Friday, May 16, 2014

God's Mysterious Ways

When we began holding Sunday services in Gloversville in 1977, Bob tried to get our church listed on the weekly church page of the Leader-Herald. Because we didn't own our own building, the editor refused. Instead, we had to pay for an ad each week.

But God often works in mysterious ways.

Shortly thereafter, we received a phone call from Mickey Clementi, who had learned of our new church through a television ministry. A semi-invalid, she couldn't come to church, so Bob and I visited her often and took her Communion.

We had not met her husband, a local businessman and owner of the Gloversville Holiday Inn. One Saturday, as he was reading the Leader-Herald, he asked his wife, "Why isn't Reverend Conti on the church page?"

"They refused to put him on because he doesn't have his own church building," she said.

"That's not right! I'm one of the businessmen who support that page. If they don't put Reverend Conti on it, I'll take my support away and pay for his ad."

And he called up the editor and threatened to do just that. The next Sunday and from then on, the Glove Cities Assembly of God was listed on the church page of the Leader-Herald.

During our first year of holding services in the banquet room of the YMCA, located on the second floor of the building, we were required to keep the entrance door to the building locked on Sundays. Once the service started, our son, Bobby, six years old when we first began holding services, dressed in his little suit and tie, stood just inside the door as our doorman. Even though he took his job seriously, it was not an ideal situation. We often prayed about it. Once again, God worked behind the scenes.

One Sunday morning after everyone had gone home, I was in the kitchen cleaning the Communion trays, when I heard a thud that sounded like a body falling on the floor just above my head. I went into the main room where Bob and Bobby were rearranging the chairs and told Bob. He decided to investigate.

He climbed the stairs to the rooms rented out to several men who made the YMCA their home and discovered that one older fellow, Charlie, had fallen in the shower. He hadn't been feeling well. When he started to hemorrhage, he had become so weak that he fell. Bob called the ambulance, but Charlie absolutely refused to go.

Bob called the Chief of Police, but he said they couldn't force him to go. So Bob began calling everyone he could think of who might be able to influence Charlie to go to the hospital. Bob stayed with him until finally, after a couple of hours, one old friend of Charlie's convinced him that he needed to go.

When the Director of the YMCA heard what had happened, he thanked Bob over and over for saving Charlie's life. The director's father had been killed in World War II, and Charlie had played a big part in the director's life as he was growing up.

Soon after that incident, Bob was asked to serve on the YMCA board, and the church was able to keep the doors unlocked during our services.

Bob going out of his way to care for another human being did more to literally open doors in that community than all the advertisements in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment