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Monday, December 22, 2008

Our dear brother in Christ, Fred 'Bud' Bayley, went Home to be with the Lord on Saturday December 20, 2008.

He was 87 years 'young'
.

Bud was a dear friend of the ministry and was awarded the Andy Andersen Award as the 'Friend of Gateway' earlier this decade.

He gave his computer expertise, his time and his money the ministry and his love and friendship to me personally.


A memorial service will take place Tuesday, December 23rd. at 1:00pm at Willow Grove, Lancaster, Pa.

Bud requested that, in lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to:

Gateway Pregnancy Center
960 Springfield Avenue,
Irvington, New Jersey 07111

A brief slide-show follows:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33669655@N08/?saved=1

Sunday, December 21, 2008














To speak to someone who has
experienced healing after an abortion, call us at Gateway Pregnancy Center (973) 399-8378 or check us out at www.gateway.org Confidential and caring!

Friday, December 12, 2008

George Lawther was a dear friend from many years past.

As many of you know, his wife, Anne, was the first to share Christ with me in 1971.

She continued praying and witnessing to me and in 1972 God broke through my stubborn heart. I'm eternally grateful for this.

Please pray for the Lawther family.

Anne
sent this email earlier this evening:

'Dear Friends,


My daughter Lynne received a call from the hospital that George died very peacefully tonight. She called me around 9:30 PM.

I have no information yet regarding arrangements, other than that the funeral will be in Southern Pines, NC.

A song that I've listened to and been blessed by today is "No More Night" sung by David Phelps.

The chorus says, "No more night, no more pain, no more tears, never crying again and praises to the Great I Am. We will live in the light of the Risen Lamb." Praise God for that blessed assurance.'

George knew the Lord. He came to Christ a month or so after I did in 1972. His family had been with him during this difficult time and many have covered them in prayer.

Online obit from the Pilot:
http://www.thepilot.com/stories/20081217/news/obits/20081217obLawther.html

Please continue to pray for them as they mourn and as they rejoice, knowing George is safely Home.

As you may have opportunity to share with the family, know that His love and comfort come through His Word. Here are some Scriptures to be considered:

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)


May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your [Word] is my delight. (Psalm 119:76-77)


Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains!

For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His
afflicted ones. (Isaiah 49:13)

The Lawthers in 1979


I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy
instead of sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. (Psalm 18:16-18)


2004 at Anne's birthday party

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7)


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
2006
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. (Psalm 145:8-9)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain... (Revelation 21:4)


2008

But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love... (Nehemiah 9:17)


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.



And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that You, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving... (Psalm 62:11-12)

I, even I, am He who comforts you... (Isaiah 51:12)

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Psalm 103:8)

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His promises never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry. (Psalm 34:15)


But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us... (2 Corinthians 7:6)

Though [your mother] may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19)

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." (Psalm 91:14-15)

The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:13-14)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5).

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26).

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love (John 15:9).

Portions from "God's Love for Me" - Personal Bible Study on God's Love for Us - (c) 2003, 2004 Doug Britton / http://www.dougbrittonbooks.com/onlinebiblestudies-selfworthandrespect/godsloveforusandgodsloveforme.asp

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prayer Updates for George Lawther

Please pray for George. He knows the Lord. His family has been with him during this difficult time and has him covered in prayer. Join them in this would you?

UPDATES ON GEORGE'S CONDITION ARE AT THE END OF THIS POST - please scroll down after suggested verses

===================================================================================

As you share with George and the family, know that His love and comfort come through His Word. Here are some Scriptures to be read:

The LORD your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your [Word] is my delight. (Psalm 119:76-77)

O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love... (Nehemiah 9:32)

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. (Isaiah 49:13)

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13)

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:11)

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. (Psalm 18:16-18)
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. (Psalm 145:8-9)
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain... (Revelation 21:4)

But You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love... (Nehemiah 9:17)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that You, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving... (Psalm 62:11-12)

I, even I, am He who comforts you... (Isaiah 51:12)

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Psalm 103:8)

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His promises never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry. (Psalm 34:15)
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us... (2 Corinthians 7:6)

Though [your mother] may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. (Isaiah 49:15-16)

Praise be to the LORD, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19)
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." (Psalm 91:14-15)

The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made. The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:13-14)

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)


As you pray, please consider these verses of Scripture:

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5).

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26).

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness" (Jeremiah 31:3).

