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After Yearlong Separation, Mountain View’s Newest Bible Workers Reunite for Ministry
Story by Kathy Pepper
Larry and Annabel Murphy visit a neighbor to offer Bible studies.
Larry and Annabel Murphy, newlyweds and Bible workers, are leading the Voice of Prophecy initiative for the Charleston (W.Va.) church. The story of how they came to the Mountain View Conference began in fall 2011 when they met and fell in love at the Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism.
They got married in May 2012 in Hong Kong and honeymooned in China where some of Annabel’s family lives. Annabel, who is a Belgian citizen, had a visitor’s visa for the United States. But when they tried to re-enter the United States after their honeymoon, she encountered a major problem—her visa was refused and she was sent back to China. They later discovered that this was because she was not a U.S. citizen who married a U.S. citizen outside of the country.
Needless to say, this was not what the couple had planned for their married life. Larry Boggess, conference president, had spoken with and hired them as Bible workers for the Charleston church. Realizing there was nothing he could do except watch as Annabel was taken into government custody, Larry Murphy made his way to the Mountain View Conference and his new job without his new bride.
Murphy found an apartment near Charleston and began his Bible work. Annabel went to China and stayed in an apartment that her brother owned. During their 10-month separation, the couple used Skype to communicate. Prayers began and continued while the couple got all the proper paperwork in order.
Finally in April, nearly a year after their wedding, the two were reunited on U.S. soil. And just in time. In May the Voice of Prophecy mailed a Bible study interest card to one-third of the homes in the Mountain View Conference (every household will receive one of these Bible study interest cards in the second and third mailings) and the Charleston church received more than 300 responses. The couple were among the six teams of Charleston members responsible for following up on requests for Bible studies. At last count, they had one in-home Bible study, four drop-off Bible studies and 51 studies via mail.
One of the people the Murphys followed up with was Kim Leonard, a young woman living in Charleston. Leonard is almost completely deaf, but reads lips quite well. Leonard is a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and recently moved to Charleston from Florida. Because of her deafness, she had no way of figuring out how to find the local Adventist church, therefore did not attend. One day in early May, she received a little card in the mail, asking her to sign up for a free Bible study course and decided to sign up.
Since Larry and Anabell had so many response cards, they began mailing her the studies. By the time the couple came to her door, the lessons started explaining the Sabbath. She asked them if they were Seventh-day Adventists. They said, “yes” and she excitedly told them that she was also. The very next Sabbath, she attended the Charleston church and was re-baptized in November.
Larry was recently ordained as an elder and Annabel is an assistant Sabbath School secretary. “Both of them take their jobs seriously and are assets to this church,” says Stewart Pepper, who pastors the Charleston church. And only God knows how many people they have worked with and/or influenced as they introduce God to the people of Charleston.
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