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6/23/02 Report on Work in the...

New York City area

Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123,
Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123, .Tel. (908) 850-5389

Stymied on new meeting place in New Jersey

The meeting place we hoped to rent for the Spanish speaking congregation that now meets in Fair Lawn will be unavailable. The city of Passaic decided that we would have to go through the board of adjustment to rent the place, which would have required several thousand dollars for lawyers along with no guarantee of success.

We need our own meeting place for several reasons, but such will be very difficult to obtain. The word "church" sends shivers up and down the spines of many landlords and especially city bureaucrats. Visions of loud music and skipped rent payments haunt the former, and worries about no tax income and lawyers wanting to sue concern the latter. We will continue meeting in the building so graciously provided by the English speaking brethren in Fair Lawn.

Bible study in the park

With pretty summer weather, we’ve begun meeting for our Saturday evening Bible study at the Goffle Brook Park in Hawthorne. After studying, we eat and enjoy spending time with each other. Last Saturday we had about 8-10 lost people come over and study with us. The brethren were quick to obtain phone numbers from them for further contact.

It is very encouraging to see a revival of sorts occurring at Upper Manhattan, promoted mainly by the women. I mentioned in our last report their efforts to fix up the building, visit the sick on Sunday afternoons, distribute tracts, etc. The good spirit fostered by these ladies is paying off as three have returned to the Lord making confession: Alida (above right), who left us about three years ago, and Danelis (left) who left about the same time have returned. (Photo of Danelis above left). The atmosphere has definitely improved for growth.

Personal Projects

I’m super busy now getting ready for my little New Jersey camp. Though not a work of the church, I think it provides a big boost to our young people by allowing them to spend a week with spiritually minded peers. It appears that we’re going to have around 90 campers this year plus staff. It would be impossible for me to conduct this camp without the financial help of dozens of people. This year, individuals from the Douglass Hills congregation in Louisville, Kentucky have been especially motivated to help.

In late July we hope to travel to Georgia and Alabama to help my father in a weeklong camp designed for young men who want to be leaders in local congregations.

elp my father in a weeklong camp designed for young men who want to be leaders in local congregations.

The Shores congregation in Giles County, Tennessee is going to send some help for printing and postage. We will put it to good use. Thanks so much for your prayers and support.

We are especially happy that Luchi Tobal (picture below right) has obeyed the gospel. I studied with Luchi about five years ago in her apartment at the old Polo Grounds (baseball fans will know about that). She showed interest then, but gradually became busy in other activities and the studies were discontinued. Then she began visiting services about three months ago and has been soaking up Bible teaching. She has three children, and one, ten year old Kevin is an excellent little Bible student. She’s pregnant with number four on the way.

Raulina Vasquez, pictured below left, who left about 5 years ago has come back to the Lord. Raulina has started a study in her home with her husband, Eddy, a friendly and faithful companion. Raulina suffers from an especially difficult case of lupus which has crippled her and recently caused epileptic seizures. She has recently been taking 400 mgs. of prednisone a day and has had to take as much as 500 mgs! However, as her body has weakened, her spirit has strengthened. She wants to do what is right and encourage others. I’m confident that her example will encourage Eddy to obey the gospel. The fact that Raulina shares Beverly’s illness makes us even closer to her. We’re thankful that in Beverly’s case, the lupus is under control, because we can see in Raulina what can happen when it overpowers the medication.