Tribute: Andrew Bergsma (1)

Our esteemed brother, Andrew Bergsma, went to Newfoundland in 1959 to join Mr. Herb Harris  on the gospel boat, the Missionary Gospel Messenger. In the winter, he stayed in Labrador working with George Campbell and Bert Joyce. He was a great help, both in proclaiming the gospel and helping the saints recently saved. New  believers were taught the practice of Biblical assembly truth. Andrew threw himself into the furtherance of the work of the Lord with zeal and enthusiasm. In 1960, while on the boat doing outreach work to new places, he became very burdened for Holland; he left and went home to prepare to go to the Netherlands. He was commended to the work of the Lord in 1961 by the West Richmond and Victoria Drive assemblies in Vancouver. In later years he made numerous visits to Newfoundland and Labrador, encouraging the saints and preaching the gospel. The assemblies will  always appreciate his work over the last 54 years.

In the Netherlands, with the use of a mobile hall, tent, and open-air meetings, Andrew saw much blessing in salvation. In one series it pleased God to save nine people from one family. Together with Lou Swaan, they saw the assembly in Dedemsvaart commence. He and  brother Swaan labored together, having the same goals and serving the same Master, with zeal and love. Andrew married Akke, and  over the years revisited family, had meetings, and encouraged the  saints.

In 1979 Andrew, Akke, and their family moved back to Canada where he faithfully continued his work for the Lord in British Columbia. After Akke’s death in 1992, he and his family relocated to Manitoba in 1994. I personally treasure many of the same sentiments as do his coworkers: he had a zealous love for the Lord and His Word, the assembly, the believers, the gospel, and the souls of men. He was  continually exploring new areas to carry the gospel. He excelled in  personal visitation, walking miles in earlier days and driving miles in later years, to make one contact or be a help to new believers.

For the past 19 years, one of his main loves was working with the Hutterites in Manitoba. With Andrew’s consistency in visitation, this  work progressed with souls coming to Christ and being added to  assemblies. Tent work, home Bible studies, and renting buildings were all part of his gospel and teaching efforts. He constantly encouraged younger men to participate in gospel efforts and  made opportunities for them to serve with him.

Only eternity will reveal all the Lord has done through him. He served his Lord faithfully and now has gone to his reward (Rev 22:12). He will be greatly missed. Andrew eagerly anticipated being with Christ. Now he is experiencing the words of a hymn he chose for his funeral: I stand amazed in the  presence of Jesus the Nazarene … How marvelous, how wonderful. To God be the glory.