Saturday, July 26, 2008

In Raleigh Durham and New York

After my visit to the YMCA in Nashville I flew to Raleigh Durham on Tuesday 22nd July, where I spent a day with my sister, Mwaba Barcelos. She lost her husband some ten years ago and moved to the USA in order to be able to financially support her two sons through school. The older one is now doing tertiary education in the USA, while the younger one is still with us in Zambia. It was a real joy to see her! Apart from a one hour meeting we once had when I was changing flights in Charlotte, I have not seen her since she moved to the USA. She invited her pastor and a friend for supper. From the conversation we had I could tell that she is in good hands. Also present was a niece, Tisa Chigaga, who is pursuing medical studies in the UK. Our parting after a day together was not as painful as was the case when we had our brief one hour together at the Charlotte airport (see photo below).

On Wednesday, 23rd July, I flew to New York where I preached my last US sermon at the Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Long Island. If ever a church has gone through difficult times in the last ten years, this one has definitely had its fare share. I first preached in this church in 1996. Then I returned in 2001, and so this was my third visit. Each time I have been there, they have had different pastors, having lost previous ones through very stressful circumstances. Inevitably, with every trial they have also lost some members. The church is presently being pastored by Doug Totter and Marc Grimaldi (see photo below). The attendance at the meeting was certainly higher than I expected. I opted to preach on the question that opens Romans 6, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (NKJV). I showed both the reason why this question was asked (the eternal security of the believer explained in chapter 5) and the Apostle Paul’s answer to this question (the believer’s personal holiness secured by our union with Christ). I emphasized the need to hold both these truths. With this last sermon preached, I flew back to Zambia the following day.

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