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Report on Work in the New York City area

9/1/01

Gardner Hall, P.O. Box 123, Port Murray, NJ 07865-0123, GardnerHall3@cs.com Tel. (908) 850-5389

Fair Lawn
It appears that the Spanish-speaking brethren who meet in Fair Lawn won’t buy the store building that was found for sale in Passaic. Several brethren were concerned that repairs and approval from the city would prove too difficult. I’ve come to realize that the men’s meeting is no place to discuss buying a building. I have suggested that the brethren choose three or four men to work on hunting for a building and then make recommendations to the group.

Upper Manhattan
Upper Manhattan is still going through a sorting out process. There have been personality conflicts among some brethren and sadly, one good family, the Luis Segovia family, has decided to leave. I’ve been a friend of Luis and his family for many years. I feel that he could have helped work out the problem in other ways besides leaving, but accept his judgment. I appreciate very much the fact that he made every effort to express his love for all as he left, and his good attitude has meant that there is almost no resentment associated with his departure. One good thing coming from this, is that the brethren that meet on Second Avenue in lower Manhattan have asked Luis to help them with preaching. He will give them some badly needed teaching.

It seems that brethren at Upper Manhattan are making a big effort grow spiritually and leave the problems behind. Attendance is up at the two midweek services and brethren have started meeting one Friday night a month for prayer and praise.

Camp
Our young people’s camp had 87 campers and counselors. Though it is not, of course, a work of the church, I think that it is a very worthwhile personal project. Many young people in this area have very little contact with other Christians. The week spent living, studying and playing with godly young counselors gives a palpable boost to their spirit. They establish lifelong friendships and encourage each other with emails, notes on the web page and calls.

Our theme was, "Reviewing the Basics," and we studied Christ’s death, God’s grace, acceptance of God’s grace, authority and the church.

This project is possible only because many are willing to sacrifice a lot of time and money. Many of you gave much appreciated financial help. For more information check the web page.

Cuba
Several hundred brethren in Cuba receive our little paper, "Creced." Larry Paden and others have followed up with visits some of our contacts there. Larry’s reports about the faithfulness of the brethren in the midst of extreme poverty are heartwarming.

There is an official "Church of Christ" organization in Cuba with links to the government. It has elected officials, annual meetings and tries to control the churches. However, many brethren are sincere enough to realize that it is unbiblical. We hope our paper encourages them to be independent. However, such independence is difficult, since disassociation from the official "Church of Christ" organization, makes any gathering of over 15 people illegal.

Larry talks glowingly of one highly respected brother from the province of Guántanamo who came out of a denomination several years ago and has established several congregations in the eastern part of Cuba. Brethren came from the official "Church of Christ" organization offering him a salary if he went along with the association. He refused. They then offered to double the amount of salary they would give him, but he turned it down. He continues preaching the simple gospel.

Misc.
Beverly, Leah and I enjoyed a good meeting with the brethren at Westwood in Birmingham, Alabama and a visit with our parents in Georgia. Rebecca came up from Tampa and spent several days with us in Atlanta. Thanks!