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love (John 15:9).**

** From "God's Love for Me" - Personal Bible Study on God's Love for Us - (c) 2003, 2004 Doug Britton / http://www.dougbrittonbooks.com/onlinebiblestudies-selfworthandrespect/godsloveforusandgodsloveforme.asp




December 11, 2008 (3:09pm)

Dad's kidneys are beginning to shut down. His condition keeps worsening. We have told the doctor again, whatever you do, keep him comfortable. Pain meds, air, nutrition, and hydration, at least. Major procedures are out of the question - deadly and useless. I am continuing to sing to him and read Scriptures. He has three visitors coming today.

December 10, 2008

7:11pm: Jane writes:"They can't remove the tube yet. He has fluid build-up issues. They will look for another opportunity to do so."

7:10 - Jane writes:Dad got to have a taste of apple juice tonight, on a sponge. By the intensity in his face, I could tell it did much good.

3:56pm: Jane writes:Since Dad is breathing on his own, the doctors suggested he may be more comfortable with the respiratory tube out of his mouth. They will be reducing his pain meds just a bit, so he will be more alert - maybe able to talk. I told them that was fine, but if he indicated he was in pain, they would have to increase the meds, and if he got in trouble with his breathing, the tube would need to go back in. Otherwise, he is resting easily since the nurses are keeping up with everything. No change in his status or condition.

A visitor from church came at around 1 PM (David Gray), and Pastor Dean Engebretzen and his wife will be coming by this evening for the 5:30 - 6:30 visiting time.

The ICU chaplain stopped by to see me and asked me to tell her about Dad - so I gave her a short bio. She also asked if I had any concerns. We stepped out of the room to talk and I told her that since we have no idea how long Dad will live, and may be in ICU a long time - I would have to go back to VA to my family.

The thing that bothers me the most is the idea that nobody will be there to squeeze his hand and just talk to him about things... things other than "George, we're going to turn you on your side now", or "I'm going to take your temperature."

It is important to me that someone talk to him and show that he's cared for if I can't be here. She assured me that she would do that regularly and tell the volunteers to do so as well, and let him know how the various college football games are going (especially Penn State), pray with him and read Scripture to him.

I also talked with Joe Milazzo (a friend from karaoke) who assured me that his friends would also take turns and come visit a few times a week (the hospital is 1 1/2 hours away from Southern Pines), and talk to him about what's new in their lives.

This is a great comfort to me! I plan (Lord willing) to go back home late this weekend, and return here Dec. 17-20th to visit, then go home and come back after Christmas for a bit, and to take care of Dad's bills again, then my next trip would be after New Year's Day.

If he is still doing well, I will come back as I can, but my job starts up again the second week in January.


December 9, 2008


Jane - (11:49pm) The doctor says that Dad is now considered terminal. He cannot survive the operation he needs to survive. Lynne and I said we wanted them to keep Dad on nutrition/hydration/oxygen and meds for pain and antibiotics and probiotics... not changing anything they are currently doing. I also asked the nurse to play the CD's for Dad when I'm not there. I'll bring some Selah and Casting Crowns Christmas music in to add to the collection, tomorrow.

The prognosis, even if he had extraordinary measures, would have been bleak too. Just a slower death. Even with a temporary pacemaker (which was suggested to give him a bit longer if his heart "blocked", Dad's organs would still shut down, one by one. If God wants to heal Dad, He will. But if God decides to take God home - and Dad's heart stops beating, we will let him go. This was Dad's wish, and there is no reason to prolong his death when he has heaven waiting.

I had a bit of an emotional meltdown after talking to the doctor - already missing Dad's jokes, laughter, singing - his smile. But we have had good days together. I am grateful for that. Whatever God wants to do, His ways are perfect.

Jane - (11:39pm) The doctor says that Dad is now considered terminal. He cannot survive the operation he needs to survive. Lynne and I said we wanted them to keep Dad on nutrition/hydration/oxygen and meds for pain and antibiotics and probiotics... not changing anything they are currently doing. I also asked the nurse to play the CD's for Dad when I'm not there. I'll bring some Selah and Casting Crowns Christmas music in to add to the collection, tomorrow.

The prognosis, even if he had extraordinary measures, would have been bleak too. Just a slower death. Even with a temporary pacemaker (which was suggested to give him a bit longer if his heart "blocked", Dad's organs would still shut down, one by one. If God wants to heal Dad, He will. But if God decides to take God home - and Dad's heart stops beating, we will let him go. This was Dad's wish, and there is no reason to prolong his death when he has heaven waiting.

I had a bit of an emotional meltdown after talking to the doctor - already missing Dad's jokes, laughter, singing - his smile. But we have had good days together. I am grateful for that. Whatever God wants to do, His ways are perfect.

Jane - (11:27pm) Jane talked with the doctor, but Dad's days are in God's hands.

Jane - (10:13am) getting advice that I should make some arrangements now, just in case. So much I don't know and have to find out.

