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Challenges and Success in Local Works

The Spanish-speaking congregation in Upper Manhattan, as usual, has had its share of spiritual success and spiritual challenges during the last reporting period.

We’re happy that "Doña Lila," the elderly mother of Ada Melo, was baptized into Christ. When we have tried in the past to talk to Doña Lila about the gospel, she has been very emphatic that she was happy in her traditional religion. However, something moved her to obey the gospel a few weeks ago and since then she has been one of the happiest people in the congregation. Her son in law told me that she talks to people next to her on the subway, telling them that if she could repent at her age, they can too! Often we rejoice in the obedience of teens that have their lives before them. However, in some ways the repentance of the elderly is even more moving.

We’ve become so crowded at Sherman that we’ve put a TV screen in the basement with a connection to a video camera upstairs, and send many of our young people (and a few older ones) down. Each Sunday we have 15-30 in the basement. It appears our efforts to sell the building have been stymied for a while.

On the challenge side, I continue to see evidence of an unhealthy leaven. So, we’ll keep studying and hammering away as frankly and yet as diplomatically as we can.

The Hispanic church in Fair Lawn also has had some challenges. One of our members has been arrested and we’ve spent a good bit of time trying to help him with his legal affairs.

Beto Guerero’s work among the young in Newark, New Jersey

I visited the Sunday morning Bible study in the Portuguese/Hispanic congregation in Newark a few ago to encourage Willie Guerrero as he taught his first Bible class. Willie’s brother, Beto, has been working diligently with the young people of the congregation, many of whom are of Brazilian descent, to learn the book of John. After Willie’s presentation, Beto conducted a kind of Bible bowl and I was thrilled to see many of the Brazilian kids answering rather difficult questions about John. Their knowledge was especially encouraging since I know that only a few months ago, most knew almost nothing about the Bible. I suppose the older we get, the more we realize we won’t be teaching forever, and that’s why it’s such a thrill to see younger Christians carrying on this great duty and privilege.

Misc.

I have a few interesting home studies, but no space here to go into detail about them.
I enjoyed a meeting at the Harpersville Road congregation in Newport News, Virginia. The congregation is going through a bit of a revival and wanted a series on evangelism.

Look forward to a meeting at Perry Hill Road in Montgomery, Alabama May 15-20.