Baptisms in New Jersey and New York
One of the blessings of preaching the gospel in the same area for many years is watching children grow up. Little toddlers turn into active youngsters, then gangly adolescents and finally mature young Christians. Its a wonderful thing to observe.
I have known Ruth Orellana (pictured on the right in the dark shirt) since she was about three years old. I will always remember the horrible day about twelve years ago when I saw her in the hospital writhing in pain after being hit by a car and her parents werent able to be with her. When I arrived and began comforting her, she began to calm down, and the doctors and nurses were able to help her with her broken leg. Thankfully, she had no long-term injuries from that trauma and has blossomed into a sweet and serious minded 16 year old. (The best picture I could find of her was this one of her clowning around with shaving cream. She is on the left in the picture.)A few Sundays ago, Ruth told me that she was ready to be baptized. As the church gathered around the baptistery, I immersed her in the cold waters. It was a happy moment!
About three years ago we began studying the Bible with Rosa Rosario, who was baptized into Christ about a year ago. Gradually we began noticing that her husband, Miguel (shown at the left with his daughters), attended more of our services at Upper Manhattan, even though he had to leave his store to do so. Yesterday, Miguel was baptized into Christ. Epifanio, one of our members, has been working with Miguel and I am confident that his influence had a lot to do with Miguels decision. Miguel is a very responsible and intelligent family man who is capable of becoming a leader in the congregation if he applies himself to Bible study and prayer
On the weekend of January 24-26, Leah and I drove up through the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York to visit Spanish speaking brethren in Montreal, Canada (picture to the right). Though the temperatures were well below zero, the brethren gave us a warm welcome. We had Bible classes almost all day Saturday and then two classes and a sermon on Sunday morning. After services on Sunday, a middle-aged woman, Carmen, was baptized into Christ.
Two vans full of Christians also came from Ottawa with Werner Orellana and spent the whole weekend with us. They slept in the homes of the members from Montreal on Saturday night. It was good to see the love between the brethren in Montreal and Ottawa who are isolated from other Christians and therefore very close to each other.
Edwin Alvarado (picture on the left with his wife, Sabrina) does most of the preaching in the congregation in Montreal. He was well taught by Jose Coronado who now works in Atlanta, Georgia. Edwin is married to Sabrina (Piccola) whose family I knew in Argentina. I remember seeing Sabrina as a little girl when visiting Argentina in 1993. Edwin and Sabrina met by exchanging letters after seeing each others address in my Spanish bulletin, Creced. She flew up to Canada to meet him, they married and are super happy.
Dad and Mom
Many have asked about my parents adjustment to New York City. They are doing great! They are settled into their basement apartment and learning the ropes of living in New York, in particular the exacting requirements for licenses, insurance, etc. They enjoy working with the English-speaking brethren on Amsterdam Avenue and have a lot of plans for reaching out into the vast city where there are so many lost people.
The Spanish speaking church now meeting in Fair Lawn continues to process paperwork to buy the old library building on 33rd Street in Paterson. We have a good lawyer and architect working on the project. The next and last major hurdle before owning the place will be a meeting with the zoning adjustment board of the city of Paterson.
Beverly, Rebecca and Leah are well. Beverlys lupus is so well under control that it looks like shell be completely off steroids in the next week or so. Rebecca will spend her spring break with us next week, the Lord willing.