December 8, 2008

(12:28pm) No change with Dad this morning.

Jane Clark writes: 10:47am Dad's doctor called tonight to let me know that Dad is now considered critical. His echo cardiogram showed an abscess on the heart - quite extensive - from the aortic valve to the mitral valve. This is from his bacterial infection, the one they haven't been able to get rid of.

Lynne Marie Jackson writes: Got a call from the doctor, Dad has an extensive abcess on his heart. He is too weak for an operation, but will need one to fix it.

December 7, 2008
Jane Clark writes: It's been a rough day for Dad. He had a fever over 103 this morning and was not responsive when I came in. His blood pressure was falling again, and his cultures were still coming back positive.

December 4, 2008:

(3:50pm) Surgery went well! Dad had an ulcer and it's being treated.So much better than we'd feared. Thank God.


(2:59pm) Dad is having an endoscopy, to find out why there is blood where it doesn't belong. They think/hope it is just an ulceration, something fixable while they're doing the endoscopy. There is blood in his stool, from his stomach tube and his nose tube. They don't know why. His blood count is pretty good. If they need to, based on their findings, they may install another drain (different procedure). The doctor has seemed confident that he will be okay - she knows the whole process that follows a complicated surgery, such as he had, but to us - it seems he is falling apart. We do appreciate your continued prayers.

They are hoping his colon is not compromised by the infection to such an extent that they would need to operate on that too. It's a rough road. I will update as soon as I have more info.

(10:57am) Dad's kidneys are ok. Concern about swelling now in abdomen. Dad is getting a CAT scan. Doc thinks it is more than the infection (C. Dificil).


(10:30am) Dad's condition... as I understand it

Lynne was called to the hospital before visiting hours in ICU. Dad is in pretty serious trouble, but they are not sure why. He has two things he's on antibiotics for. His blood oxygen level is low. Still high temp (103+), heart rate fast but blood pressure low (shock?) kidneys may not be working right. Dad is mumbling - often incoherent. Lynne wanted to talk to him before they put the breathing tube in so she could understand him. I expect to go down again Friday evening or Saturday morning.

December 3, 2008 (7:53pm) His daughter Jane writes at 7:53pm this evening:

'Dad is being moved back into ICU - fever, infection, weakness, heart rate elevated. Please pray!'



Duquan "Duke" Wimberly

Duquan "Duke" Wimberly departed this life on Nov. 27, 2008.

Viewing and funeral services will be Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, at 11 a.m. at Clearview Baptist Church, 314 Hobson St. and Chancellor Ave. Newark.

Arrangements are by Peace and Glory Home For Funerals, 525 Summer Ave., Newark.

Survivors include parents, James and Gloria Wimberly; siblings, Jamillah Hinton and Hakeem Hinton, and devoted friend Tynesha Raymond.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dearest Loved Ones,

THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS & LOVE DURING THIS VERY DIFFICULT TIME...We are praying for those of you who also are impacted by the sudden loss of Duke.

Here is the arrangement information for our dear Spiritual Son, DUQUAN WIMBERLY

Thursday, December 4
11:00 - 12 Noon Viewing
12 Noon Homegoing Service
at Clear View Baptist Church, 314 Hobson St (at corner of Chancellor Avenue - across from Untermann Field)
If anyone desires to send anything to Duke's family, it can be mailed to The Wimberly Family, 30 Foster St, Newark, NJ 07112

May God bless you richly, as you have been a blessing to us,
Michael and Maria

Monday, December 1, 2008

To our dear Family, Friends, and Partners of Greater Life,
PLEASE READ to end -- SORRY SAD NEWS...
PLEASE FORWARD TO OTHERS FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT!

This is one of our most difficult notes to write in 22 years of outreach ministry here in the city of Newark, New Jersey...(after having buried our "Spiritual Daughter", Wytonya Thompson, in the 80's who was brutally murdered)......................

...As most of you know, we have the privilege of serving 60 youth & Mentors at the Essex County Youth Detention Facility (Youth House) with Lisa Weathers, Thursday before Thanksgiving...

...and we fed almost 100 children, teenagers, and family members on the eve of Thanksgiving at our Greater Life Community Outreach Center...it was an awesome and exciting time this year to see them enjoy the service and delicious food by our Board of Directors and friends!!! There was truly a lot of love and thanks "in the air"...and it ended with a delightful time of prayer by children and teens giving, "thanks to God for a safe place to come to, to enjoy myself and feel loved - to be myself", as one young teenager stated.

...this year, we had almost a dozen Alumni Young Adults who couldn't make it due to working late evening to early morning, so we decided to open our Center on Thanksgiving Day to offer them a chance to come out and enjoy a meal together...8 showed up to our surprise and delight!

