1) NEW CONGREGATION BEING PLANTED -- Gene Britton with the New Milford Church of Christ, New Milford, CT wrote to encourage us in our Focus Northeast outreaches and to inform us about a new work being started by his congregation. He writes, "we are hoping to start a new work this next year in Torrington, CT. We have been having a weekly Bible study each Tuesday evening for the last year and a half. We have about 10 members from the New Milford congregation that are wanting to do this and we have an evangelist who has agreed to move to the area next year. Torrington is about 25 miles from our congregation in New Milford. The church here will be celebrating it's 25th year in 2003 and we have been in our current building the last 11 years. We have about 70 in attendance on Sunday morning. We have an electronic bulletin at nmchurch.net and on that site we have a link to our plans for Torrington. Please check this out if you have opportunity." I cannot express how encouraged I am by this news, this is exactly what churches in the Northeast and across the nations need to be doing routinely each year. Bro Britton, I thank you and will be praying for New Milford's efforts.
2) THE NEW CONGREGATION IN MILFORD, DE -- As we have reported during the past year, a new work is being started in Milford, Delaware. Joy Courtney and Oneida Brown are at present the only members of this new congregation, but not for long. Randall and Sherry Adams and their 2 children plan to move to Milford as soon as they graduate from SIBI (in March) to join Joy and Oneida in this great venture. The church in Wayne, OK has expressed interest in helping sponsor Randall, we hope others will join with them. Randall has excelled in his studies and possesses a real concern for people, we know he and Sherry will be used by the Lord to reach many souls in Delaware. This month Steve and Debbie Stamatis (Jim and Nell's son) will move to Salisbury, MD (50 miles from Milford, DE) to be the minister family for the church in that community. The Stamatis family has most recently worked with SIBI's Branch School in Athens, Greece and before that served churches in the Northeast, they will be a great asset to the work in Salisbury. Steve and the Salisbury elders have expressed their desire to encourage and mentor this new work in Milford. Our readers are encouraged to daily pray for the above mentioned efforts.
3) ANOTHER SIBI GRADUATE IN THE NORTHEAST -- Mikhail Egorov, who graduated from SIBI 3 years ago, has landed in Brooklyn, NY and is working with both Russian and Spanish speaking people in that area. He emailed to say, "Time had passed, but I still remember your zeal, your desire to reach the un-churched people of the Northeast of the USA. Nowadays I am working with the local Church of Christ on a project of reaching out to the Russian speaking community in Brooklyn and not only them but others too. We are reaching Spanish speaking people all over New York Area and of course Americans in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and other boroughs as well. We have a need not only for your prayers, but in developing an intern program for any students of Church of Christ affiliated colleges like SIBI to be able to come to NYC and share the blessing of working together for the sake of His Kingdom. If you have any thoughts or plans to share, if we can be of any help to you and at the same if we can become co-workers in making plans for the nearest future we would love to hear from you. My work phone number is: (212) 737-4900. My personal e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone in Brooklyn is (718) 962-0962." I plan to work in NYC this coming summer and certainly look forward to visiting with Mikhail and joining his efforts. If anyone is interested in gaining a summer of intern mission experience in New York City, now's the time to start talking to me or Mikhail about it. email@example.com
4) DISTANCE LEARNING SCHOOL, FALL RIVER, MA -- Another young man, this time from Rhode Island, wrote inquiring about how to enroll in our classes being offered at the Fall River Church of Christ. Several other new students are being lined up. Mike Mullen has been following up on all such leads and prospects for new students at Fall River are good. We have had 3 students complete the first and second terms of the 2002/2003 school year. They are Andre King, Jerome Troy and Robert Nilram. As we enter the third term we ask for your continued prayers that God will use our DLS for the training of gospel workers from all over the Northeast. Maxwell Harris, elder from Phoenix, AZ, is a great promoter of NE missions and is heading up a fund raising drive for adding space to the Fall River facility. Max wrote, "so far $45,000 has been raised towards the $60,000 goal for the material necessary for the Fall River, Mass. SIBI-NE class room expansion. The Northeast is definitely a mission field and training local men to take the gospel into their home communities is the way to go." We are grateful for Max's insight and leadership. We are also grateful to John Wheeler and the Buffalo St Church of Christ in Gilmer, TX for donating another camera to be used in our Distance Learning projects. Great things happen when brethren work together in brotherly love.
