Many things have changed in the past 7 years. Jay, Carrie and the girls now reside in Peru and Elizabeth and Isabelle's musical talents have broadened. At the opening of their time with their friends at Evergreen, the girls do more than sing, now they also play the piano or their violins. Both girls agree that their favorite part of the evening is singing and talking to their friends about Jesus.
The number of residence attending the service has grown to between 20 and 30. The number of visitors has also grown in the past 2 years. The Wrays are often joined by friends from The Keeseville Baptist Church where they attend. Chris and Donna Kis from Cadyville and their two young children, Priscilla and Marios, often join them. Chris plays the piano while Jay accompanies him on the guitar. Shoshanah Kravitz from Keeseville often joins them, and occasionally the entire Youth Group attends.
A discouraging change is that only 2 or 3 of the original group of residents that attend are still living.
"We really grow to care for and love these people," Jay said. "It can be real discouraging. We have been to a lot of wakes and funerals."
"There are some weeks where we really don't feel like going," Carrie admitted, "but by the time we leave we find that they have cheered and encouraged us."
The music is a source of mutual encouragement to the Wrays and the attendees. "Some of the people that never talk will sing. Folks who are looking down will start to smile," Jay commented.
Recently, there has been a surprise addition to their group and to the music. Ninety-two year old Dorris Haley from Dannemora moved into Evergreen about 2 months ago. She and Jeff Wray attended the Dannemora Methodist Church together for many years, and she was the organist there for well over 50 years. Now her presence and her organ playing are a welcome addition to the singing time.
There is one constant among the many changes: the commitment the Wrays and their friends have to gather together weekly and encourage one another. It is a time many of the residents look forward to the other six days of the week.
"I can't wait for Thursday nights to come," said Frieda Martino, who has been a resident at Evergreen for 3 years. "The Wrays do a marvelous job. I love the kids, the Bible time and the singing."