Back to home

6/13/2014

Report on Work in the
New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123,

I will be buried under the next few weeks getting ready for our camp and have a window of a few hours today while I’m watching the World Cup, so will get this report out early. Think I’ll report on some special people in the work here.

Miguel Rosario

I met Miguel, originally from Puerto Rico, soon after moving here in 1982. He worked with a small congregation on Beach Avenue in the Bronx.

Miguel eventually became a member of the congregation at Sherman Avenue where he worked hard to teach the brethren, especially in trying to help them distance themselves from some of the sectarian concepts and lackadaisical attitudes about marriage that are prominent in the Caribbean culture. He then became a member of the new English-speaking congregation that Tom Beeler started that eventually began to meet on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. If he had a weakness, it was his impatience with those who didn’t study themselves out of error as quickly as he did. Miguel and his wife Margo, were great helps to me when we started our summer camp in 1999. He passed away last week from complications after an operation for a brain tumor.

Marina Guzman

Marina (second from the left in the picture) heard the gospel first when a friend, Rosa Martinez, introduced her to several of us after the death of her sister. Emily Hall did the bulk of teaching in Marina’s early days. She realized after hearing a sermon by Buddy Payne that her baptism in a Pentecostal church was not Christ’s baptism and was baptized according to His teaching. She constantly invites everyone she knows to study the Bible or visit the bilingual church in Manhattan. Some observed after visiting the medical office where she works, that every person in the office had either been at services or had a personal Bible study through Marina’s invitation. One of her friends, Erika (on the far left of the picture) was recently baptized into Christ by Caleb Churchill and is growing steadily in Christ. (picture below)

Francisco Sanchez

Beverly and I visited the congregation in Flushing last Sunday and saw Francisco Sanchez, his wife Glenda and baby girl. Someone asked me one time what was the best thing about this type of work, and people like Francisco would be it. He came to us as a very insecure but sincere teenager. He was practically abandoned by his parents and lived with various family members until he joined the Navy where he almost completely lost his faith. However, through it all, he remembered the teachings of Jesus Christ and when he left the Navy, he came back to New York, reestablished himself spiritually in the congregation in Flushing, married Glenda and is now finishing up his studies to be an X-ray technician at St. John’s University. To see him a mature seeker of God after such a tough background, and rough experience in the Navy is a testimony to the power of the gospel.

Various projects

Please pray for our little camp. Though not a work of the church, I think it is a tremendous help to young people in the area to be around other zealous young Christians. We can always use sponsors for campers (contact me if you might be able to help) and this year we have a little more space for campers at this time.

Melvin

Melvin is a gentle and intelligent young man who is a youth leader in his Pentecostal church. He met Sarash Sarante in a class at college and she invited him to visit the West Harlem congregation. He was immediately struck with the emphasis on scripture and other contrasts with his Pentecostal scripture. He has been studying with Tim Bunting and seen the difference between Christ’s way and the system of which he’s been a part. He says that he has always had doubts about some of the things he’s observed. But now, Melvin’s family and old friends are criticizing him because of his association with us. He’s just texted me that his father is very upset at him. Melvin hates the conflict that he knows is coming and we are trying to gently teach him that such is inevitable when following Christ. Please pray for him that God’s word may give him courage.