Archive for October, 2009

October 4, 2009

Final Night in the Northeast October 4, 2009

I can’t believe it is over! It has been 38 days since I left ATL (not even as long as the rain in Noah’s flood) and I’m ready to get home! But what an amazing 38 days it has been.

The final weekend of my stay in the Northeast was extremely encouraging. As some of you know, the church in Gettysburg, PA is considering a second man to work with the group and I was invited this weekend to “interview” for the opportunity. I don’t know how to describe it, but I’m impressed by the congregation here.
Most of you know the primary evangelist, Scott Smelser (he was recently at Embry Hills teaching his child training series). I met Scott after most of you did because I was not at the child training series, but I met him that Sunday at the Alabama leadership camp. I immediately appreciated his teaching and hard work after the week I spent with him in Alabama. Our paths crossed again at the Northeast leadership camp and that was when Scott asked me to come down and meet the brethren to see about the opportunity of working with the group. Scott’s opening words to me at the leadership camp were, “I’m going to try to convince you to stay in the Northeast.” My ears perked after that. So this weekend I spent the majority of my time with Scott and his wife Bertina and 4 of their 6 children: Breann, Tabitha, Zachary and Lucas.
I left NYC on Friday morning and arrived in Gettysburg at 4 p.m. A teen study was being held at the Smelsers at 7 so I was driven around the area by a young man named Kyle (who will be my roommate if I return) and Scott. They showed me where I would be staying for the weekend and if I return where I would stay (the same room I’m in right now.) We got back to the house and had a terrific ham dinner. The kids came over for the study. I honestly didn’t count, but I guess between 15-20. Really enjoyed it. We studied the story of the lost sons (aka the prodigal son/or a portion of the parable of lost things). I learned something new which is always great and spent time with some of the kids and a few of the parents.
Saturday I had a study with Scott in the morning and learned some more new things. We looked at how to show internally in the New Testament that Luke actually worte the book of Luke and Acts. It was interesting because some people do doubt the authorship. In that discussion we compared the sea voyages of the “they passages” (when it’s Paul and others on a sea voyage) and the “we passages” (when the author is present with Paul) it was amazing the differences of detail and such. That was a very neat, interesting study.
After that we had lunch with the family and went and chopped wood for one of the brethren who hasn’t been in the best health. I’m not cut out to chop wood, but I helped the best I could.
Scott had a cookout over at his home and got to meet several of the brethren Saturday night and play some volleyball. I really enjoyed the opportunity to sit and talk with some of the brethren. I was really impressed and excited about the zeal and their willingness to evangelize. I really enjoyed the evening.
And then this morning I taught the class on Korah from Numbers 16. Preached my “Praying Anxiously” sermon which most of you have heard and this evening preached my “Fishers of Men” sermon. I was pleased with the sermons and class overall. But I was more pleased with the friendliness and attentiveness of the group. They have a lot to offer in terms of helping me mature and learning more about the Northeast work.
If all works out it has great potential to be a huge blessing for both the congregation and myself. I ask that you all pray that whatever the Lord’s will is in this situation be done.
It is late and Google Maps says I have a 10 hr and 46 minute drive ahead of me tomorrow. I am excited to be home and to make the gospel meeting with Gary Henry at 7:30 pm.
The last 38 days have been a tremendous blessing for me. It wouldn’t have been possible without the elders from Embry Hills and the Lord’s help. Not to mention you guys praying constantly for me. I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Hope all is well wherever you are.
God bless,
Wes
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October 1, 2009

Thursday October 1

I bade upstate New York adieu yesterday after spending a month in the beautiful area. I hated to leave, but it was time to start the trek back home. But I’ve got many miles to go before I reach Atlanta.

My first stop is the Big Apple. It’s my first time to enter anyone’s apartment in the city and I’ve now been in 5. I must admit the life in these tiny apartments is great, but wow it would take some serious getting used to. But we made the rounds yesterday for sure.
I am staying with Tim Bunting, a young evangelist in NYC, who mainly works with the youth. He and Roger Polanco have very similar roles and work quite a bit together with the youth. They have a niche work and I was able to follow him yesterday afternoon.
We ate lunch at a little Greek restaurant before we started our rounds–the food was fast, good and hot. It was a good little spot. After eating lunch we walked a couple blocks over to Aida’s home. Aida is a member at the Sherman Ave congregation. She is in a wheelchair and not in the best health so Tim goes and visits her every Wednesday. She was a pleasure to speak with. She spoke very good English, but of course much better Spanish. Aida has been a tremendous influence on her family and nurses that take care of her and several have become Christians because of her work for the Lord. She was an encouragement to meet.
After leaving her home, we walked back to Bill Sanchez’s apartment. I met Bill at leadership camp in Alabama back in the summer and really took a liking to him. Bill was not at home, but we spent the better part of an hour talking to his sister (who has been studying with Tim, but not a Christian) and several of his other relatives…Unexpectedly his cousin Kelvin (who I met at the northeast leadership camp) got home from school early and walked in the door. We spent a little time with Kelvin, but he went upstairs to his apartment to do some homework. I didn’t get to see Bill until later in the evening.
We left there and headed to the Bronx to visit the Cruz boys. There are 4 Cruz boys (Kevin, Daniel, Joel and David) and they were great (Kevin, Daniel, Joel, David) I had never met any of them, but they were great. We spent the first part while they ate dinner playing video games and then continued their study in Hebrews. Tim asked me to teach the class so I taught Hebrews chapter 2. It was a pleasure doing that.
We left there and headed back to Kelvin and Bill’s building because Bill was now back from school. Stopped in there 10 minutes then left and went down to the Lower East Side to do a little relaxing.
It was a busy day. Today I am meeting Don Bunting at 2pm. Don is the evangelist for the Upper West Side congregation. I won’t get to spend a lot of time with him, but looking forward to the hour or so. Then this evening I will be worshipping with Spanish congregation that meets on Sherman Ave. It should be a great day.
I leave for Gettysburg, PA tomorrow.
Thanks again for your prayers. Hope all is well wherever you are.
God bless,
Wes