Columbia Gorge Has Year-End Harvest

March 01, 2006 | Rhonda Reedy

Columbia Gorge Church welcomed three new members through baptism before the end of 2005. Long-time member Nancy Willis has been bringing four young children to Sabbath School and church each week for several years. When 9-year-old Estelle Stedman-Crane requested baptism, studies led to her grandma Mayrene Crane becoming interested as well. Although Mayrene was confined to a wheelchair and had trouble communicating, Willis patiently studied with her whenever possible, and on Nov. 26, 2005, Mayrene and her granddaughter Estelle were baptized together by Pastor Del Griebel and elder Bill Willis at Columbia Gorge Church.

Mayrene's face shone with pure joy that day. She had found her peace with God, and she was happy to belong to this family of believers. Sadly, Mayrene lost her 14-year-long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease one month later on Dec. 26, 2005, but her name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and her family rejoices that the next time they see her she will be running and leaping with joy, no longer confined and handicapped by her disease.

On Dec. 24, 2005, Scotty Judd sealed his decision to follow Jesus by being baptized by Pastor Del Griebel. Judd has his own unique and inspiring testimony of God's redeeming grace. Imprisoned for many years because of a crime committed when he was a teenager, Judd found God through prison ministries. Correspondence with Columbia Gorge Church member Rene Olivier led to a romantic interest and then marriage while he was still in prison. Columbia Gorge welcomed Judd when he was released from prison several years ago, and he has been an integral part of our church family ever since.