5/1/06 Report on Work New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,
Bathtubs arent ideal baptisteries but sometimes they can get the job done if three requirements can be met: (1) the candidate for baptism isnt tall, (2) the baptistery is filled almost to the brim by stuffing the overflow drain and (3) a helper is available to gently push the knees underwater. Thankfully, the three requirements could be met last month for two Peruvians who were baptized into Christ in a bathtub!
First, Nelly Alarcón Guerreros husband, Beto (Sr.) was baptized. Beto, pictured at the right with his family, is a quiet and introspective man. He has listened quietly to gospel teaching for several years. Though he says little, when he does talk, his words indicate wisdom and growing understanding of Gods word. Doctors removed about a third of Betos lung several months ago because of a chronic infection. He had to spend several months away from work, which caused his family hardship, but also gave them time for introspection and realization that they depend on God for everything. Betos baptism means that he and his wife are now united in raising their two lively and giving boys, Beto (Jr.) and Willie.
Flora Alarcón is Nellys sister who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She, like her sister has a sweet and giving disposition. Nelly began to tell Flora on the phone that it wasnt enough to be a giving person, but that she needed to be baptized into Christ. When Flora visited Nelly two weeks ago, Beverly and I spent several hours reading through Bible cases of conversion in the book of Acts with her. When we finished, Flora requested baptism. We filled Nellys bathtub to the brim and were able to bury Flora into Christ on the first try.
Floras biggest challenge comes from the fact that there are no known recommendable congregations near her home in Malden, Massachusetts, which is next to Boston. Several adult children and neighbors are interested in the gospel and I need to make a trip up to the area to teach them, but now I am buried under with other projects. Truly, there are many white fields, such as the Boston area, but laborers are few.
I have learned something that I can do to help Flora from Tom Holley in Argentina and Gary Fisher in Indiana. Tom conducts long range Bible studies with brethren in far flung parts of Chile and Argentina by telephone. Gary Fisher does the same with brethren in Brazil. Learning from them, I have begun telephone Bible studies with Flora and hope to ground her in the faith that way. I generally have a strong aversion to the telephone, but find myself enjoying using it to read the Bible with Flora.
The brethren at Fair Lawn have bought a passenger van to help give transportation to those who dont have access to automobiles or bus service. I usually drive it. I used to drive over 140 miles on Saturdays and over two hundred miles most Sundays, but since I have begun spending Saturday nights with my parents, Ill usually drive under 300 miles for the two days combined. A group in the van last Sunday is pictured at the right, just before they got out of the van.
We had our first gospel meeting at Fair Lawn. Three evangelists from the area, Luis Segovia, Nelson Amaya and Francisco Amaya preached the weekend meeting.
This month I have a meeting scheduled for Centerville, Virginia the 6th 8th. Then I plan to travel to Romania with my Dad, Buddy Payne and several other evangelists to conduct a weeklong training session for Romanian evangelists. We plan to depart on May 18 and return the 27th the Lord willing. A good portion of June will be spent preparing for the young peoples get together in a camp near Newton, NJ the first week in July. We can always use financial help for that personal project. Let me know if you would like to sponsor a camper. Beverly and I hope to go South in the middle of July so I can help my Dad at his young mens training camp in Russellville, Alabama. While all of this is going on, well try to maintain our normal activities to the best of our ability: home studies, visits, our bimonthly paper, sermons, classes, etc. After a meeting in Kentucky in August, things should get back to normal. I hope all these activities bring glory to God.
There are always challenges and difficulties. I bring some of them on with my own mistakes. Pray for us.
Photo on the left Peru (left) meets Dominican Republic (right). One of the enjoyable things about working in the Northeast is seeing how cultures blend and mix. These two little girls from very different cultures, hit if off instantly and are big buddies.