Growing a Tree of Life in CNY!

tree of life

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.” – Proverbs 11:30

Our God is awesome! In less than 30 days, the church in Central New York has seen 6 friends baptized into Christ and 1 brother restored! To God be the glory! It has been incredible to witness the pure hearts and devotion of our church, relying on our faith in God as we planted and watered the seeds of the Word in the hearts of those around us! As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Through humility and faith, God can accomplish miracles! A successful spiritual “planting” will only occur if the foundation is on Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). Without the proper nutrients of deep personal Bible study, surrendered hearts in prayer, faithful discipling to become more like Christ, urgent evangelism, and an uncompromising purity of heart and actions, anything that is sown will not survive for long. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians 3:12-14, “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.” With proper planting and watering, God can make even the smallest mustard seed of faith grow! (Matthew 17:20)

Erica’s baptism!

On Sunday, February 11, Erica Felder (second from left), a junior at Jamesville-Dewitt High School, was baptized into Christ! Erica was invited to church by her boyfriend at the time, Maoti Gborkorquellie, who was previously baptized into Christ on January 31st! Erica is a talented singer and has starring roles in her high school musicals. Despite persecution, Erica has been faithful and uncompromising in her convictions, and is already sharing powerfully in bible studies with her friends! She has great dreams for the teen ministry, and is inspired to see it grow! Pictured with her are Collene MacKay, Tina Henshaw, and Patrique Smellie who studied the Bible with her.

James’ baptism!

On Sunday, February 25, James Metts (second from right) was baptized into Christ! James is a welcome addition to the single-parent ministry as the father of his 5 year-old son, Naszeik! James was invited to church by our recently restored brother, Rich Kim! At his baptism, James shared about how studying the Bible has given his life purpose, and how his conversion offers hope to the world that anyone, despite their past, can change and be used by God. It was incredible to see those who were touched by his testimony. One recently baptized brother, Sam Phelps, was in tears as James shared. With tears running down his cheeks and hands clapping in joy, he stated, “It is great to see a man like that get baptized.” No matter how sinful we have been in the past, we all have the opportunity for a new life by repenting of our sins and being baptized into Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Pictured with James are Andrew Smellie, Cassel Spence, Rod Carter and Rich Kim who studied with him.

Please continue to pray for us to grow in our faith and wisdom as we serve to strengthen our new disciples in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, while continuing to advance Jesus’ call to help all people, all socio-economic backgrounds, and all ages to repent of their sins and be baptized into Christ! (Acts 14:21-22). Pray that God will continue to build a tree of life that will grow throughout Central New York and the world! And to God be the Glory!

In His Service,

Andrew Smellie