Issue at Hand, February 2024: Federation scholarship essays

Each year the Beacon Lights staff is pleased to receive and publish winning essays from the annual Protestant Reformed Federation of Young People’s Societies scholarship writing contest. As is customary, this contest features a list of three questions, one of which each writer will address as a part of their essay. Although five authors were chosen as winners this year, we only have room in this issue to publish three of their essays. We congratulate Jayanne DenHartog, Annika Van Overloop, and the other three authors on their excellent writing and thank them for their efforts in preparation for careers in Christian education.

It also bears notice that for the second year in a row, all the winning scholarship essays have been written by young women. Though perhaps this could happen even if the pool of essays were evenly distributed between men and women, the reality is that there are more female than male applicants for the Federation scholarship. This in turn implies that there are more young women who plan to teach than there are young men who plan to serve as teachers or pastors. If (and I emphasize the word “if”) this is an indication that young men are becoming less willing to use their gifts in service of the kingdom, I would encourage them to reconsider these important callings. Yes, higher education is a means to obtain gainful employment, but success therein is measured in things other than the income a job can generate. This is a gentle reminder for those thinking about what God has in store for the next phase of their lives.


This past month Beacon Lights subscribers received a letter asking them to consider donating additional funds to the magazine. As noted in that letter, the cost of printing continues to skyrocket along with the cost of nearly every other consumer good or service we use. Donations—whether through church collections or personal gifts—help us to offset these rising costs and maintain our annual budget. It is our hope that we can sustain the current subscription rate to allow people from every age and walk of life to have access to our magazine.

If you are willing and able to help, please check your church’s collection schedule for the next opportunity to give, or send donations to our business manager at: 


PO Box 37 

Hudsonville, MI 49426-0037 


Thank you for your support of Beacon Lights and for considering this important kingdom cause.