Report on Work in the NYC AREA
Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123, GardnerHall3@cs.com
Web: www.creced.com Tel. (908) 850-5389
Upper Manhattan's no longer in danger of losing their building!
Fantastic news. We received a letter from New York City's finance department saying that they were in error in charging us taxes and that they are going to pay all of the outstanding debt that was owed to creditors. So, after all the politicians and lawyers told us they could do nothing, Mayor Giuliani proved them wrong. I'm glad we were able to get through to him. We thank God that the worst part of this mess is over, even though we have some loose ends to tie up.
Eventually, it is essential that we find a way to finance some remodeling and enlargements. Today, for example, we had over 70 in attendance and the building is supposed to seat only 60. Real estate and any meeting place in Manhattan is extremely expensive, so we're thankful to the Lord for this building.
We are pleased to report the baptism of Julio (in picture at the left with his kids) at Upper Manhattan. He has been attending with his friend, Epifanio Lora, and finally made the decision to obey the gospel. Last Sunday he brought his kids to services and they are really sweethearts. We hope he can eventually get his wife to come. Now begins the long process of teaching him and grounding him in the faith.
In other news from Upper Manhattan, Bobby Graham came this past Saturday and gave four sessions of about an hour's length on how to teach. We had about 25-30 who attended from various congregations in the area. We gave Spanish translations of brother Graham's lessons.
* The attendance at Fair Lawn continues to grow. The last two Sundays, we've had in the mid 60's in attendance . We baptized one young man, Luis Corso, but he has shown that he doesn't intend to be faithful.
The brethren are constantly busy looking for opportunities to teach others. We were able to conduct a Bible study for several leaders of an "Assemblies of God" congregation thanks to the efforts of José Odar, and though I don't think they will turn out to be good ground, the efforts of brother Odar and others to bring friends and make contacts is encouraging. We continue to look for a building
* I enjoy visiting about once a month with the congregation where Tom and Susan Beeler work that meets on Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. The picture at the right was taken when visiting about six weeks ago. A few on the front were visitors from out of town, but most of the others are locals. Attendance has been over 40 every time I've visited.
I also preach for the congregation in Flushing, Queens about once a month. Their picture is below and to the left.
* Had a very enjoyable meeting with the congregation at Market Street in Athens, Alabama. This next weekend I have a meeting with the good brethren in Bethlehem, PA.
* The web page, www.creced.com, continues to get contacts and positive feedback. I'm very thankful to Drew DeGrado for his tremendous help with this. He's doing better after dealing with heart problems.
* We have 27 single Christians, mainly from the Northeast, who have signed up or given me their word that they will attend our weekend Bible studies in two weeks. I hope this will give them the opportunity to encourage each other.
* We're also in full blown preparations for our young people's camp in July. I'm pretty sure we'll have more kids than ever before, though I thought that last year. (More info. at this site, click where it says info. on Northeast F.C. camp)
Though such special events are not the work of local congregations, I feel more and more that as individuals we need to dedicate more energy to them. Good time spent together with other Christians gives great encouragement.
As in previous years, if you or anyone you know would like to "adopt" a camper, or help the camp economically in any other way, please let me know.
May God continue to bless all, Gardner