Area Fellowship News
Every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. several families get together in the Poughkeepsie, New York area for fellowship and encouragement. The Laffins (Joe, Sherryl, Veronica, Alison, Alicia), the Andersons (Chris, Kathy, Matthew, Chelsea), the Burgers (Colette, Timothy) and Brett Burrowes, (whenever He can make it from Massachusetts) meet in a home for a few hours, and sometimes have lunch together afterwards. After we warm up our vocal chords with favorite songs and choruses, Joe Laffin reads to the children from the Children’s Bible and we discuss the story together. The young children are then dismissed to play together while the adults settle down to share the day-to-day challenges in our lives and to look together at the Bible to discern what God is up to by us. Norman Grubb’s books have helped us explore the deeper truths of the Bible. For several weeks Joe Laffin actually read the entire book The Law of Faith out loud.
Recently we had two examples of how Jesus Christ living through us is reaching out to people around us, some of whom do not yet know Him as Savior. For some time Colette has been believing for her father’s salvation. Her approach has been simply to let him see the silent example of her life and the lives of the people who surround her. In April when the New York fellowship was getting ready to leave for the business meeting in Boone, Colette’s father volunteered to drive us to the airport. While we were checking in, Joe realized that he had left his briefcase containing some important business documents in the car. Colette was convinced that her father would see it and drive back to the airport. Sure enough, just minutes before we boarded, he showed up with the briefcase, much to our surprise. We were impressed by his effort and thoughtfulness. Colette was touched and spent the weekend reflecting on this.
On the flight home, Colette wrote to her father and told him that there is a God who loves him and that there is a plan for his life. Her dad’s response was positive. He said, "Your people are down to earth, giving, very much unpretentious, there for you, and you for them; probably the nicest group I’ve ever met." Colette was very excited, knowing that he was responding not just to a group of people but to the One who is living in and through us. She feels that her dad is looking at her life-the fruit of her believing that Christ is living it-and how we in our fellowship are affecting each others’ lives
A friend I will call "Ted" is another example of how Christ is reaching out to others through us. Ted and I carpool together and have plenty of opportunity to talk. I never imagined that I would one day be having a conversation about God with him. You see, Ted is a former drug user who had been jailed on drug charges and had never shown me any outward signs of spirituality. I am not sure how the conversation began, but when I approached him about God, he said that he believed in God, but felt that it was impossible to live up to His expectations. I told him, "That’s the point! We can’t live up to God’s expectations-we ourselves are not God, just vessels of God!" I quoted Romans 3:23-24, that says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." I talked about the redemption of our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ, sharing at length how this has happened to me.
All this time I was almost expecting Ted to jump out of the car! Instead, he wanted more, asked more questions. This showed me that that 2 Peter 3:9 is true: "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any one to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." This is His desire, no matter how it looks to us.
I feel that Ted was able to be open because he felt comfortable talking to me. He sees me as pretty down to earth, presenting my beliefs in a relaxed and comfortable way. By the time I dropped him off that day, I believed God had Ted heading towards salvation. I thanked God for His love and grace all the way home.
Others in our fellowship also have touched Ted’s life. Several months earlier, while working with him remodeling Joe and Sherryl Laffin’s kitchen, Joe made the comment to me that he thought Ted was looking for answers. I feel he saw something in the Laffn family that he wants for himself. He also knows that I am in a Christian fellowship with the Laffins.
We believe that our primary reason for being here is for Jesus Christ to
express His love through us to lead people to the Father, first for Salvation and then to a knowledge of who they really are. We in the New York fellowship are learning that it is the fruit of Christ’s life lived out through His people that draws others to Him-every minute, every day of our lives.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 13 No 3
- Our Cutting Edge
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Faith understands that God reigns…
- About Unconditional Love…
- From Chaos to Completion
- Bible Study: Ask…and Receive
- British Easter Conference
- Zerubbabel Focus–Rebuilding the Temple: The Business of Zerubbabel, 1997
- How It Really Works
- The Race
- Questions & Answers
- Tape Talk
- Area Fellowship News
- The Real Problem: Satan’s Lie
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By…