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3/4/02 Report on Work in the
New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,
Tel. (908) 850-5389

Three Baptisms

Three people with whom I've been studying were baptized during the last reporting period.

* Yaime Polanco (picture to the right in the middle) is a young woman from the Dominican Republic who has been studying with me for several years. Though she has known for a long time that she has needed to obey the gospel, she has delayed while counting the costs for her decision.

However, last month she told me that she was ready. We took her across the George Washington Bridge to the building at Fair Lawn and there baptized her into Christ. Her oldest daughter, Sarelys, who has become close to other children and teens at Fair Lawn was especially thrilled.

Yaime will have to make a number of changes in her lifestyle, but so far seems to be doing well, in spite of her skeptical husband.

* Marta is a Cuban women who was brought to services at Sherman Avenue by a faithful sister, Rosa Mejía, who is her home attendant. She loves our services and is very friendly and outgoing. Since Marta is somewhat disabled, we took Sherman Avenue's baptistery (the cattle trough) to her and baptized her with the help of Roger and Cassie Polanco and Caleb Churchill, who formed a bucket brigade to fill up the baptistery.

Marta is an interesting person. Her father and brother in law spent over 30 years in jail in Cuba because Castro thought they were dangerous to his regime. They have horror stories of their experiences. She also lived with her husband on a farm in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee for a number of years, "right next to Davy Crockett State park!" Even so, her English is still limited.

* Melba Disla is a sweet elderly lady from the Dominican Republic and has been reading in the book of Luke with us for several months. She was baptized last Sunday afternoon.

Bilingual congregation?

After surveying the brethren and finding that a great majority wanted to try bilingual services, the church at Sherman Avenue in Upper Manhattan began translating the Lord's Supper and sermon. The effort has gone reasonably well except for one Sunday ago when both Roger Polanco and I, the main translators, were visiting other congregations.

Since that time, a small but influential minority, primarily among the elderly, has complained about the translated services, so we will probably have to make some careful adjustments. Others, primarily parents of teenagers and children, are strongly in favor of translation during the services.

It appears that our efforts to change our building for a larger one in the Bronx owned by our Pentecostal friends next door will fall through. We and they assumed that the building was already certified for use as a church, but such is not the case. To obtain the certification will be an expensive and uncertain process. However, those building a charter school next to us are also interested in our property, so, we'll see what happens with them.

Hurricane Sandy

I'm writing this report on battery power in my "hoodie" and big coat for warmth as the power is out all over New Jersey because of Hurricane Sandy. We are thankful to have only suffered minor damage. A tree fell and knocked my basketball goal into my Villager, breaking its windshield. Thankfully it missed the house! Thankfully we have a little generator that gives us hot water and heat when we run it, although we have enough gas now only for a few hours which we'll use up tonight. Most gas stations are closed, but we hope we can find some tomorrow.
I didn't make my usual trip into New York City today and an evangelistic effort by the brethren at Fair Lawn on Thursday may be affected. It will be interesting to see when I can get this out, both online and through the mail, since those means of communication are both out now but should be available in a few days. They say power will be off 7-10 days.