Jay Graham – Voice from the Canyon – May 2017
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, – 1 Timothy 6:18
Throughout the Desert
Greetings in The Lord’s name. I trust the Lord continues His Mercy towards you, for He certainly does toward me in many ways including allowing me to work in His vineyard here in America’s Great Southwest and elsewhere.
My local work continues. Our Tuesday evening study continues to go very well as we are studying the life of Jesus. We do have 2 new additions to the study since my last report. Bro. Holden has been coming. He is a newborn christian who has a great desire to learn more of God’s Word. Helen Montoya has been attending for a few weeks now. You may recall I visited her last year as she was rehabbing from a severe fall. She has since returned to her home and is continuing to gain strength. She is also acquainted with Brenda White, a sister who has been attending our study since it was started several years ago. She says she desires to continue attending. May God grant us continuing opportunities to plant seed in her life! We continue to meet in the home of Paul and Andrea Haeder. We now have 10 adults who regularly attend.
The congregation at Williams continues to do well. We recently had a change in the Wednesday evening class. Larry Brice has been teaching it for the past year. It was his first opportunity to teach a class, and it was great to see him grow from it from week to week. That responsibility has now moved to Dale Cureton, who is an experienced teacher for many years. Dale has a very analytical style of teaching, and I know the brethren will be edified as they have been at other times. Our brother Peter Espitia continues to do a great job on Lord’s day mornings. I had supper with him yesterday, and it gave us a chance to visit. The congregation is welcoming back some permanent RVers for the warmer months. (Although in Flagstaff “warmer months” is relative, for there is a chance of snow next week!)
The congregation at Pima continues to prosper. Bryan Cooper has settled in with the congregation and the area very nicely. (He loves the hot weather!) The body continues to meet in the Gentrys’ home, for their hospitality is tremendous! There are 11 members in the congregation, though Betty Jean is not able to attend very often due to her bad health. It is a blessing to see the brothers continue to grow from their personal participation in every aspect of the meetings.
The congregation at Huachuca City continues to do well, though they are small in number. Our brother Dennis Richter recently was promoted to a new position that allows him to be with the body every Lord’s Day. He is a great help for Tom Lorens as they are shouldering the majority of the teaching responsibilities. CJ Blair helps when he is able to be with them. (CJ and his wife, Kim, are expecting their 2nd child. Little ones are always a blessing for small congregations in many ways.) I continue to enjoy the gracious hospitality of Ben & Donna Killingsworth each time I am there.
It has been many months since I was with the Union Hills congregation. I was scheduled to be there for a weekend in January, but due to a major snowstorm they graciously knew I needed to be home with Becky during the storm (3 ft.) and decided to cancel. I am looking forward to being with them next weekend. I also hope to continue my monthly study with John & Cathy Vincent as we are studying the Godhead.
I am continuing my work with the 2 New Mexico congregations. I am with both every 3 months or so. The church at White Rock continues to do well. I hope to return to them in June. I was with the Chama congregation last weekend. They are very small in number, but they are growing. Both of these congregations continue to seem to appreciate my coming.
I might add, it was great to have Dan Huff and his 2 oldest daughters visit each of the AZ congregations that I am working with. Due to my regular trip to the Midwest every Spring I seldom get to see Dan when he is here. However, he is a blessing to my work as he makes contact with each congregation during my absence.
My Summer plans are firming up. We hope to welcome Benjamin and Julie Fry and their children in AZ for a time later this Summer. Since the addition of dad and uncle Ray to our household it has made it somewhat crowded to have guests. We have purchased a very used camper to park on our property that will allow us to more easily have guests stay with us. We are looking forward to using it for the first time with the Fry family! Thank You Lord.
Throughout these United States
I was blessed to visit several congregations and many brothers and sisters during my recent trip to the Midwest. I met with the Prince Rd in Alton, IL, Brookfield, MO, Claycoma, MO, Smart Rd, Chapel Glen in Indianapolis, IN and Martinsville, MO congregations. I was scheduled to go to Martensdale, Iowa for a midweek meeting, but I had to change my plans. Our son, Joshua, had to have back surgery, and I thought it was best if I stayed in the KC area for a time. Fortunately, his surgery was successful, and he seems to be recovering nicely. He hopes to return to work soon.
As originally planned for my trip to Iowa I was hoping to visit our brother Don Warren, a shepherd of the Dean Ave. congregation. However, he fell asleep as I was driving east. Don was the last of my original eldership, and I so wanted to see him one last time. Fortunately, I was able to visit him and Margaret a couple of years ago just before she passed. I will always feel a great debt of gratitude to the Dean Ave. congregation, for they went way out to accept me and my family many years ago and accordingly, give me a start in evangelistic work. My prayers go out for that congregation, for it is always hard to lose a shepherd, especially one who had served for many years. May the Lord continue to bless those dear saints as they continue to be a light in their community.
As always it was a blessing to stay in many homes. From my early years as an evangelist, enjoying the hospitality of many of my brothers and sisters has been a highlight for me! It was also especially good to visit my home congregation at Chapel Glen and to visit with my elders.
While I was at Brookfield, MO I had the chance to get to know our brother Tom Oldham to an extent for the first time. I stayed with DD and Donna Russell while I was there, and DD & I had the chance to visit Tom and his wife and some other brethren. DD and Tom are the shepherds over the congregation. I have known Tom for several years, but this presented my first time to actually get to know him. I am reminded how the better we get to know brethren the more our lives and spirits are enriched! Christ’s plan for His congregations continues to amaze me!
Last February it was great to be with the Long Beach, CA congregation for a weekend and enjoy Mike & Cathy Manning’s gracious hospitality.
I hope this gives you a good summary of my labors. My work is certainly due to your gracious financial support and your continuing prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all as we continue to labor in our portion of the Lord’s vineyard.
…and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. – 1 Peter 5:4