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There was a report I heard the other day about an incident at a girl scout camp in its opening week. Among the many activities for the week was an afternoon hike in the woods. The group of girls were going to learn about some tree, insect and bird identifications. They were all having a good time when they heard a short rattle and then a snap sound. They thought someone had just stepped on a branch or something until a girl second in line let out a loud scream and fell to the ground holding her leg. As the leader of the group came to her aid she realized that the little girl had been struck by a rattlesnake! She quickly made a cut in the girls leg and sucked out as much venom as she could and then ran as fast as she could back to camp to the first aid station and grabbed the box marked "snake bite kit." She quickly opened it to check and make sure everything was there when much to her horror, the box was empty! Someone had used it and never refilled the supplies! She immediately called 911 and an emergency helicopter came to the scene and rushed the girl to the nearest hospital where they had the anti-venom. Fortunately they made it in time and the little girl made a full recovery.
What a terrible surprise it is when you go to the thing that's supposed to be the cure, only to find it empty! There is a similar story in Numbers chapter 21 where God's people were attacked and bitten by serpents. God told Moses to make a Brazen serpent and lift in the air on top of a pole. All who looked to the serpent would live and be cured, all who didn't died. This story was used in the New testament as an example of the simple Salvation that is in Christ. All who look to Him high and lifted up on the cross for the remedy to their sin sick condition from the Bite of the Serpent, would live. Those who look elsewhere will die in their sins. Many look to religion for their remedy, only to find it empty. Many look to membership on the church role only to find it useless. Still, others look to their own goodness, only to find it empty by their own failures and sin. But all they need to do is look to Christ! "Look and Live" is the title of a good old Hymn and that pretty much says it all! Have you?
On Sunday evening, May 18, the South New Milford Baptist Church family officially welcomed our new Associate Pastor and his wife, Pastor Bruce Rosa and Shoshanna Rosa. Pastor Bruce, the son of Bruce and Cheri Rosa of Sharpsville, PA, graduated from Sharon Christian Academy in 1999. He has two sisters, Jessica and Danielle. Shoshanna is the daughter of Pastor Max and Kathy Bungard of New Castle, PA. She graduated from Sharon Christian Academy in 1998. She has two older brothers. Both Pastor Bruce and Shoshanna graduated on May 9, 2003, from Baptist Bible College, Clarks Summit, with Bachelors Degrees in Pastoral Ministry and Bible for Bruce, and Early Childhood Education and Bible for Shoshanna. They were married on June 22, 2002 at Sharon Baptist Church in Hermitage, PA. They are currently looking for a house in the area. We are excited to have them with us at South New Milford Baptist, where they will be especially busy working with our youth programs as well as other pastoral duties.
Shoshanna and Pastor Bruce RosaAlong with welcoming the Rosa's to our church on the 18th, we also said good-bye to the Camacho family who are now serving as missionaries in Paraguay. James and Penny Camacho, with their three children, Rachel, Leah, and David, went to Asuncion, Paraguay in May, 1995. Their youngest daughter, Rebekah, was born there in 1996. Their work in Paraguay has been with the Manjui tribal people in the Santa Rosa area. This past year they had been home on furlough but are now back in Paraguay continuing their work, this time as part of the Field Leadership Team involved in church planting strategy, member care, and oversight, not just for the Manjui missionary team but for all the New Tribes Missions tribal works in Paraguay. It was a sad time to have to say good-bye to this special family, but we wish them many blessings now in their new home and with their work.
The Thompson United Church, located on Route 171 in Thompson, is opening their doors on Fridays, from 10AM to 12PM beginning June 6, to welcome persons or families in need of clothing. Womenıs and menıs clothing, shoes and accessories, along with infant and childrenıs items will be available, free of charge. All are welcome. If an emergency occurs and the need is immediate, please contact Pastor Brian Lucas at 727-2341, Mary Gray at 756-2652, or Linda Chesnick at 727-3193. The same numbers may be used if someone would like to arrange to make a clothing donation.
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