We started off with a time of prayer reflection (as they prayed for our country, Board of Directors, supporters, friends, family, and Greater Life family), allowing them the opportunity to express what they were thankful for...followed by a delicious meal that Michael and I served up for them...
...there was laughter in the air, followed by hours of wonderful stories, and catching up with them...much of their conversation was with them asking how the younger children and teens were doing....they were very interested in each person's situation, so that they could know how to best serve them when they each volunteered at the Center after school, along with street outreach......amongst them was Duquan Wimberly, whom we lovingly call "Duke", one of our awesome "Spiritual Sons"...

HE SEEMED TO HAVE THE HAPPIEST DAY THAT WE'VE EVER WITNESSED...he laughed and ate until he couldn't eat anymore, remarking how delicious everything was...he even made up a huge plate of food to take home to eat later...
...well, sadly, later never came...after many hours of delightful time at the Center, he made his way home to his own apartment (that we helped him to get in April 2007)...he commented just last week about how much he enjoyed being a bachelor and working hard for his money at the age of 25, only 1 month away from his 26th birthday...

...this is hard to type...............as Michael and my heart are grieving deeply, and my stomach hurts..............because DUKE WAS SHOT IN HIS STOMACH and DIED!... right in front of his apartment building entrance that very night...for NO APPARENT REASON!

...............WE ARE ALL GRIEVING DEEPLY, AND COVET YOUR EXTRA LOVE AND PRAYERS...............

...Duke had the best day of his life, and is now with God, as he made the best decision when he was a teenager...to follow God, and not give in to the negative lure of the streets...

Duke is one of the graduates from our very 1st Leadership Institute in the late 90's, with a final assignment of interviewing a professional -- and he, along with Jamaal, Shawkat, and Masharah, together interviewed the candidate of their choosing -- Andrew Manns, an Attorney who cares about youth!!! (now our Board Chairman)
Duke was the 1st one who came through our doors every day when we were privileged to buy our current building on Chancellor Avenue, in 1997, at the critical age of 13. And after graduating Weequahic High School, became a volunteer!

Duke was the 1st one to take the challenge of becoming an entrepreneur by opening "Dukes Snack Shack" (we helped him to start it so that he could earn a stipend to purchase his own food, for he was always hungry).

Duke worked hard at everything he did! And had a generous and joyous disposition... a giggle and smile that could warm your heart... He didn't let his cleft lip stop him, although because of it, he had a slight shyness as a kid. But as he got older and started growing a mustache, he liked the way it covered it, which gave him more comfort; affording more noticeable confidence.

Duke was the 1st one who accepted our challenge to cut off his dreads last year, in order to appear more professional and gain more respect, and he was promoted to his current job!
....for all of you who remember Duke, we know you will agree that this bold "soldier" will be forever missed! He helped with gang truces at the center, and challenged drug dealers as he himself showed them the "wad" of money that HE EARNED FROM HARD WORK at a LEGITIMATE JOB...that was all his -- as he challenged them that the "wad" of money that they had in their pocket belonged to someone else, while having to work harder than he did!!!

...Duke helped to get a lot of kids off the street and into our Greater Life Community Outreach Center "Safe Haven"...challenging them to Greater Life!
...THAT'S WHY WE ARE GOING TO GO ON and have our Annual FUND RAISING & CELEBRATION DINNER this Saturday, December 6th @ 5pm @ Snuffys Pantagis!

Duke was looking forward to this, as he made it to just about every year's dinner...and would want us to raise funds necessary to KEEP OUR DOORS OPEN to help more kids than ever off the streets and out of crime!

This dinner must go on...
to honor our dear "Kidstitute" child who was shot this summer at the age of 10 & is still recovering from paralysis...
to honor Duquan "Duke" who was murdered Thursday night...
to help SAVE MORE LIVES --
to offer GREATER LIFE to EVERY KID & FAMILY MEMBER!!!

Duke's life was not in vain...he took hold of GREATER LIFE! He didn't waste a moment enjoying Greater Life! He was proud of the rich legacy of Jesus Christ, and feasted upon how he could better his life more day-by-day. Sometimes shy, yet with a quiet strength, Duke wasn't shy about telling others how he was afforded the opportunity to have a safe place to go every day, to stay off the streets and out of trouble.

PLEASE HELP US TO GET AS MANY PEOPLE TO THE TABLES AS POSSIBLE, and for those who can't attend TO SEND THEIR SUPPORT!!! Let's honor this fallen "soldier"; this awesome "warrior"!

Details of his Homegoing service will be forthcoming, as we are working with Pastor Beckham/Clear View Baptist Church (Duke's mother's Pastor & great supporter of Greater Life). Please keep posted via email and tel # 973-923-2264.

