This weekend was a crazy weekend. We had the pleasure of visiting Grace Baptist Church in Guilderland, which is a suburb of Albany. Saturday morning when we got up, the snow was falling and blowing and the roads were treacherous. And the day didn’t get any better. By the time we left around noon, it was 15 degrees and we were pretty nervous about whether or not we would even get to Guilderland. But, we figured the snow had to let off by at least the time we got to Syracuse. So, off we trotted to…a ditch on the side of the road.
Just kidding. We did fishtail pretty badly, but the Lord was gracious and all we had to show of it was some goosebumps. By the time we got through Rochester, the roads were much more manageable…mainly because of the traffic, but it was still nice to be able to drive over 45 MPH. By the time we got to Albany, though, the roads were clear, the sky was clear, and the temp was 20 degrees warmer. Unbelievable.
Saturday night Grace was having a Valentines Day banquet, so when we got to the church we were able to help get things ready for it. It turned out to be a great time to meet several folks from the church. We found out that Grace Guilderland is a church plant, and Pastor Minniear and his wife are with CBM. There was a team of CBM church builders there working on the parsonage, so we had a good time meeting all them. Actually, it was kinda funny because one of the couples with CBM used to attend Grace Baptist in Brockport, where my family went when my Dad was young. So they know my Grandparents, Dad, Uncle, and Aunt. That has been one of the amazing things about deputation is finding out how many connections we all have!
Anyway, we had a great time Saturday night. Sunday fellowship was also great. The church is quite young, and very diverse. It was neat to talk with Pastor Minniear about the ministry, and hear how he desires to be pouring himself out for the church family. I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in Philippians: “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” There was definitely a lot of rejoicing and a lot of hope in the ministry at Grace.
Our time chatting with Pastor Minniear and his wife outside of the church was also very encouraging. They were able to give us a lot of good counsel and wise perspective. It was definitely a blessing to be able to spend this time with them.
After the morning service we headed over to the nursing home for a special service over there. It’s been interesting to see different nursing homes across the state – I think this was our fourth or fifth – and see the folks who are there…there’s more thoughts there, but another time, I reckon.
Anyway, after the evening service Emi had a chance to try her hand at handbells. The look of concentration on her face was pretty funny. But she had fun.
Keep Pastor Minniear and Grace Baptist in your prayers as he strives to reach the Guilderland area with the Gospel of Christ. He has a lot of young, passionate people in his church who are fired up to be evangelizing and sharing their faith. The time he is taking in discipleship is certainly paying off.