Three New Sisters in L.A. Hispanic Ecclesia

With great joy we report the baptisms of 3 new sisters in Christ. On September 4, 2021, Phoebe Cuadra, daughter of Sis. Edyth Melgar and great-granddaughter of Bro. Carlos and Sis. Margarita Perez, was immersed into the saving name of Jesus. Phoebe developed a great love for the Scriptures while growing up in our Sunday school and CYC. She is one of probably very few Christadelphians to have received the right hand of fellowship from their great- grandfather—while sitting beside him in a Zoom meeting!

Then on October 2nd we had the pleasure of baptizing two long-time students, Edith Bolaños and Cecilia Maldonado. Each had spent 10 years faithfully doing postal courses and having telephone Bible classes. They are delighted to be part of the family of the faith. It has been wonderful to welcome three new members into our meeting and the worldwide Christadelphian community. May God bless and guide them in their walk to the kingdom.

Written by Bro. Jim Hunter, Link Brother

Cost Rica Study Weekend

I had been putting off this trip for quite a while—a year, in fact. With all of the restrictions brought about by COVID, and “Do Not Travel” advisories on the American Embassy website in Costa Rica, I decided to hold off visiting the country. In fact, I was able to participate in the Costa Rican Virtual Year-end Conference in December through Zoom, that amazing application we didn’t even know existed two years ago. However, although there is still an advisory in effect, I decided that since I am vaccinated, and the curve is definitely on the way down in Costa Rica, it was time to visit the brothers and sisters in person instead of virtually. The trip was much easier than I expected, and the airport and airline did a wonderful job to make travel as pleasant as possible. And the Costa Ricans were as warm and accommodating as always.

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Revisiting Jamaica

Returning to Jamaica seventeen months after finishing our two year stay in was a bittersweet experience. My husband David and I were overjoyed to see our friends again, but our time was over far too quickly. As anyone who has ever uprooted to live in a new place knows, you leave a piece of your heart behind when you say goodbye to the people you’ve grown to love. We never expected to be away so long, but the arrival of Covid on the worldwide scene was an unanticipated barrier to travel after we landed in the US in early March 2020, just ahead of massive lockdowns in both countries. 

Bro. David, Sis. Shauba, Sis. Alissa and Sis. Milred in Port Maria

Over those long months while we adjusted to a more isolated lifestyle, I did my best to keep in touch with my ecclesial family in Jamaica.  Several of our sisters in isolation in the Port Maria area became my close friends while we lived there, so we kept in touch regularly during lockdown. We were able to encourage, comfort and advise each other during the rapidly changing, anxiety-inducing progress of the pandemic. Whenever my energy for communication was flagging, I could always count on Sister Carol Bingham from the Broughton ecclesia to reach out to me and see how I was doing. Even when calls had trouble going through, she would keep trying until she got through to me, and that diligence warmed my heart. 

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“Here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”

This has been going through our minds for the last month or so, but instead: ‘there is no water!’ 

If we start the story back at the beginning of November, two lovely ladies, Ilda and Dalia of the ecclesia here in La Paz, had their interviews for baptism… only for us to discover shortly thereafter that there were still no pools open due to all the Coronavirus restrictions! We spent a few weeks looking at different options: bath was out (as Ilda is going on 84!) so we were trying to work on a heated paddling pool option – that was going to be difficult, although doable. Private pools at hotels were also proving to be troublesome as there were a bunch of biosecurity measures preventing us from using them. Both Ilda and Dalia were very patient throughout all of this and finally thanks be to God, the government ruled that public pools could open again!

Sis. Dalia’s baptism
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Ongoing Preaching in Mexico

Our current efforts at electronic preaching began about six months before the pandemic began. They had been working on getting sufficient software to be able to put our classes and breaking of bread online live and recorded for those who were unable to attend in person. They use Uber Conference, as they are easily available with a single phone number that never changes and without need of a PIN number. Anyone can call the number Sis Cynthia Paiva de Lopez will be alerted when someone in online. In Mexico, the Internet service and data prices are still quite high for most of the population, but unlimited cell service, which includes the US, is readily available by all cell companies and not at high cost. Most brothers and sisters and students access with a Smartphone to listen to the classes. They also project the material being presented visually for any who can access by Internet. They choose not to show themselves in the videos, as it uses much bandwidth and too many are unable to sustain connection due to poor Internet services here.

Bro. Gabriel Munoz Lopez leading a Bible class in Santa Cruz el Grande.
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