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Toronto Series 2001
by David M. Trexler

Francisca and I took a non- stop flight from Baltimore- Washington International Airport on a small turbo- prop plane on September 7. Providentially, we sat just right front of NAD VIP leaders, Elders Don Schneider and Harold Baptiste. They were flying to Toronto for church business, and we communicated through the legal note pad. We discussed about the deaf ministry in general. Elder Schneider is very sensitive to the needs of the deaf. We need to constantly pray for him and other church leaders as they struggle to make right decisions not only for the work for the deaf, but also for other important areas of the ministry. They assured us that they would pray for our series in Toronto.

During the whole time of our ministry in Toronto, we stayed at Merlin Wilson’s home in Downsview area.

Francisca gave her presentations on Family Enrichment Seminar at Bob Rumball Center for the Deaf on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings. Elder Paul Kelly from Rochester, New York attended the series to assist us. On the first night, Friday, there were five deaf ladies. On September 8 we had a nice service at Harmony SDA Church and in the evening there were eleven deaf individuals. On September 9 Elder Kelly and I visited Bob Rumball Center’s church for the deaf and we had a nice visit with some of the deaf members. Pastor Tom Ranger and his wife, Lori, invited Francisca and me to eat at their home on Tuesday evening. Francisca gave her final presentation on the night of September 10 and there were five attendees.

September 11 was the day we will never forget in our lives. We had a nice long walk around the blocks and then I checked my email and news in the Internet. The ABC News said that a plane crashed into World Trade Center and I saw the picture of one of the towers was smoking. Suddenly, our hostess, Mrs. Wilson called me to watch the news on TV. I was shocked to see the acts of terrorism on live. We were glued to the TV all morning and part of the afternoon. We were actually dazed and stunned. We prayed all day for those who suffered from the attacks.

In the evening of the same day, we had a very nice visit with the Rangers at their home. The meal was delicious and we discussed about the attacks on America. Like most Canadians, Tom and Lois were greatly affected by the terrorism in our country.

On September 13 I began my series at Canadian Hearing Society. Five deaf individuals came to watch my presentations. It was the same number who came on September 14, but different individuals. Elder Paul Kelly with his wife, Tina, came to assist us. On the Sabbath of September 15 we again worshiped at Harmony SDA Church. We had a deaf visitor who enjoyed the spiritual fellowship. We had our potluck at Glady’s home. In the evening nine deaf individuals came to watch the presentation. Then on my final presentation on September 16, ten deaf individuals, including a new couple, came. Four deaf individuals had shown interest in the follow up with Elder Paul Kelly after our departure.

Francisca and I managed to “escape” Canada by traveling along with the Kellys’ to their home after the meeting. US Airways had accepted our United Airlines tickets to fly from Rochester to BWI. We have to admit that we did not feel the same about the airports and flying after the tragedy in the USA. The airport in Rochester was almost deserted. And, our plane that can carry 37 passengers had only four of us. I asked the flight attendant about it, and she said that usually it was full before the attacks. BWI was not the same too. It had fewer people than before the attacks.

In truth it is best to have a full-time worker in Toronto to plant a church. Paul’s two times a month visit is very difficult to achieve despite his fervent enthusiasm. The trip is very tiring and time consuming. We are praying that the church will be more sensitive to the needs of the deaf and hire a full-time worker. We cannot afford to neglect Toronto. It takes a long time to see the fruitage of a stable deaf church in that huge metropolitan.

We want to thank to those who had participated in this project: Pastor Bill Santos and Pastor Paul Kelly. And thanks to ADM for making this series happen again.

Please remember those deaf individuals who had attended our series and are interested in our message. May God of peace bring you the everlasting peace in this fragile world.

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