This last weekend was an exciting weekend for Emily and I. We had a meeting out on Long Island, in Bay Shore, NY. This was only our second time out on Long Island, so it was definitely a unique experience for us. We were visiting Calvary Baptist Church in Bay Shore. This church lost its Pastor only a few months ago, when he suddenly passed away. They found a new Pastor, however, and he has been there for only three weeks! It was very interesting to spend time with him and his family and find out some of the things they have seen in looking for a church and a pastorate position. Pastor Sandiford and his family were great, very welcoming, and very hospitable. What’s more, they were game people! We had a blast playing Catch Phrase and a few other games with them.
Sunday services went very well. Everyone at Calvary was very friendly and very interactive. This is always nice when you’re opening up God’s Word with people, when you can tell they are following along and “getting it.”
We presented the ministry in Sunday School, and taught the morning service. Pastor Sandiford taught the evening service, which was nice. It was nice to get to sit and listen to someone else teaching. He is beginning a series on an overview of Theology, and so far, very good.
Sunday afternoon Pastor and his family took us out to Fire Island, a small island that runs parallel to Long Island, where we saw the lighthouse and a beautiful beach. We had no idea we’d be going to the beach this weekend! It was a little cold for swimming, though. 🙂
Long Island was a little intimidating, so I didn’t do any running that weekend.
We left for home on Monday, but decided to swing by and visit some other Pastors on the way home. We ended up making two days out of it, visiting about 20 churches on our way home. The Lord definitely saved the best for last, as we stopped by a church outside of Syracuse around 5:00 on Tuesday afternoon. We were actually about to (finally) go home, and were debating about actually stopping by this church or not. When we got there and met the Pastor, though, it was definitely of the Lord. This Pastor actually served in Bay Shore a few years ago working as a Recovery Missionary to help rebuild Calvary Bay Shore. We had no idea we would have this connection with him! It was so neat, then, to hear about what God had done in that church – the church we had just visited! – over the past 10 or 15 years. This Pastor was very encouraging to Emily and I.
Our youth group ministry is continuing to go well at Victory Baptist. This week we began our soccer time with the kids in the afternoon, then went in for Youth Group. We’re praying this soccer thing will really catch on with the kids and they’ll begin to invite their friends.
Pray with us for the ministry of Calvary, and Pastor Sandiford. Pray as he adjusts to his first pastorate and the folks there in Calvary that God will bless them as they seek to work in this minsitry faithfully before Him.