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1/4/06 Report on Work New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,
Gardner@creced.com Web: www.creced.com, (908) 850-5389

More Baptisms
Three people were baptized during our last reporting period.
Porfiria, a Dominican woman in her middle 30’s pictured elow, mentioned in the last report, stated her desire to obey the gospel after services at Upper Manhattan on November 27. To our great surprise, Fausto Martinez, a Dominican in his 40’s raised his hand and the same service and expressed his desire to obey Christ. Fausto is the brother of Rosa and Xiomara Martinez who had been hard working Christians for many years in Upper Manhattan before moving to the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Dozens of happy Christians sang and prayed while Porfiria and Fausto were being baptized. Fausto is pictured below right with his sisters and his son.

Porfiria is studying the Bible each Tuesday with me so that she can be grounded further in the faith. Fausto lives in the Charlotte, North Carolina area where there are no known trained Bible teachers who speak Spanish. However, he has visited us after his baptism and had a long afternoon of Bible study with Victor Grado. He is considering a move to New York so that he can further his spiritual education.

The other baptism was of a young woman named Maria in Fair Lawn. Maria has visited us on occasions and has lived with Ruben and Ana Gladys Mejía. However, shortly after her baptism, she moved and we have been unable to contact her.

More contacts with the lost
We have begun a Bible study with Alfonso, a young Mexican who works at Fuddruckers in Hackensack, New Jersey. Alfonso noticed how a fellow worker, Gladys Gonzalez, a faithful Christian from Fair Lawn, cheerfully sings gospel songs at work and confronts difficult situations with grace. He decided that he wanted what she had. She told him he needed to study the Bible with us. We are reading portions of Luke every Tuesday with Alfonso at Fuddruckers. A very encouraging sign is the fact that Alfonso loves to read his New Testament on his own. Alfonso is pictured below (below right in the picture)with Esther Rodriguez and Francisco Sanchez.

Gladys has also obtained a home study for us with her neighbor, Raquel. Raquel has been a member of an evangelical church in the Dominican Republic and has begun attending services with us in Fair Lawn. Though most of our early studies have been disrupted by crying babies, teenagers running in and out of her apartment and other distractions, last Saturday we had our best session. Several of her teenage children and nephews, sat down and became absorbed in our study.

Other studies continue with Maria, mentioned in the last report, and with Gilberto Guerrero, husband of Nelly and father of Beto and Willie.

Projects at Fair Lawn
The Spanish speaking brethren at Fair Lawn have decided to start a ladies Bible study. Also, we are planning our first gospel meeting for late March with different men from the area speaking. Gospel meetings aren’t a tradition among the Hispanic congregations here. We hope that the effort we are planning will help us encourage visitors and brethren.

Misc.
I had a very enjoyable meeting with the Hispanic congregation in Midland, Texas, pictured below. I was impressed with the brethren’s zeal and love. I believe that a growing understanding of the importance of mercy and humility in dealing with differences regarding matters of individual application will allow even more growth to occur.

Many of you have heard of my medical scare. After one strong attack that had symptoms of a gall bladder attack and mild chest pains, I decided to get some medical tests. An ultrasound test revealed no visible gallstones. An EKG showed an irregular heartbeat (LBBB) which is sometimes benign in and of itself but often indicates underlying problems. After yet another test, a nuclear stress test, the cardiologist told me that he thought I had had two heart attacks! After a day or so of analyzing my life insurance situation and how to prepare my family and brethren for my possible departure from this world, a final, more definitive test (cardiac catheterization) showed no blockage in my heart. My heart is essentially fine!

The scare was good for me in some ways, causing me to analyze my life, appreciate each day and make some changes to my eating habits and ways of dealing with stress! I’ve lost ten pounds! I am grateful for my family, brethren and especially all of you who pray for me and support me in my work!