Our hearts are heavy, but thanks to many of your calls, cards, notes, meals, and financial blessings in honor of Duke, we are TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED!

May you stand encouraged in light of your losses, concerns, and troubles...may you take hold of Greater Life, more day-by-day...may you experience peace, love, and joy as you allow God to work everything out for you...taking hold of Greater Life! That's what we are attempting to do.

We love and appreciate you reading this, and holding us and our Greater Life "Family", along with Duke's family, up in prayer...


Michael & Maria Westbrook
President & Vice President
GREATER LIFE INC.
Preferred Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8447
Newark, NJ 07108
Greater Life Community Outreach Center
272 Chancellor Avenue
Newark, N.J.
(973) 923-2264 (Office)
(973) 923-6102(Fax)

Friday, November 28, 2008

From Gateway friend, Andrew Mann’s Jr. relative to our Board Chairman’s (Rev. Michael Westbrook) ministries, Greater Life Church and Greater Life Community Outreach Center


“Last night, as many were celebrating Thanksgiving with family, extended family and friends, senseless gang gun violence in Newark claimed the life of one of the "first sons" of the Greater Life Ministry. His life ended sometime late evening at UMDNJ Trauma Unit.

Duke surrendered his heart and soul several years ago as a teenager while attending the Greater Life Community Outreach Center. As a young adult he was working and continued to walk with the Lord. His untimely death leaves a huge gap among the many family and friends that knew Duke and were touched by his personal ministry.

Several friends were at the community center until 4 am praying for the family and each other. I am asking for prayer at this time for this situation. There are many problems because this was a gang shooting.

There is much pain in the hearts of his friends that were with him when he was shot. This is much anguish over the loss of this powerful warrior for the Cause of Christ.

So please keep Duke's family in your prayers, his friends and most definitely his Pastor and Wife (Duke was an "adopted" son to them).

This is a very difficult time for this beloved community in Newark that Duke was a part of. His parting is deeply, deeply felt. We need prayer. Thank you.
Andrew
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Man is shot to death in Newark
Friday November 28, 2008 - Star Ledger (New Jersey)

Reports of shots fired led authorities to a Newark apartment where they found a 25 year-old man suffering from a gunshot wounds Thanksgiving night, police said today.
The victim, Duquan Wimberly, was taken to University Hospital and later died, police spokesman Detective Todd McClendon said.

Calls about the incident came in at 10:43 p.m. and by the time police arrived Wimberly was laying wounded in front of his home at on Bergen St, he said adding at the moment there is neither a motive nor a suspect in the shooting

Monday, November 10, 2008


Gloria Gaynor
at Gateway's Annual Banquet

Thursday October 16, 2008
Calvary Tabernacle's Harvest Center
Cranford, New Jersey

Friday, November 7, 2008









Change We Can Believe In was the campaign theme of one of the presidential candidates. President-elect Barack Obama has said:

‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time.’ We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’

Spoken in the political arena, this is a powerful statement of confidence in change, something our country desperately seeks while enduring a long war, high gas prices, high food prices, soaring medical costs and the like.

If said from a church pulpit, this statement would border on blasphemy. Why? Listen again to those words:

‘Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time.’ We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.’

That statement would not be appropriate from the pulpit, because, as believers in Jesus Christ, the only change that we should believe in is that change which is external (coming from God Himself) with results that are internal (those made in our heart)

To change is to be transformed

The Scriptures tell us that we can’t change our self

Jeremiah 13:23 – “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

The Bible tells us that the Lord doesn’t change

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Malachi 3:6 "I the LORD do not change”

We shall all be changed one day In I Cor. 15:51-52 we read these exciting and comforting words:

‘Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Change you can believe in - change that leads to a victorious Christian life, requires that we change in three unique areas:

I. We need to have a change of where we’re headed
II. We need to have a change of heart
III. We need to have a change of habits

I. We need to have a change of direction, a change of where we’re headed –an issue of heaven or hell (this is an external issue)

God has said of man in Genesis 8:21- “..every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood’ .. and so it is today.

What keeps man from salvation? It’s sin and mans unwillingness to believe in what God has already done in Christ.

John 3:16-18 (heaven or hell) –

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.“

Paul, in I Corinthians 2:14 said – “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Corrupt evil hearts lead to evil deeds, which lead to eternal separation from God

Dead men and women can’t change by themselves.
They need some other person’s help to change.
They need God’s help.

That’s why the first step to change is being ‘born again’.

Matthew 18:3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Once we are born again, salvation is shown in a changed life.

Does your life show a change since you were saved? Does it show recent change? Not just in a knowledge of the scripture and an ability to pray, but a desire for unity, a desire to see people come to Christ .

