministries, and much much more.)
When Dick Van Halsema, a pastor’s son, graduated from
“Dick wrote fifty years later, ‘Chaplain Mason started the first stanza and walked out to conduct a service in another chapel. I never saw him again. But all at once I knew that God was calling me to the Gospel ministry. I waited until everyone had gone and, with only God as my witness, I signed my name in the chaplain’s Bible….Three months later my light weapons platoon was on a troop ship with a thousand men on the Sunday before the Hollandia D-Day of
“When the war ended, Dick was assigned to some months in
Their life journey took them to
Dick’s fervor for the Lord kept him continually active and at the forefront of missions.. There were no boundaries for the mission interests of Dick and Thea Van Halsema. He started the Summer Worship in Missions (SWIM) program for young people. And while Dick was pastor of
It is at this point that our Arabic Broadcast ministry gets woven into the fabric of the tapestry, and our friendship with Dick and Thea begins and grows. As editor of the Missionary Monthly, Dick extended an open-ended invitation to us to contribute an article per issue as long as we wanted to pick up the challenge. What a blessing that was for us—to have a place where we could describe the growth and response to our labors for the Lord. While Bassam was totally occupied with preparing Bible Studies and Sermon programs for the Arabic Broadcast, and reading all the mail, his wife Shirley was ready and eager to make sure that there was always an article ready for the next issue of the Missionary Monthly. We continued sending our articles until the Missionary Monthly came to its end in 2000. This was such a rare opportunity to be writing for a readership which was genuinely interested in missions.
Along with that invitation came fellowship and warm encouragement from Dick and Thea in a very personal way. We needed that. Together they have lived a life of encouraging and enabling many, besides ourselves, to forge ahead with God’s work. In 1966, when Dick became the president of the Reformed Bible Institute, he opened up another facet of our life. He began to have annual Missionary Conferences on the subject of missions to Muslims. The Van Halsemas had a special interest in the
Bassam would prepare lectures and go up to
Not satisfied to just retire, our friend Dr. Dick Van Halsema set us an example which we have followed. At retirement he created another ministry which is being faithfully carried on by his son Clark. It is called I.D.E.A. Ministries (International Discipleship and Evangelization Associates). www.ideaministries.org
When we retired in 1994 we started Middle East Resources.
Through our web site we see the Lord allowing us to mentor Christians about the challenge of Islam.
The resources built up from our radio work are likewise being used.
In this Tapestry section of our web site we hope to pay honor to the various Christians who have played an integral part in our life story. This brief sketch cannot do justice in words, to the countless ways in which Dick and Thea, with their passion for missions, have furthered the grand work of the Lord.
(Statistical information and some quotes have been taken from the beautiful biographical sketch distributed at the time of Dr. Dick Van Halsema’s Memorial Service,