For this believer, God answers prayers

Faith is a wonderful thing. Recently, I said a short prayer in my heart, asking the Lord to please put me in touch with a long, lost friend. I hadn’t heard that she had passed away, so I assumed that she was still "on top of the ground," as Bishop Walter H. Richardson, my 90-year-old pastor likes to say.

So I prayed and believed God would hear my prayer. Wouldn’t you know that before the week was out, I’d heard from my friend? It was a happy day when I got an email from Lydia Walker, who is now 92. I hadn’t heard from her in about 40 years. Lydia had been a good friend to me, but somehow, we got disconnected and lost touch over the years. And while I’d often thought about her, I never tried to find her. Actually, I didn’t know where to start looking. But God knew where she was, and He answered my prayer.

You might say this was just a lucky coincidence. But I don’t think that luck had anything to do with it. To me, Lydia getting touch with me was an answer to a sincere prayer and my personal faith in God.

Often as we go along life’s journey, we are confronted with issues and problems that seem to be bigger than life itself. At such times, even those of us who say we are believers of God’s Word and have faith in Him, will sometimes find that we need more faith. When that happens to me, I find myself praying for God to increase my faith. And nothing increases one’s faith like a quick response to our prayers. This quick response will help to sustain us at other times, when we must have the patience to wait on an answer to our prayers.

A change at Turnberry Jewish Center

Today, we welcome and congratulate Elana Yeffet on her new position as director of membership and programming at Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center at 20400 NE 30th Ave. Yeffet replaces Melissa Galfond, who steps down to become a new mom. She and her husband Michael will welcome their first child in September.

In announcing her departure Melissa said, "It is bittersweet ... that I will be stepping down from my position on Aug. 9. It has been a wonderful four years being part of this amazing and vibrant community and getting to know so many of you." She said her plans include staying "closely connected" to her congregational family at the Jewish Center.

Yeffet is no stranger to the Jewish Center. She has served on the center’s professional team as the assistant director of Tauber Academy and the Director of Camp Chaverim (Tauber Academy’s Summer Program), and has worked closely with Melissa getting prepared for her new role.

Health Fair at temple

Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalom at 6438 SW Eighth St. in West Miami will have a free Health Fair, along with its annual Open House, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

At the fair, Baptist Health/Congregational Health will provide many screenings to include osteoporosis and cholesterol. In addition, vendors will include chiropractic services; Village South; Women’s Heart; Humana; SHINE Nutritional Shakes; Travel; Catholic Charities; Cancer Support; Jewish Community Services; Arbonne Herbal Botanical Body Products; and Medicare.

There will also be free servings of hot soup, cold and hot beverages and give-aways.

Call 305-205-3846 for more information.

Orchestra auditions

The Kendall Orchestra at Kendall United Methodist Church will have the its first rehearsal/auditions for the 2013-2014 season at 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 28 at the church, 7600 SW 104th St in Pinecrest.

Thom Proctor, director, said the all-volunteer orchestra is open to players of all ages and religions. "You need not be a member of the church to play," he said.

The orchestra is in need of woodwinds, strings, and low bass players, including the French horn. The difficulty of music performed is level 3-5, and the repertoire is wide-ranging, from renaissance to contemporary, and from secular to sacred and popular; from jazz and swing, and from hymns to contemporary Christian arrangements.

Rehearsals are held weekly at the church and the orchestra performs at Sunday services once a month from September through June. Community service hours are also available.

If this is something you would like to do, call Proctor at 305-221-0664.

Preschool open house

God’s Place 4 Kids at Palm Springs United Methodist Church will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 16, at the church/school, 5700 W. 12th Ave in Hialeah.

The school, which has earned a quality rating of Five Star quality Counts and also apple accreditation, is open to children ages 21/2 to 5.

Said Nancy Perez, a member of the church: "Our program incorporates the best of the VPK Standards and the Wee Learn Curriculum,” a Bible-based curriculum. “We have a special after-school program that includes arts and crafts, music and sports, along with special help with homework. This year, we are opening a kindergarten class using the Abeka Curriculum.

"We strive to help our children become enthusiastic learners, while encouraging them to be active and creative explorers with a faith based attitude." Perez said the school also offers free breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.

The community is invited out to meet the teachers, visit their classroom and meet pastor Stuart Bodin, the spiritual leader of the church. For more information call the church at 305-821-3232 or send an email to:

Open houses at synagogue

Ahavat Olam Synagogue will have two open houses — one on Sunday and another on Aug,. 25. The two events will begin at 5 p.m. with a Selichot dinner, to be followed by a "Get to Know the Rabbi" session at 6 p.m. for adults and fun activities for the children.

On Aug. 31, the synagogue will give participants an opportunity to "get in the mood for the High Holy Days" with a dinner at 8 p.m., followed by a short Selichot service at 9 p.m. The worship service will feature the Ahavat Olam Choral Society. All services are at Killian Pines United Methodist Church, 10755 SW 112th St. and are free and open to the public. Reservations are required.

For more information call 305-412-4240 or email:

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category