Not only do we need to have an initial change of direction, a change of where we’re headed – but…

I. We need to have a change of heart – a desire for worship, a compassion for the lost, a desire to see our church grow spiritually not just numerically
The first thing we should say is that…

(a) God never needs to have a change of heart

Numbers 23:19 - God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

God always says what He means and means what He says


(b) Men and women though – you and I - need to be
open to constant and regular change

Psalm 55:19 speaks of ..” men who never change their ways and have no fear of God.”

One commentator (JFB) says that ‘prosperity hardens them. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.’ Wesley says that ‘Their success makes them go on securely’

The desire to change is evidence of our fear or reverence of God.

Howard Hendricks has spoken about 5 Kinds of Attitudes About Change within the local church

1. He’s said about 3% are “Early innovators” – those who run with
new ideas

2. About 13% are “Early adaptors” (13.4%), influenced by those
who run with new ideas, but they’re not initiators

3. 34% are the “Slow Majority”, the herd-followers

4. Another 34% are the “Reluctant Majority”, finally

5. 16% are “The Antagonistic: - they will never change

The majority of ministers, Hendricks says, are being nibbled at by the last group. They focus on the minority opinion. This group is basically carnal.“

Which one of these most closely resembles you? Innovator, Adaptor, Slow Majority, Reluctant Majority, Antagonistic?

Are you burdened by the condition of the lost? They are eternally separated from God.

God wants us to be His ambassadors. Are we concerned that we may fail Him in this great task?

Are we willing to make changes so that people may come to Christ? Are we willing to admit mistakes?

(c) God wants us to continually be open to having a
‘change of heart’ – Are you open to a change of heart

1 Kings 8 :47-50 –“… and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, 'We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly';

48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name;

49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you,

This passage is reminiscent of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

What keeps us from a ‘change of heart’ from turning from ourways to His ways? One reason is..

Fear For those gripped by fear of the future or tied down by the successes of the past, God wants you to change your focus.

Someone has said, “ The two greatest sources of worry and fear are the past and the future--remorse (and I’d add pride) over the past and fear of the future - God's Word forbids worry about either!

Someone else has said, ‘ When you have faith, you can't have fear: Faith is the opposite of fear.’

Another reason we’re kept from a ‘change of heart is Pride - We don’t fear displeasing God.

We say and do what we think is right for us.

We forgot who owns us and who owns our church.

God wants us to fear sin, but not to fear change.

Another reason we don’t change is that we dwell on the past instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to control us today.

Phil. 3:13b-14 – ‘But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’

Yet another reason we are kept from a ‘change of heart’ is…
Conformity to the world

Romans 12:2 ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

1 John 5:15-17: ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.’

We are kept from making the bold changes that God often has for us by conformity to the fleeting things of this world (money, status, personal pleasure)

We fight against the transformation that God calls us to. In the end we lose our joy and we displease the Lord. This doesn’t have to be.

Finally, we are kept from a ‘change of heart’ by..

Complacency
Rev. 3:15-16 – (being neither hot nor cold) “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Someone has made this profound statement -

“Complacency is a blight that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are.

The second is rejection of things as they might be. “Good enough” becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard. Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new.

Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course—downhill. They draw false strength from looking back.”

Change must begin personally, and then it can become corporate:

Someone has said ‘God blesses individuals’ – God also changes individuals.

‘It’s not what you know or what you do, but whom you know intimately’

For some who have been believers for a long time the question in Galatians 5:7 may be appropriate “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”

What changed? How did you lose your joy? Have you soured? Are you afraid of change? What happened?

We need to have a change of direction. We need to have a change of heart, lastly

II. We need to have a change of habits – personal habits as well as church habits: criticism, bitterness, we need to have faith rather than fear

Ephesians 4:22-32 (put off / put on) - ‘.put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23. to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

24. and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27. and do not give the devil a foothold.

28. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

30. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

32. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

James 4:8 - draw near to God / cleanse your hands – ‘ Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’

I’m reminded of a phrase from the song - Midnight train to Georgia – ‘Id rather live in his world, than live without him in mine’. So we compromise and we end up with nothing.

Which world are you living in? Which world do you want to live in? You can’t live in both.A changed heart shows itself in changed habits.

So what does change involve?

Change involves trials – see the Book of James

Change requires perseverance, which is developed through trials - James 1:2-4

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’

Change takes effort – we don’t like change

We never should change our core beliefs, but we can and sometimes should change our methods, especially when the eternal destiny of so many is at stake. Do we see this?

Change involves risk. We prefer ‘risk management’ { Risk management is a structured approach to managing uncertainty related to a threat.}– we fight change because we fear change when that change is personal .


