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Report 2/25/08

Special Weekend Study for Young People

Sixty-one of us (most pictured on the right,) gathered at a local camp January 18-20 to sing, pray and study the scriptures. Our theme was prayer. These special series allow our older, spiritually minded teens to influence the younger ones.

Remarkable Students

Gisela (picture to the left, standing in front of the cabinet) has been attending services at Upper Manhattan periodically for over a year. Her mother and sister are faithful members. I noticed towards the end of last year that Gisela was showing more interest during her visits and even asking perceptive Bible questions. I asked her for a home Bible study, she accepted, and we’ve read through portions of Luke and are well into Acts. Gisela is bright and has a good knowledge of the material we have studied. A good sign is that she has read the Bible on her own in advance of our studies. Pray that she will allow the word to change her heart.

Marco (pictured on the left with Beverly and Patty) is a likeable priest in the traditional Roman church from Costa Rica who Patty Grzybowski introduced to me. We are reading Acts together. We have been letting the word lead us to applications. We had some friendly exchanges on inherited sin and infant baptism when reading Acts 2. I gave him a list of texts last night that deal with the doctrines of inherited sin and imposed celibacy. Marco will be assigned to another country at the end of March. Pray for him.

New Christians,
big challenges

After some teaching that I suspected was needed, two of our new sisters acknowledged that they are living with the fathers of their children with no marriage covenant. I’m encouraging them to not live with the men as wives until the men are willing to make a lifelong commitment. Initial reports are that the men are balking. Pray for the new sisters and their children in their difficult situations.

Upper Manhattan

The city of New York has given us an extension until March to do the repairs to the church building and finish up paperwork.

The church has decided to sell the van they bought last year to pay for the slew of new expenses. Some, especially those who were using the van, aren’t happy, but that’s probably the only way out. Brethren from Shores in Giles County, Tennessee helped us through the immediate crisis on an individual basis. Know anyone interested in an almost new 2007 Chevy 15 passenger van?

The deal with our Pentecostal friends to give them our building for a house in the Bronx, approved for use as a church, fell through when the house sold to someone else.

Seated left to right: Francisca (Gisela's mother), a niece, Adelaida (her sister), Sara Focht. Standing: Jon Focht, Gisela

Left to right: Beverly, Patty, Marco