5) REFLECTING ON 2002 -- Ray Johnston was one of several SIBI grads who took up a work in the Northeast in 2002. He wrote to say, "God has been good to us this year in Niagara Falls. We have had some success with baptisms and people moving into town and placing membership at LaSalle. The work is going to take off in 2003. Many of the members have opened up their hearts to us and we feel quite fortunate to be blessed in this way. There is tremendous potential here." In 2002 Glenroy and Carolyn Bristol (2001 grads) resettled in their home place, Boston, MA. This couple has so much to offer and we are very happy that they are working for the Lord's Kingdom in the Boston area where there are millions of people to reach out to. In the early part of 2002 Bill Williams moved to Wilmington, DE to begin work with the Cedars Church of Christ. Doug Hamilton accepted the work with the Camp Hill Church near Harrisburg, PA. In June Adam Hudson moved to Bridgewater, NJ to work with the great Garretson Road Church. Adam and Maybelle attended our Leaders Retreat in Maryland and were glowing with enthusiasm about their new work. Danny and Heidi Mercer moved out of the Northeast in 2002, but for a good cause. Danny will be with ACU for some time to work on a masters degree. William and Helena Horace moved to Providence, RI in June to evangelize the inner city neighborhoods where many of their own countrymen from Liberia, W. Africa have taken up residence. William has regularly reported baptisms and spiritual growth since moving to Providence. The work in Queensbury, NY continued to be inspired by Logan and Cathy Robertson, they are in their 5th year with the Queensbury Church. Cedric and Stephanie Thomas have been with the Roosevelt Church on Long Island for 3 years and continue to do a great work. Scot Poirer, who has been raised in the Manchester congregation in Manchester, NH and learned ministry working with Park Linscomb, has taken the work at Chelmsford, MA where Danny served. We need young men who have been trained by their own home church to be ministers, this speaks highly of Scot and his Manchester brethren. In 2002 a mission team from ACU moved into the Bronx, NY and began reaching out to the residents there, you can read about their plans at http://www.aletheia.org/mnyc When David Peterson returned from India with his new bride they immediately started working with the Northeast Philadelphia Church were David was before going home to Bangalore, India. The Northeast Philly congregation is a very excited group with a daily evangelistic agenda, there have been ongoing studies and baptisms reported all year. Jake Wayne is the minister and co-labors with David as they try to meet people from several ethnic groups living in N. Philly. Tamara and I plan to make Philadelphia and NYC our main targets for 2003.
6) AN OLD FRIEND TO THE RESCUE -- While I was in California in Dec to be present for surgery my son had scheduled, I was invited to preach for the Waterford Church of Christ where my brother ministers, the Whitmore congregation in Modesto, the Placerville Church of Christ and the Elko, Nevada Church. The Sunday morning I stood up to preach in Placerville my voice gave way and I could not continue my lesson, but I looked out in the audience and bro Paul Methvin had one foot in the aisle ready to rescue me... and rescue me he did! Paul brought a great lesson as only he can (right off the top of his head) and saved the day. I share this story so that I can say thanks to him and report about some of the mission work Paul has done over the last 15 years or so in the Northeast. He has consistently visited the Northeast to encourage and stabilize brethren because he has realized longer than most of us what a great mission field it is. He has held meetings at the South County Church in Wakefield, RI (a congregation that has been tremendous in helping us get the Distance Learning School going) and several other churches that I have also worked with. Paul has had some health problems lately and I encourage you to send him a word of cheer at TUDPaul21@aol.com By the way, I believe the Placerville Church as sent more AIM students to SIBI than any other church and, even though Elko Nevada is not in the Northeast, they need a preacher family and I encourage any minister looking to consider them. See the places where ministers are needed all over the USA at www.sibi.cc/focusnortheast/HELP.htm
7) NE CHURCHES LOOKING FOR MINISTERS -- For some time now the Penobscot Valley Church of Christ, Bangor, ME has been trying to find a missionary family to come and work with them. I have preached for this group and I know there is someone who will settle there and help them evangelize and build up the local church. Contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and see their web page at http://www.penobscotvalleychurch.com The Northshore Church at 352 Andover Street, P.O. Box 153, Danvers, MA 01923 is also in need of a local evangelist, please email Gerard A. Palma at email@example.com If you are interested in serving somewhere in the Northeast there are several other churches listed on our web site, please check at: www.sibi.cc/focusnortheast/HELP.htm
8) FREED-HARDEMAN UNIVERSITY LECTURES (Feb 3-7, 2003) -- On Feb 3 I have been invited to speak at the Freed-Hardeman University Lectures in Henderson, TN on the subject: "Opportunities In The Northeast." If any of our readers know of a mission opportunity in any of the 11 States of the NE that you would like for me to mention in my presentation, please let me know immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org See more about Focus Northeast at: www.sibi.cc/focusnortheast/DefaultNE.htm
9) REMEMBER THE UPCOMING NEW ENGLAND LECTURES --
Date: April 11-13, 2003
Holiday Inn Conference Center
Theme: "Christ the Foundation" / Ephesians chapter 4
(For information contact Gerard Palma email@example.com)
10) SIBI RESIDENT CLASSES -- Third Term Classes for our 2002/2003 school year resume on Jan 6th, I will be teaching Leadership Development, Evangelism Methods and Homiletics. Several new mid-term students have been signed up.
WHY FOCUS NORTHEAST? Our evangelistic efforts focus on all of North America with emphasis on the northeastern states because that region of the country represents where churches of Christ are least in number in proportion to the total population of the U.S. The eleven states (plus our nation's capitol) that are called the Northeast represent nearly one-third of the country's total population. Sixty Million people live in this area and they deserve an adequate presentation of the Gospel of Christ just like the rest of the world. There are many cities where there is not yet a congregation of the church. Many congregations are without a full time preacher and many of those have been without one for months, even years. Many of the immigrants to America have settled in this part of our nation and they alone represent a viable mission field. We know you will join us in praying for this vital mission area of our own country.
This work is under the oversight of the Sunset Church of Christ elders, 3723 34th Street, TX. I am an instructor in Bible and Missions at the Sunset International Bible Institute, Lubbock, TX. We are working on behalf of efforts to train and establish missionaries in the Northeastern States of the
In His Service,
Charles and Tamara Cook