Change involves faith in the working of God, not in our achievement
Do you allow God to ‘Create in you a clean heart’?


Change involves commitment: ‘Are we committed to our comfort or to change?’


When we grumble against change, and when we fear change, we really doubt God’s ability to provide for us.


The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened - everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger.

"God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

"How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers.
"We saw your smoke signal," they replied.


Are you living like that lone survivor of a shipwreck? Alone, afraid, doubtful, hording what little you have?

Can you see the bigger picture?

God wants to change your life and the future of this church. But there first needs to be a change in our hearts. Will you let Him?

Exodus 16: verses 8, 18 and 20.
16:8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord."

16:18 And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did
not have too much and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.

16:20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

God wanted His people to trust in Him. He took care of them on a daily basis. When they did things His way, they had just enough. When they horded what He had provided, it turned to maggots. Their doubt was evident.

They doubted that God would supply. They needed faith not fear.. and so do we.

As we see the emptiness in our hearts, we ask God for a change of direction.

As He directs us and we allow Him to change our hearts, we see changes in our habits.

For those of you who know Christ personally, we need to see change in hearts, not in the political arena

As our hearts change, our focus will change:

Ø From things to people
Ø From fear to faith
Ø From the past to the present need
Ø From ourselves to others from complaining to real joy

As our focus changes, our church will see new habits:
ü Praise instead of predictability
ü Compassion instead of complaining
ü Joy rather than jaundice
ü A focus on souls rather than on structures


YES, we do need some other person’s help to change where we’re headed

YES, we do need some other person’s help to change our habits

YES, we do need some other person’s help to change our hearts

No, we can’t change by ourselves. Only He can give us the power to change and become the people he created us to be

Are we open to change for the sake of the gospel and for our personal growth in Christ?

Our motto should be - Yes, He Can change us .. if we let Him

If you’ve never made a personal decision to trust Christ for salvation, 2 Corinthians 6:2 is appropriate for you: ‘..now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.’

Power To Change, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, shares this prayer:

"Jesus, I want to know you. I want you to come into my life. I’m sorry for the things I’ve done that have broken my relationship with God. Thank you for dying on the cross so that this relationship could be made right.

I believe You are the only One who can do this. Only You can give me the power to change and become the person You created me to be. Thank you for forgiving my past mistakes and for giving me eternal life with God. I give my life to You. Please do with it as You wish. Amen."

If you already have trusted Christ for salvation, there may be need in your life for changes.

The Living Bible rendition of Ecclesiastes 11:4 is very appropriate: "Do it now… Don't delay for better circumstances"

As the hymn writer has written:

Revive me again; Fill my heart with Thy love;
May my soul be rekindled with fire from above.

And He will do it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Announcing our very special guest for Banquet 2008

Gloria Gaynor


Thursday, October 16, 2008

7:00-9:00 pm

The Harvest Center
of Calvary Tabernacle,
Cranford, NJ



This years banquet will feature a personal testimony and special music by Sharon Vann-Willams and a praise dance by Dawn Hillman


Testimonies will be given by women helped through the ministry

A freewill offering will be taken for the gospel ministry of Gateway

Reservations may be made in advance by returning the form belowand payment of $20 for each person attending.

Please make your reservations before October 8, 2008
($25 per person after October 8th as space allows)

Mail form below to Gateway at
960 Springfield Ave, Irvington, NJ 07111

Any questions? Call us at 973-399-8378 or email us at dean@gateway.org

--------------------------------clip here-------------------

Name: _______________________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________

City: ________________________________________State___________Zip_______

Phone: ( ) ___________ E-mail_________ Reservations desired: ___________

Place names / addresses on reverse side Total amount enclosed: $________

”I am unable to attend, but please accept my gift of $ _______”

--------------------------------clip here-------------------

Some background on Gloria Gaynor

Gloria's Autobiography
http://us.macmillan.com/iwillsurvive

Gloria's updated version of I Will Survive

“Only the Lord could give me strength not to fall apart
I will survive; He gave me life; I stand beside the
Crucified One; I can go on; I will be strong; For my
strength to live is not my own; I will survive!”

Some words from Gloria on 'Faith'

The central motive in a person's life should be a desire to know and please God. Jesus promises that if this is taken seriously and practiced, all of your needs and righteous desires will be met.

God grant me the compassion to pray for the people I don't or shouldn't like, bless me to meet the ones I should and the discernment to know the difference.

To forgive does not mean to excuse a person for wrong-doing; it simply means you stop wanting them to pay, and start wanting them simply to realize and repent of the wrong, for their own good. This is why you need God's help to forgive.

