9/11/02 Report on Work in the
New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,
GardnerHall3@cs.com. , Web: www.creced.com
Tel. (908) 850-5389
"Happy exhaustion" - Thats what you feel after a long day of hard work that seems to have given good, tangible results. This summer has given us a dozen or so "happy exhaustion" days after days full of home studies and special times of association and teaching with Christians. There have been so many lately, that I havent had time to get this report out on time. Sorry for the delay!
Some of our good contacts
(1) Beauty salon Through the years Ive had several good Bible studies in beauty salons. Our latest one was arranged by one of our members, Rosa Martinez, in the salon of a friend named Marisol. We are currently reading through portions of Luke with Marisol and with two friends, Marta and Elena. Several factors have made them interested in searching for truth. Marta has been diagnosed with breast cancer which has spread. Marisol has had some economic difficulties since September 11 of last year, and Rosa, who arranged the study has had her own beauty salon burn down.
Marisol has attended services with us for three Sundays which is always a good sign. When talking about Marta, Marisol said, "Martas searching." I think Marisol and Elena are as well.
(2) Nelly is a kind, plain spoken woman in her 50s from Ecuador who loves to read the book of Acts with us at the home of Violeta Pacheco. She says exactly what she thinks and says bluntly that she has no use for her traditional church since it doesnt try to explain the Bible. She loves our studies because thats exactly what we try to do. Nelly was quite a singer some years ago and has given us tapes of her singing professionally a group of pretty Ecuadorian folk songs.
(3) Luisa is a Dominican woman in her 40s who, along with her husband, Manuel, used to be a member of a Pentecostal group but became disenchanted with it. Both listen closely as we read through Acts and ask good questions. Theyve seen the truth regarding tongue speaking and miracles.
(4) Johnny, Carmen and José are Peruvians who are children of Rosa and Teodoro Gutierrez. Their background is Pentecostal, but they have been discouraged with some of the abuses often seen in that movement. We have read through most of Acts with Carmen and are now going through a topical study on the Holy Spirit. They attend our services regularly.
(5) Hondina, a young Dominican woman, was baptized into Christ and has attended some of our services, but has been hindered recently by work obligations. So many jobs for immigrants require work on Sundays and thus prove to be great temptations for those desperate for work.
This year, Ive participated in four special gatherings designed for different groups of Christians, three in the last reporting period. Though not works of the church, these meetings provide opportunities for Christians to spend extensive time together singing, praying, studying, working and playing together.
(1) Young peoples camp. We had 90 teens and preteens at our young peoples camp, the week of July 4. Every year we rejoice to see the young people respond positively to the teaching and good examples of the godly young counselors.
(2) Leadership camp This year I went to Russellville, Alabama to help my Dad in a weeklong camp in late July and early August designed for young men who want to be leaders in local churches. It was conducted at Jackie Richardsons Rustic Youth Camp. Thirty seven young men came and were blessed to be taught by some of the best Bible teachers I know and hear reports from brethren who have preached all over the world.
(3) Weekend Bible study for Spanish brethren: This past week 56 Spanish speaking brethren of all ages met in a rented camp for a study of personal holiness. We dealt with all kinds of issues relating to the topic: our attitudes, clothing, dancing, drugs, alchohol, marriage and divorce, etc.
The congregations I work with are doing well. There are several other projects going but theres no more space for further details. Thanks for your prayers and supportt/