By Mark Jantzi
We don’t ordinarily write reports of our ministry travels in the United States, especially in our home state. But someone said, “Tell us what happened in Buffalo”, so we will qualify that as a mission trip. It just so happened that Jim and Joanne Cassell had planned to visit us here in New York for the last 7 or 8 days in March 2015. And at the same time, a couple of brothers in the Buffalo area were calling me and asking if we could sometime make a visit to Buffalo.
Now we do have some history with Buffalo (actually my parents met and were married in one of the suburbs (Clarence Center) there in 1927). About 8 or 9 years ago Rita and I made a stop there on our way to the midwest and had a Sunday meeting at a small fellowship in Clarence Center. It was there I met a woman who turned out is probably my 3rd cousin. She took us Sunday afternoon to a house fellowship at the home of Mark Wagner. I left a few books with the brethren and got an address card but for years it never went anywhere and I did not pursue it.
Then we came home one day in early March and I had several messages on my phone answering system. One was from Brother Wagner and another from an acquaintance of his in Missouri. It seems that another man, Brother Carey from Buffalo had read some of the books and it seemed to be speaking to the present spiritual situation of this hour and the condition of the church. So we set up the visit to coincide with the Cassell’s visit.
On Wednesday, March 25 the four of us drove together, a 3 ½ hour drive to Buffalo where we stayed in a motel within sight of the interstate. We had a brief meeting with our brothers and the next night we had a meeting in Clarence at a pizza restaurant (they gave us a room in the back where we also ate pizza). There were about 24 at the meeting. Jim and Rita gave a good ministry with guitar and praise and I brought a word on God’s order in the church. Friday night we had another house meeting at Mark and Laurie Wagner’s home. It was such rich fellowship that we were all reluctant to part our ways. But on Saturday morning we did again return to our home. The attached photo is Mark and Lori.
We were glad to have the Cassell’s at our home fellowship on Sunday morning in Schenectady. Jim brought a word on Christ the Living Water. There was much prayer for personal needs. Then we barely had time to send the Cassells back home Tuesday when we all had to pack for a Wednesday flight to Luton, England. That will be on the next report.