Return to reports

Back to home

Report for Gardner Hall, July 9, 2009

Camp 2009

Our biggest project this time of the year is always our camp. Though not a work of the local churches (it involves some recreation), it provides an opportunity for extensive one-on-one time with younger Christians and those considering serving the Lord. This year we paid for 227 campers and staff. It was by far our biggest camp ever. I hope that it is not getting too big, too quickly. The bigger it gets, the more challenges it brings on.

My greatest joy is to see our young, very spiritually minded counselors reading, praying and talking with young people who desperately need the attention. We added a special thirty-minute prayer session to our schedule this year for the campers to pray with each other and in pairs.

Young Christians are firming up in their faith and becoming leaders. For example, sixteen-year-old Wendell Montalvo, who has never caused any trouble but who has also never before been a spiritual leader, has started reading the book of Matthew with several of his cousins who are responding well to his guidance. I overheard him giving a very diplomatic yet firm talk to three of our newer girls about why they shouldn’t be going to parties. Such growth thrills me.

Dozens of people contribute time and money to this effort. Eighty of the campers, primarily from the inner city, needed some help with their camp fees and we were able to provide it, thanks to 76 contributors. Some paid almost all the camp fees of those attending and a few paid for multiple campers. A large number of contributors are from the Louisville, Kentucky area.

Another Baptism at Upper Manhattan

Anny Mejía, an intelligent 35 year old woman pictured to the right with her mother, was baptized into Christ last Sunday. Anny had visited Sherman several years ago, but became discouraged when she observed problems we were having at that time. However, she returned a few months ago and saw the growth in love in the church and began to attend regularly, listening carefully and taking notes. She has started to bring family members to services. We look forward to working with her.

New Home Studies

Mayra has been the home attendant for Aida Del Villar. She has read through portions of Luke and Acts with me, but recently found a new job, which will affect her abilities to study with me on Tuesdays. However, she has been attending our services on Sunday and plans to continue.
Julia is a neighbor of Rafael Abreu. She and Rafael’s wife, Daysi, have begun studying with me on Saturday afternoons along with the Abreu’s three teenage children.

Eddie Jinks

Eddie (pictured below with "Titi") was raised at the East Orange congregation and has quietly become one of the most respected leaders among the young disciples. Jon Focht was a good influence on him in his teenage years. Eddie tries to avoid a high profile, but serves others so diligently and selflessly that he is often called on for teaching and advice. He conducts special studies on Saturday mornings on the book of Ezekiel and the eldership. Though it is obvious that he has made extensive preparations and is highly intelligent, he is careful to make his presentations understandable.

Eddie’s goal in life is to be an elder. He has trained himself to make a living as an engineer. However, he made sure to find a job that would not be too demanding of his time, so that he can continue to dedicate himself to serving and teaching others.