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Monday, July 9, 2007
Brooksyne along with Carol Menditto (right) and Lynn, who is the church secretary at Philadelphia Christian Center.
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"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).
Last Friday we went to a Memorial Service in the Philadelphia area. Following the service we drove by the campus of the Philadelphia Biblical University since we have some friends who attended in the past. Upon our return home I got lost in the sprawling Philadelphia area and kept relying on my sense of intuition to get back on a main highway, since I didn't want to stop and ask directions or look at a map!
We passed a huge and very busy casino and noticed across the street from it was a large church. I told Brooksyne "I think that's Phil Menditto's church". We turned around and sure enough it was the church where he is the pastor. We visited with an associate pastor who told us Phil was not in but gave us a tour of the church building. When we went into the sanctuary we saw Phil's wife, Carol, and had a nice visit.
Phil and Carol are friends from Bible College. Phil spoke in our church in northern Pennsylvania several times back in the 70's. He and his wife Carol started the church in Philadelphia in 1981. We recall speaking for them once when the church met in a Howard Johnson's Hotel. They had services in a large function room and used several of the motel rooms for nursery and classrooms. The agreement with the hotel was that they could use rooms without charge if they took those that had been occupied the night before and would clean them before leaving!
Over the years we haven't had a lot of contact with the Mendittos due to various ministry moves but we'd heard the church had really grown. It is now a large multi-racial, multi-ethnic congregation with believers from over 50 nations. The church has all kinds of programs unique to city ministry such as a feeding program to the homeless. They also have a hands-on Bible training program called Master's Commission among many other ministries.
We were so heartened by our visit and the evidence of God's blessing on this church and our friends. Planting a church in a hard place and sticking with it for over 25 years is worthy of honor. I know they had some real discouraging times early on and likely have all along, as is true of all Christian ministry. They surely became weary in doing good at times. There were setbacks and disappointments. But they pressed on in faithful service, didn't give up, and are now reaping a harvest with scores of souls they are impacting for Christ and eternity.
That's the joy of ministry and is available to all of us in service since the Word says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Let us continue to be faithful servants!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your promise to bring forth a harvest to those of us who labor in Your vineyard gives us Scriptural motivation to never give up. In the process of planting gospel seeds we realize that many will not take root and germinate much like the seeds we plant in the fields. But there are others that will take hold of the life-giving Vine and spring forth into new life. Help us not to become weary by the numbers who fall by the wayside, but renew and strengthen our resolve to be faithful in service as we rejoice in those whose surrendered hearts have brought about changed lives! Amen.
Some more people in our life
"Cooperative Harvest" and this is a demonstration of that concept. Rebecca's parents, Greg and Linda Burns, remain our friends to this day and we have seen them several times in recent years at weddings. We first met them when Greg was finishing at Penn State and moving to our area to work as the County Agricultural extension agent. At that time Rebecca was just a toddler.
Kim Garrett joined us for breakfast Saturday morning and then went for a long walk with Ester. Kim taught Ester when she attended a Christian school and continues to be a blessing to Ester years later.
Jim is a friend of mine I periodically work with when I assist my friend Jesse in stonemason work. His family joined us in church yesterday and then came to our home for dinner. What a lovely family!
Suggested music: "Find Us faithful" Audio version 1 Audio version 2
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