Oregon Christian Women’s Retreat Leads to Baptism

March 01, 2012 | Carolyn Karlstrom

The long, hard walk that brought DeziRae Mendoza to the baptismal fount has taken many turns. One of them was through the 2011 Oregon Conference Christian Women's Retreat.

Abused and neglected as a child, shuttled back and forth between an alcoholic father and a drug-addicted mother, but with her grandparents for a positive influence, Mendoza never really belonged anywhere. She began to run away and act out, finally leaving home for good at age 13. She got involved with drugs, alcohol, fighting, skipping school, and breaking the law.

About five years ago she met a woman named Angelina Sosa, who became a friend. When Sosa began to attend the Seventh-day Adventist Community Church of Vancouver, Wash., she invited Mendoza to come too. Mendoza resisted but eventually agreed to visit once. Then she came back for more.

Over the next seven months, Mendoza worked through a Bible-study course. And last October she came to the Oregon Conference Women's Retreat at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Wash., and her life will never be the same.

Mendoza was profoundly impacted by speaker Janice Browne's presentations and by the setting, the fellowship and the music. On Saturday night, when Browne made an appeal, Mendoza went forward. She followed through with her commitment to God by being baptized on Dec. 3, 2011.