A Reaping Series in December?
When logistical complications pushed the autumn evangelistic series at Washington's Vancouver Spanish Church to December, we wondered if anyone would attend. Would anyone come to a week of meetings just a few weeks before Christmas?
December, as everyone knows, is one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. That didn't deter co-pastors Samuel Castro and his wife, Belinda Rodriguez, and the church board. They enthusiastically voted to go forward with a December reaping series focused on family relationship restoration and healing.
The church already had a tradition of distributing generous Christmas baskets. Each year, following the annual Christmas program, members take baskets brimming with pantry staples and other goodies to families in their community. This tradition has built relationships with neighbors and would work perfectly the series.
During potluck on the first Sabbath of our one-week series, “Relational Health: How God Heals Us,” the Holy Spirit arranged for my husband, César, and I, to find two seats with a very special family. Our custom is to ask people we’ve just met to share “their story” with us. The husband shared he had been an active Adventist at one time in his life. After a life-altering divorce and the life complications that followed, he abandoned his walk with God and began to live the life of an unbeliever. During that season, he met and married his wife.
Recently, his wife had begun to tell him she wanted to find a church to attend. After listening to her hound him about wanting to attend a church, he begrudgingly told her, “If you are set on attending church, it will have to be an Adventist church because the Adventists follow the Bible more closely than any other religion I know.” With that, she immediately began to search for an Adventist church near their home.
When Sabbath came, she got herself and their blended family of four ready and showed up at the Vancouver Spanish Church. When they arrived at church that Sabbath, she discovered, for the first time, that her husband was not only a former Adventist but he had attended that very church many years before.
It’s amazing to witness the Spirit at work. This former Adventist was practically dragged to church four weeks earlier by a wife who didn’t know she was going to be the instrument used by the Spirit to bring healing to their home. Seven days later, this precious couple and one of their adult sons accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior through baptism.
There is no bad time to share, preach, teach or share the restorative, reconciliatory, transformational gospel.
Castro says, “The greatest joy that we have as ministers of the gospel in Vancouver is to continue seeing families touched and transformed by the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for all of our church members who have been actively involved in sharing the good news to the 29 souls that accepted Jesus Christ this year.”
We invite you to enter into the joy of seeing individuals and families transformed and healed by the good news about the love and grace of Jesus Christ.