The weekend of the 20th offered a very unique and exciting experience for us: we had the opportunity to visit a church plant among Liberians on Staten Island, NYC. Nate and Karol Watkins are missionaries that our sending church supports. He grew up in Africa, then they went back to Liberia where they ministered for many years. When they were forced to come back to the States, they joined up with two ladies who had worked with them in Liberia to start a church there in Staten Island. The Watkins have amazing stories to tell, and it’s so neat to see how God has directed their steps from Liberia to working among Liberians right here in New York! Opportunities for ministry have multiplied since Hurricane Sandi hit the East Coast and flooded much of Staten Island; we enjoyed talking to some of the folks who have been saved and discipled through that tragedy. One of the gentlemen from the church has the amazing talent (amazing memory!) of being able to tell from our birthdate what day of the week we were born on and any important things that happened that day! He knew that Emily was born during a snowstorm, for example!
Services that Sunday were very different from any we’ve ever been to; some of the songs they sang were brought over from the refugee camps in Liberia and so had a distinctly African flavor. Please pray with us for the Watkins and Miss Rachel and Miss Beth as they continue ministering to the Liberian community there in NYC. God’s doing a great work there, and it will be exciting to see what happens through that ministry!
Since our arrival back on the East Coast, we’ve had the opportunity to work with the youth group here in Albion. In the spring we started going through the book of Proverbs, which they’ve been continuing. It’s been fun going through it with the teens, and trying to help them think through a number of different issues that Proverbs addresses and see the patterns laid out in its chapters.