Northeastern Tour

This May we made it through the rainy, foggy Northeastern part of the US to visit a total of seven churches. It seems to rain everywhere we go...wonder why that is? We can't seem to figure it out! Our trip started Saturday, May 6, with a drive of about 5 or 6 hours. Arriving in Galloway, NJ, we set up the PA and prepared for a ladies meeting at the Mainland Baptist Church. (Pastor Dean Bult) The Lord blessed in the meeting as the girls sang and Mom spoke to the ladies. One lady responded for salvation at the invitation. The Lord seemed to be working in many hearts. On Sunday the place was packed and the congregation appeared to be excited. We enjoyed some great New Jersey water ice before hitting the road again. On Monday, May 8, we headed to Plainville, CT, where Pastor Tom Benson of First Bible Bapt. allowed us to use the church's mission room for a few extra days. Our daughter and sister, Sharon Monsour, and her baby, Teddy, came from New York City to spend some time with us. It was great to see her again. We only wished that her husband, Ted, could have joined them on the trip. The service on Wednesday evening, May 10, was extra special. May 10 was Dad's 73rd birthday! The pastor had folks come up to give him a special birthday offering, which was an unexpected surprise. The church was receptive to the music and the preaching. Pastor Benson had Dad & Mom field questions from the floor, and requested that we come again soon. May 11 found us in MA. We had a good service at the First Bible Bapt. Church in Gardner. (Pastor Ed Hamilton) The Fishers showed up that evening...some friends of ours from several years back. The next morning we went to breakfast with a state trooper and his wife, the Charettes. We've known them for a while and have been visitors in their home. Our next stop was in Leicester, VT, with the Greg Moore family. They graciously opened up their home to us for several nights. We enjoyed the wonderful food, fellowship, and fun. (Um...we think we did! :-) ) They even allowed us to milk some of their goats! What a privilege. We liked the experience and probably would try it again. On Saturday evening, May 13, we went to their town's meeting house and had a special evangelistic outreach. Many of their neighbors and friends came. We sang and sang (and several of the Moores sang or played with us, as well), and then Dad preached a clear Gospel message. We do not know the impact and outcome of this meeting, but we pray the Lord used the words in song and message to touch hearts. The next morning the Moores came with us to the Victory Bapt. Ch. in Vergennes, VT. (Pastor Tim Taylor) We provided music for Sunday School and Worship service, then headed back to the Moores for a quick bite to eat. Our next stop was in NH, so we had to quickly wolf down a sandwich and run out the door. For three hours, we drove through the relentless rain to Raymond and the Bethel Bapt. Ch., where Bro. Norm Bennett is the pastor. The Lord gave safety on the roads. The road the church was on was blocked off due to washouts, but seeing how the church was only several yards down, somone simply moved a few of those orange cones and we made it through. We arrived with about 30 minutes to set up, tune, and ready ourselves. About 30 or 40 people showed up and we sang for a while. Dad's message spoke to many, and the pastor gave testimony that it was what he needed that evening. We had some refreshments and then headed to a hotel. The next morning we learned that the hotel we were staying in, which had only been at 33% capacity at 11 pm, was at 78% capacity at 11:30 pm. It continued to rain off and on, but we headed over to Ansonia, CT, anyway. With a few days "off", we decided to visit our daughter and sister, Julia Montoro, and her family in New York City. Her husband, Pete, kindly came in their church van to pick us up. We had a delightful visit with their family of twelve. The kids are all getting so much older and maturing constantly. Rarely do we get to see them in a vacation setting...usually a meeting or a recording session is in full swing. We were so thankful to Pete for the ride there and back, to Julia for the delicious meals she always provides, and to the kids for a great time together. We took several delegations to Manhattan for a while--and had a huge obstacle course in the basement, thanks to Peter's ingenuity. All in all, it was a sweet time. Pete drove us back to Ansonia on Wednesday, May 17. We held our last service for this trip at the River Valley Baptist Church (Pastor Chris Camp). The Armstrong family put us up for the night. We had a great time of fellowship and laughter...much laughter. The miles must be getting to us! Not far Derby, CT, this ministry began almost 30 years ago. In fact, one family was there Wednesday evening who used to go the church where we held our first meeting. We are grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ Who has enabled us to keep ministering faithfully. There is no way we could have made it without Him!