Challenges and Success in Local Works
The Spanish-speaking congregation in Upper Manhattan, as usual, has had its share of spiritual success and spiritual challenges during the last reporting period.
Were happy that "Doña Lila," the elderly mother of Ada Melo, was baptized into Christ. When we have tried in the past to talk to Doña Lila about the gospel, she has been very emphatic that she was happy in her traditional religion. However, something moved her to obey the gospel a few weeks ago and since then she has been one of the happiest people in the congregation. Her son in law told me that she talks to people next to her on the subway, telling them that if she could repent at her age, they can too! Often we rejoice in the obedience of teens that have their lives before them. However, in some ways the repentance of the elderly is even more moving.
Weve become so crowded at Sherman that weve put a TV screen in the basement with a connection to a video camera upstairs, and send many of our young people (and a few older ones) down. Each Sunday we have 15-30 in the basement. It appears our efforts to sell the building have been stymied for a while.
On the challenge side, I continue to see evidence of an unhealthy leaven. So, well keep studying and hammering away as frankly and yet as diplomatically as we can.
The Hispanic church in Fair Lawn also has had some challenges. One of our members has been arrested and weve spent a good bit of time trying to help him with his legal affairs.
Beto Guereros work among the young in Newark, New Jersey
I visited the Sunday morning Bible study in the Portuguese/Hispanic congregation in Newark a few ago to encourage Willie Guerrero as he taught his first Bible class. Willies brother, Beto, has been working diligently with the young people of the congregation, many of whom are of Brazilian descent, to learn the book of John. After Willies presentation, Beto conducted a kind of Bible bowl and I was thrilled to see many of the Brazilian kids answering rather difficult questions about John. Their knowledge was especially encouraging since I know that only a few months ago, most knew almost nothing about the Bible. I suppose the older we get, the more we realize we wont be teaching forever, and thats why its such a thrill to see younger Christians carrying on this great duty and privilege.
I have a few interesting home studies, but no space here to go into detail about them.
Look forward to a meeting at Perry Hill Road in Montgomery, Alabama May 15-20.