A person's life consists of the object of his faith, who he is, what he stands for, how he uses his gifts, talents and attributes, his quality relationships and what he is willing to live or die for. In all areas of life seek truth and surrender to it. http://www.gloriagaynor.com/

Internet links

Gloria's Christian Testimony en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Gaynor http://www.soon.org.uk/page32.htm

Albums http://www.google.com/musica?aid=ccJUp5R09eF&sa=X&oi=music&ct=result

Audio clips http://www.last.fm/music/Gloria+Gaynor

Biography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Gaynor
http://www.answers.com/topic/gloria-gaynor

Christian music
HE GAVE ME LIFE Newest song: clip :30 sec: http://www.gloriagaynor.com/multimedia/sneakpeek/HeGaveMeLife_30Sec.mp3

Parodies

Alien Song http://amfilms.hash.com/search/entry.php?entry=539

Thanksgiving turkey
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=501sNcmrwGQ


Gloria's website http://www.gloriagaynor.com













Banquet special guest to be announced today!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



Alison and mom at her graduation from Somerset Christian College in 2005



Please pray for Alison White's dad


Alison formerly counseled at Gateway. She then went on to Columbia International University (formerly Columbia Bible College)in Columbia, SC.

Her dad has been stricken with a neurological problem and is hospitalized in Florida. Alison and her mom are flying down today. Pray for both that they may look to Him for their comfort. Also, pray for the salvation of those in the family who may not know Him.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thanks Evangel Baptist Church (Springfield, New Jersey) for a great 'Chowdown, cleaning and challenge' on Wednesday August 20, 2008:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008


Update on murdered boyfriend of Gateway client

*also see http://gatewayorg.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html#5107220902308600755

Thursday, July 31, 2008

UPDATE: August 2, 2008
Dear Prayer Warriors:

Many of you have asked when will the event takes place. Some of you thought I had forgotten to put the exact date in here. Some of that is true, but a large part of the reason is because of a new Newark City Ordinance where we are supposed to apply for a permit first before any gathering. We did seek a permit as required but we weren't guaranteed the date we had chosen. Through some intervention both Human and Divine we were able to pick up the permit Friday (yesterday).

Maria and I were planning to go out anyway but we didn't want to get anyone else into trouble if that is what it came to. We plan to address the City Ordinance at a later time through the proper channels.

Meanwhile we are meeting for prayer at 11:00 am on this morning (Saturday), on the corner of Chancellor & Maple Avenue. We will be out there for 1 hour so even if you can only stop by for 5 or 10 minutes that would be fine. Those of you that don't live close please join us in prayer at 11:00 am right where you are.

An update on the young man, he was supposed to be moved to Children's Hospital in New Brunswick on Friday (yesterday). We will confirm that and keep you updated to his status.

Blessings to you all,

Michael & Maria
===================================================================================

August 1, 2008
Dear Prayer Warrior:

I come to you all once again and ask for your assistance. I am asking all those that can to join us for 1 hour at the corner of Chancellor Avenue & Maple Avenue at 11:00 am for a Ministry of Presence Prayer Rally.

This time I come to you with my heart heavier than normal; the person that was struck in the recent crossfire this past Monday July 28 was a 10 year old child. In fact he was one of ours. I consider all the children in the community as ours.

This time it hit closer to home; this young man was part of our community center. Last Friday he rode in our vehicle and went Ice Skating with the kids from our Kidstitute. He was a member of our Scout Troop and was preparing to go to Boy Scout Camp in a few weeks.

After Football Camp this Monday he was riding his bike with some other kids from the center on their way to the store on Maple Ave. where he was shot in his neck. He is currently in stable condition.We talked with his Mom on Tuesday and Maria and I went to visit him yesterday (Wednesday) at the Hospital. You may have noticed that I have not mentioned his name. It has been done so by the request of his Mother to keep the media attention away.

So I am asking those that can to once again to join us for 1 hour at 11:00am as a visible presence and as prayer warriors to stop the violence. Because of a new City Ordinance, if our group gets to be over 12 people we may have to pray in shifts.

This is something we plan to address later, but for now our focus is on prayer. Those that can't physically join us, please pray with us at the 11:00 am hour if you can, right where you are.

Thank you for your commitment and our joint efforts to make a difference. May God Bless You Mightily.

Michael & Maria

Rev. Michael T. Westbrook
President
Rev. Maria A. Westbrook
Vice Pres.
Greater Life Inc.
Community Outreach Center
272 Chancellor Ave.
Newark, NJ 07112
Mailing Address:
PO Box 8447
Newark, NJ 07108
(973) 923-2264 (Main Office)
(973) 923-6007 (1st Floor Center)
(973) 923-6102 (Fax)