So much has happened in the last month and change since my last blog. We partnered with the city of Lynwood again in October to host Trunk or Treat at Lynwood Park, this year it seems there were so many more people than last year. We must’ve given candy and church invitations to 1,000 people that night.
We also held baptisms again bringing our total for this year to 29; almost 30 people being brought into covenant with God through our young church plant.
And we also had to make some changes and readjustments that were hard. We’d started a Spanish Bible study in the summer and it just didn’t give the results we’d expected or hoped for. With being such a young church plant, the last thing we want to do is stop ministries, but even more so is we don’t want to waste time and resources that aren’t being effective. Our group started strong and then dropped to only 7 or 8 people, half it’s original size so we made a decision to stop and recalibrate.
At about the same time my wife and another sister from church (Denise) had been talking about starting up a Spanish Women’s Group and then it clicked. The Spanish Women’s Group might be what God uses to help us gather a team and grow it to later use as a launch team for a Spanish service.
And one of the biggest surprises for us this season has been that our church marched in Lynwood’s Christmas Parade, well… not the whole church, it was actually our Kidz Ministry that did and they represented us very well. Here are my daughter Natalia and Jojo Fao (both on the worship team, by the way) holding up RCLA’s banner.
But that’s not the biggest news! A couple of months ago, a friend of ours whom we got mad love and respect for reached out to us, wanting to share that he felt he was being called to plant a church in his hometown of Hesperia, CA. an area known as the High Desert. We figured we’d connect him to our friend Eddy Aleman, General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, and after a dope lunch meeting we walked away planning how RCLA would be his sending church. Wait….what?!?!
Our brother Chris Centola was as fired up as we were… we weren’t really sure what it’d look like to plant a church while we were still officially less than a year old. But that day and a few conversations later, we were thinking about what it would look like to plant RCHD (Reformed Church High Desert) and then our conversations drifted much, much further than the High Desert… what if… nah… but what if… but then a few weeks later, as we were preparing to gear up to begin training and coaching for a late 2019 church plant, our brother Centola got a call extended to him from a church in Boise, Idaho. We talked about that, what it would look like to stay in Hesperia and plant vs. going to Idaho and taking over a church. I shared with him my story of prepping to plant in early 2017 and similarily getting a call extended to me from a church in Florida. It wasn’t easy deciding, but after much prayer, conversation, and thought with my family, I declined the offer and followed the way of the Cross, the one that was less convenient, the one that required much more faith, the one that if it worked, it was because God’s hand was all over it.
It looks like the homie Centola will be going to Idaho, please pray for him and that God would use him in a mighty way there, that the church he will lead would grow in depth, in numbers, and eventually multiply; I’m sure it will because his heart is in church planting. Pray for his wife and kids as they prepare for a big transition.
So going back a bit to what I said earlier about Centola’s potential RCLA church plant got us thinking, got us wondering, and got us praying… what if… nah… but what if…. even though Centola would not be planting, the conversations and prayers Chris Marquez and I have had still linger, they’re are not allowing us to be calm and have actually got us riled up for… nah, that’s just plain crazy… but what if… Ya’ll stay tuned, we’re gonna have a HUGE announcement in the New Year. We’ll be sharing something with ya’ll the first week of January.