Upper Valley church of Christ Mission
The Gardner Report
September , 2020
Greetings from the Green Mountains!
Well this was a month with a strange twist to it. About 2 years ago I was active with the local Ham Radio club and got to know Clyde. I went and had lunch with him up in Fairlee and got to know him pretty well. When he had rotator cuff surgery, I was his ride to and from his out-patient surgery, got him settled in at the convalescent center. Clyde came to services several times and finally the day came when I had the chance to teach him the Gospel. I asked that we be able to have a series of classes but he insisted that I give him the whole story in one shot. Suffice it to say he was taught virtually everything he needed to become a Christian including the concept of simple New Testament Christianity and the one church. When all was said and done Clyde said he was on the board of directors of a struggling denomination and could not walk away. When all was said and done I had he attitude, well that at least he knows the truth. Then out of the blue we got home one afternoon this past week and there was a note on the door with his Ham Radio card letting me know that he had been baptized in a denomination. On the one hand it is obvious he had listened but on the other hand, in his ignorance I’m sure he probably thought one religion is as good as the next and I am heart sick that he went that direction. I will contact him soon and see if I can redirect his steps.
I called Genesis Nursing Home recently to see if I could get back in and continue the Bible studies, we had going all those months ago before Corona. Of course, you know the answer. In talking with the Activity’s Director, she assured me that I am on the list to call as soon as they open up. Sadly, that will probably not be for quite some time.
Update on our sick: Gary just had his second operation for bladder cancer and is waiting to hear from the doctors but the prognosis looks good. Morgan is still waiting for word to briefly relocate to the Boston area where she will undergo radiation for what remains of her brain tumor. Larry, our beloved Vietnam War vet is experiencing difficulty with his vision and equilibrium and waiting to have a knee replacement. And we have another brother who is undergoing treatment for mental difficulties. In short, we have a great deal to keep praying about and sending cards.
A word about this whole corona virus thing. These are stressful,difficult times for the Lord’s Church. I am blessed to have one,ongoing study with someone in South Africa, (World Bible School) trying to slowly open his eyes to the right understanding of the Truth and the Lord’s Church. And the two classes I have on Tuesdays are both valuable for edifying and keeping my brothers growing in the Lord. But the virus has done much to shut down avenues of evangelism and hinder close fellowship in the church. Outreach with VBS, Marriage Enrichment Films, and even our annual Gospel Sing got put on the shelf over all the fear that permeates our society right now. Gone is the pleasant visit to the Post Office each day when I got to know people and build some friendships for outreach. Everyone is in seclusion behind a mask. It also has become increasingly evident that Satan is using the virus to subtly change attitudes and distance us from each other in the church and I am not just talking about “social distancing.” Satan is capable of using this virus to damage the church in many ways. Thankfully most of the stronger brethren still are doing their best to keep the love of theJesus flowing. But we need to actively combat Satan as he attempts to divide brethren along political and attitude lines about this virus. The Love of Jesus should flow unhindered in His Church no matter what.
On a positive note, we are rejoicing in some late season fall foliage in our own back yard and even though Columbus Day has come and gone the tourists are still here “leaf peeping.” Sharon and I are getting back into our exercise walk again and our usual pathway down to the Quechee Dam and back, is bit over crowded right now. I hope everyone is staying well. Thank you all for your love and support. We need to stay strong, stay faithful and encourage each other during these times.
Your fellow servants, Randy and Sharon Gardner