This last week turned out to be the last week of meetings for us for the year; and boy did it go out with a bang! On Monday evening we got home from Latham. The following Sunday we were going to be just an hour south, in Poughkeepsie; but we would take the LLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG way around. Wednesday we headed out from Albion for Springville, PA, where we have a supporting church. Actually, we have a few supporting churches all in that same area. So we planned to be at Springville Baptist on Wednesday night at their prayer meeting, just to visit. We got in to the Woods’ house, the folks we would spend the next couple nights with, just in time for dinner. Then we headed over to church. Springville was preparing for a big ladies outreach on Saturday morning, so we helped get things set up for the outreach after church that evening. It was nice to see the church family and Pastor Rosenau again. He is doing well, and the church is as well.
Thursday morning Emily and I headed over the hill and through the woods to Thompson, PA. Though it was only about 30 miles away, it took about an hour to get to, driving over many dirt roads and back roads. We were visiting Pastor Sandau and his family, who we had met back in March. This church has been faithfully praying for us since then, which is very encouraging. We played some games with them and chatted with them. It was good to hear how God has been providing for them over the past few months, even though some things have been pretty tough.
We headed back to Springville in the early afternoon, and then drove up to Kingsley in the early evening to meet the Roubs for dinner. Mr. Roub is a deacon at Acre Lake Independent Baptist Church, the very first church we visited when we began deputation in March. This church is also supporting us. Acre Lake has their mid-week prayer meeting on Thursday night, so we spent the evening with them and filled them in on how deputation has been going for the past few months. While we were in church, it snowed; we got out of church and found a light blanket on our van!
Friday morning Emily went over with Mrs. Wood to Springville to help them set up some last minute things for the outreach the next morning. I drove around and touched base with a couple other pastors in the area. Friday night was pretty fun. If you remember a couple months ago we met the Lindmarks, who serve at Harvest Baptist Church in Bath. Robbie, Pastor Lindmark’s son, is a part of a drama production put on by a radio station in New York and PA. Friday night they were performing “It’s a Wonderful Life” in Scranton. Robbie was playing the part of George Bailey. It was a dinner theater, and was done very well. We had no idea it was going to be as formal of a production as it was, but it was done very well.
Saturday morning Emily and I headed our for Poughkeepsie. On the way we were going to meet Jon and Marie Stewart, who were headed north along the same trail that we were on their way to Maine. We met up with them not far outside Scranton and drove with them for about an hour or so. We went to lunch with them to Perkins, courtesy of our sending church, Maranatha Baptist Church in North Carolina. It was a very refreshing time with them, to find out how things are going in our sending church. God has really been blessing that ministry, and it was neat to hear about.
That evening we made it over to Fellowship Baptist in Highland. Pastor Lewis and his wife really seemed to hit it off with us. We had a really great time with them. We just sat and chatted with them for about 4 hours Saturday night. It was very nice.
Sunday services went very well. Fellowship Baptist was one of the most friendly, personable, and high-spirited churches we have been to. Everyone just seemed to be excited, and happy, and ready to serve the Lord. It was a very nice atmosphere. They had a fellowship dinner after the morning service, and chatted with a number of folks, both older and younger.
One gentleman that we met over lunch, Mr. Seitz, invited us over to his house for dinner that night since there would not be an evening service. We happily accepted, and boy are we glad we did! Probably the last grill we will have this year (sad statement to make). We had burgers for dinner, and they were good. The Seitz had a lot of really practical questions for us, and we had a great time just chatting about the Lord, His Word, and what we have been learning from His Word. We finally headed out around 9:30 that night, after just a really great time.
Monday morning we headed over to Pastor’s house to say goodbye. We ended up staying for another 4 hours chatting! We had a really great time with Pastor and Mrs. Lewis. Pray with us for them and their ministry outside of Poughkeepsie. The area here is very Catholic also, and has a very liberal mindset. Pray that Fellowship Baptist continues to have an impact on this community for Christ. There are not many other churches in the area, and so they’ve got a tough ministry. But the folks are really bound together, and led well. Praise the Lord for that with us!