July 23, 2013
The Lord blessed in a wonderful way this past Lord’s Day, and several things for which we had been praying came to fruition. The first was the baptism of Jenn Silva. Jenn had been attending church for several months, but had not, as yet, given her heart to Christ. One of our aggressive soul winners, Mary Ann Marino, invited Jenn to lunch at Panera Bread and was able to lead her to Christ. On Sunday, Jenn took her public stand for Christ as she was plunged beneath baptismal waters.
We were also able to baptize Manny Turbides and Staci Cherwinski on Sunday. Staci was brought to Christ through our bus ministry many years ago through one of our faithful workers, Peggy Paccheo. Staci came up through the youth group, but was never given parental permission for baptism. Toward the end of her teenage years, Staci fell out of church, and we lost contact with her. She started dating Manny, and through a variety of circumstances, Manny felt the need to get right with God. Staci recommended GRIBT, and so they visited two weeks ago. Manny raised his hand for salvation, and I was able to lead him to Christ in the office after church. Both Manny and Staci were baptized on Sunday.
Jenzy Taveras also followed the Lord in baptism on Sunday. Jenzy is a dynamic member of our youth group, and we have seen her take a more active role in recent months. She was a great help during our Vacation Bible Time. Her parents have been visiting the church for the last month or so, and her mother approached me after church on Sunday morning, saying it was about time that Jenzy made her faith public through baptism. We were thrilled as Jenzy took her stand for Christ. These four baptisms brought our total number for the year to 32.
Arthur English Ward is a recent graduate of Johnson Wales College, a premier culinary school here in Rhode Island. Arthur is a great cook, and he has attended GRIBT the entire time that he has been in college. He has kept his church membership at his home church in New Jersey throughout his college years, but now that he has graduated, he has decided to stay in Rhode Island. In so doing, he formally joined our church yesterday. We are glad to have him. He has been a blessing.
Our teens, who just returned from camp at the Wilds of New England, gave their testimonies at church Sunday night. It is wonderful to see how God is working in our youth group. We are thankful for Pastor Tom and Christy’s ministry to our youth. Pray for their Kramperts, as they are in Pennsylvania for the beginning of this week to attend the funeral of Pastor Tom’s uncle.
Auditorium renovations are taking place in earnest this week. All of the pews were removed on Saturday by a solid work force of volunteers. Rented chairs provided the seating for this Lord’s Day. Yesterday morning, the repairs in the ceiling were made, and the painters immediately began their work which will last this week and next. The platform reconstruction should be finished by the end of this week. The carpet layers will be here in two weeks, and then the new pews are scheduled to arrive. We are thankful for the sacrificial giving of God’s people that has made this all possible.
Please continue to pray as we seek to knock on every door in Johnston by the end of the year. Also, pray for us as seek to follow up on the visitors from this past Sunday. On a personal note, pray for our daughter Ashley as she transitions to Dallas this weekend to assume her teaching ministry at Temple Christian Academy in Flower Mound. Your thoughts and prayers for this ministry mean much to us.