Thank You, Carson

This is a story about Carson and his grandparents, Ed and Rita Lenfestey. Carson, a kindergartner, loves all sports. He swims like a fish. He plays flag football for the Cedar Ridge Redskins. He likes soccer and basketball. You might want to watch for Carson in the 2020 Olympics.

Ed and Rita came to Asbury with their two young sons to sing for Choir Director, Marvin Reecher. At that time, this gregarious couple helped with the after-rehearsal social hour. Today they participate in CHORDS, a small-group program for choir members.

These busy people were destined to become even busier with the arrival of their grandson Carson. As soon as Carson was old enough for Sunday school, Ed and Rita volunteered to help in his class. Each time Carson was promoted, his grandparents were promoted as well. Experiencing a special love for the children, the Lenfesteys began volunteering for Vacation Bible School. This past June, they were the leaders of the VBS kindergarten team.

When Asbury moved to south Mingo, Ed and Rita volunteered for the Children’s Protection System Leadership Team. You will find Ed at the entrance to the children’s division at 8:30 each Sunday morning, checking the bar code nametags. Properly identified, the children and parents enter the gathering area, where they find greeters to direct them to their classroom. At 9:30, Ed locks the incoming door, and he and Rita go down the hall to help with the Tribe of Dan (kindergarten) Sunday school.

Ed and Rita serve on the Children’s Ministry Leadership Team. They were a part of the "In His Steps" Calling Team recruiting Sunday school teachers. They help with the children’s choirs that meet on Wednesday evening before the adult choir rehearsal.

Ed grew up in Michigan, and Rita in Queens, NY. I asked about their road to Asbury. Ed served in the US Navy, first on a submarine and later on an aircraft carrier. While on shore leave from his ship, Ed met Rita.

After his naval service was completed in 1956, Ed and Rita were married. Later that year Ed went to work for Kollsman Instruments in Elmhurst, Long Island, NY. Three years later, he was transferred to Tulsa as a field engineer for Kollsman, where he solved instrumentation problems for the major airlines located in the Midwest and Southeast.

When Kollsman asked Ed to return to New York, he and Rita decided to stay in the community they had grown to love. Ed subsequently worked in Tulsa for North American Aviation on Apollo and later managed American Airlines avionics and computer purchasing.

The parents and the staff of Asbury’s children ministry are grateful for God’s plan to bring a young man from Michigan and a young woman from Queens, NY to Tulsa and, years later, to give them a grandson Carson, who would draw them into Asbury’s children ministry.

John C. Westervelt

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