Report on Work
New York City area
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123, Email: GardnerHall3@cs.com
Web: www.creced.com Tel. (908) 850-5389
Aftermath of attack
The terrorist attack of September 11 has shaken up people in the New York area. It seems that theres less aggressiveness on the roads, less impatience and more of a tendency to talk among strangers. Though I feel that much of the revival of interest in spiritual issues is superficial (lots of talk about Nostradamus, speculation that the event prophesied in Revelation, etc.), there are certainly a few who are thinking more about God and the Bible.
I confess that Ive been struck with how little weve have been prepared to handle this rather mild burst of spiritual interest. If some future catastrophe causes an even stronger spiritual search among the masses, I fear we would be poorly prepared to take advantage of it. Though things are now improving, the inability to humbly confess mistakes during various clashes has weakened the church at Upper Manhattan and its ability to reach the lost. I wonder if the situation in Upper Manhattan is a microcosm of the situation among many known brethren. I hope we will improve.
Weve printed up 4,000 copies of a little tract on lessons we can learn from the World Trade Center and most of them have been passed out on the streets of Upper Manhattan and Paterson, New Jersey. Some of our best distributors are kids. Katherine (on the right) and Genesis (middle) love to take handfuls of tracts and give them out. Ivette (left) joined them for this picture. Weve seen lots of people reading the tracts and had several calls from people, though none of our new studies can be directly attributed to them. At least we are spreading the seed and the camaraderie we feel as we walk the streets is good for us.
Rosa Rosario, shown with her husband and children above right, was baptized into Christ on October 14. Weve been studying with Rosa for about a year and a half. I turned the class over to Miguel Rosario about six months or so ago and he is understandably thrilled to see this fruit. I hope that Rosas husband, Miguel (pink shirt), and son, Roger (right) will soon obey. Both Miguel and Roger like to read the Bible and ask good questions. This is a good and stable family we need more of them at Upper Manhattan.
New Studies with the lost
* Weve begun reading portions of Luke with Luisa and Norberta every Saturday afternoon. The class was arranged by Violeta Pacheco, a new Christian from Peru, who was baptized by Bill Echols of the East Orange congregation. Norberta is Violetas mother and Luisa is a good friend.
* Julie is a neighbor of Victor and Rosi Grado. Shes been going through a difficult time after the birth of an autistic child, but reading the Bible has given her comfort and a new perspective on life. I hope she will soon obey.
* I also continue several home studies with new Christians and the lost, including a couple in English that I enjoy.
Buildings and misc.
Both congregations that I work most closely with, Fair Lawn (Spanish) and Upper Manhattan need new buildings. This involves visits with architects, banks and real estate people. We ask your prayers in going through this process.
In closing I just want to mention how happy I am with the Spanish speaking congregation that meets in Fair Lawn. Though I was unable to count yesterday, I think we probably had over 80 present at our services. We have enthusiastic home services on Saturday nights. Though there are a few flies in the ointment, I think potential for growth in Fair Lawn is very good.
Thanks so much as always for your prayers and support.