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12/17/01

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

Training young Christians
One of my faults as a young evangelist was doing as much as possible myself, so that I wouldn’t have to "bother" others. But others learn best by doing, and therefore my desire not to inconvenience others has perhaps deprived some Christians of needed experience. I hope now in my "middle age" to be a little pushier by motivating others to do more. I’m glad to report that several whom I’ve trained are teaching home studies, and still more are learning to teach and preach.

In our Saturday evening classes in Paterson, New Jersey we are teaching a group of 6-10 young me how to make talks. Eventually, I hope to study topics like "personal work," building a library, etc. I have a very good group of young people to work with. Here’s details on a few:

* German Ortiz, mentioned in earlier report, has become one of our most zealous Christians. He preached his first full length sermon a few months ago and has now preached three, showing improvement each time. He has an enthusiastic delivery and reeks of sincerity. German has also begun teaching some home Bible studies with the lost. He and Toribio Quiñones will begin studying this Saturday with one of our most frequent visitors over the last few months, Esperanza, and a friend she has invited to accompany her.

* Juan Carlos Romero made his first talk this past Saturday. Juan Carlos has introduced the gospel to a dozen or so of his friends and about half have obeyed the gospel. He wants to do more teaching and preaching.

* Victor Grado, though not in our class in New Jersey on Saturday evenings has become one of the pillars of the church in Upper Manhattan. He is an excellent preacher and shows increasingly wise judgment. His wife, Rossy, has become a leader among the women, visiting the sick and weak and earning everyone’s respect. Their son Marcos, who is 14, is super sincere and extremely bright. Geni is a sweet little girl. I think of an eventual elder when I think of Victor and Rossy.

Trying to encourage young Christians

Several Christians from Hispanic congregations in New York City, led by Nelson Amaya from Flushing and Santos Castro, from Brooklyn, having begun meeting together to think of ways to encourage young Christians. Nelson, who I know well, has asked me to help. We invited young people from this group to join us for our camp reunion on December 1 and had about 40-50 to attend our gathering at the Haywood Burns School on Broadway. This new effort to encourage the young, is bringing me in contact with brethrenfrom several other congregations where I haven’t had much association in the past, especially South Brooklyn and the new congregation that meets on Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx. As far as I know these congregations don’t practice anything unscriptural and have always seemed open to me. At the last meeting I took the opportunity to explain to the brethren the importance of considering these efforts to simply be the responsibility of a group of individuals and not of "the Church of Christ in New York City" since churches shouldn’t be involved in any way in recreation nor in forming any kind of citywide "church" organization. My words were met with nods of approval and apparent understanding. The congregation that meets on Bathgate Avenue split off from the big Manhattan Church of Christ, when it began having women lead prayers and lead at the Lord’s table, so at least they had enough convictions to leave that situation.

Meetings, trips

I enjoyed two meetings during the last reporting period. One was in Lafayette, Georgia where Beverly’s parents meet, and the other was with the Spanish speaking church in Tucson, Arizona where Vernon Hawkins does most of the preaching. It was a special treat to be with Vernon and Sue who were "pioneers" in the work in Chile. They have been a good influence upon the brethren there.

We plan to visit our parents for a week during the holidays and also with the brethren at Embry Hills in Atlanta and then hope to miss no more Sundays here until March. Thanks to all for your prayers and support.