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Gardner Hall
P.O. Box 123,
Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,

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. It’s 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 weren’t 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 Miguel’s 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

Montreal, Quebec

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 other’s 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 parent’s 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.

Etceteras

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.
There are always lots of visits and home studies on Saturdays and Tuesdays. It is a pleasure to have Jon Focht accompany me on Tuesdays. We have started a Tuesday evening class for children on Tuesdays at Upper Manhattan and Jon does a great job of teaching them. Jon works three or four days a week at secular work and receives part time support to teach and preach the other days of the week. He has been a big encouragement in several congregations, though he could probably use a little more support.

Beverly, Rebecca and Leah are well. Beverly’s lupus is so well under control that it looks like she’ll be completely off steroids in the next week or so. Rebecca will spend her spring break with us next week, the Lord willing.
I often think of how my work, which is so fulfilling, would be impossible if not for the support and prayers of so many good brethren. Thanks so much!