February 17, 2014
This certainly has been a winter with a significant amount of snowfall in the Northeast! Late Saturday night, we experienced our third winter storm in one week. At the Amsbaugh house, there are about 15 inches of accumulated snow on the ground, and where the plows have pushed snow back from the road, well that may not totally melt until 2016!
Our bus director, Leo Jones, texted me early Sunday morning to notify me that the roads were significantly plowed and he felt comfortable going forward with our bus routes. I had to admit that I had my reservations. Maybe 13 years in Georgia had softened my resolve to wintery blasts! I am glad the buses went forward. Though attendance was significantly affected, we were able to see eight kids pray to receive Christ during B Sunday School yesterday. Amen!
The week before, Carlos Hernandez, one of our teenagers walked the aisle to receive Christ as his personal Savior. As he watched Sarah Randall, a college student, take her stand for Christ in baptismal waters, he shouted, “I am going to get baptized next week.” True to his word, I had the privilege of baptizing him yesterday. He is our tenth baptism this year. What a great thing to see 10 baptisms in seven weeks! We are thankful for the way God is using His Word.
It was our privilege to welcome Larry Calkins into membership yesterday. Larry’s brother and sister, Tom Calkins and Barb Linhares, already attend GRIBT. We are thankful to have Larry come back to our church after being away for a while.
Due to the inclement weather, our Family Life Conference had to be cancelled. Dr. Gagliano could not get a flight to Providence. The Lord knew what he was doing, however. Mrs. Gagliano has had significant back trouble in recent days and is not able to get out of bed. The Lord knew that Pastor Gagliano needed to be with her. I am sure we will be able to get the Gaglianos to GRIBT in the not-too-distant future.
Last night we had a good Sunday School teacher’s meeting and laid the ground work for our Spring Sunday School campaign. It was a good meeting, and the teachers responded well to the challenges that were laid before them.
Our annual meeting took place on February 12, and we praise the Lord for the officers and deacons that were confirmed for the upcoming year. The budget was approved, and we are appreciative of the good giving demonstrated by God’s people last year. Overall giving increased by the largest annual percentage since 2006. Amen!
We are very thankful for your interest in this ministry. We are seeing souls saved and baptismal waters stirred on virtually a weekly basis. New England is not nearly as spiritually cold as some have suggested. We praise the Lord for that in the midst of the snowfalls God is washing hearts whiter than snow.