Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ruined for the Ordinary

Missions work is so amazing; it really ruins you for the ordinary. Once you’ve tasted of the rich transformation that can take place in an individual’s life and then see an entire family be molded by Jesus and still later you see the beginnings of an entire community being transformed it’s pretty hard to go back to anything that you knew before.

On July 1st we completed one year of ministry here in South Central Los Angeles. A lot has happened in a short amount of time! Just this last month almost seemed like a year. Thank you for praying! Here are some pictures and quick updates on some of the major events of the month:

Sports Club

The day we sent off our last update letter we were starting up a sports club (a vacation Bible school with sports, crafts, and great Bible stories & lessons) for the children in our neighborhood. We had 58 children show up, which was less than we had planned for, but has led to some great follow-up visits with a few of the families that are interested in pursuing God further.


What a day! There were over 4,000 people that came out from 4:00-9:00 pm on Monday, June 21st for WOW Jam. Our church was the sponsoring church for this event, but it would have been impossible without the team of volunteers that came in from many other area churches. We translated the event into Spanish and throughout this evangelistic outreach we were given various opportunities to share with everyone about our church so they can continue learning more about Jesus and His message of reconciliation with us.

Over 4,000 in attendance
200 Volunteers
104 Faces painted
50 Family photos taken
75 Haircuts given
70 Manicures given
400 Potted plants given away
2,970 Hot meals served
630 Snow cones
and most important….

..... 276 came forward for salvation!

Santa Fe Dam
A couple, Jacobo and Maribel, that we met as a result of a past outreach has been meeting with us regularly. Recently we spent a day with them at a lake just outside of Los Angeles and were able to really get to know them better. Jacobo also had a really bad tooth ache that was affecting his work and sleep, and we were able to arrange for him to get the tooth extracted for free by a dentist that volunteers at one of the World Impact clinics. Having never been to the dentist before this was a scary experience, but driving out there with him and waiting in the waiting room gave us a lot more time to build relationship and go deeper into the things of God.

A few days later we went out to Long Beach to baptize some of the people from WOW Jam that had made decisions to follow Jesus. It was a powerful experience and one onlooker heard the worship, preaching and instructions before we actually started to baptize and decided that he too must be saved and got baptized right then and there. It was fun being out in God’s creation with the power of the waves and the vastness of the sea. God is doing wonderful things here and it was such a privilege to get to meet and baptize these wonderful people.

Summer Camp at THE OAKS
e sent Angel (in black), Jennifer (in the middle with stripes) and Araceli (on the right) to the 1st – 3rd grade camp at THE OAKS for the week along with Norma. Our family was able to catch up with them on the last two days after finishing up with all our weekly Bible study groups and discipleship meetings. It was a proud moment for us all when Jennifer won the Acorn award, given to the camper with the most growth and potential during the week out of all the 100+ campers. All of our kids learned so much about God. Silvia, Angel’s mom, shared with us at the 4th of July BBQ that her son came back saying, “I feel different Mom, I can’t really explain it, but I feel different inside.” Silvia asked, “But how? What do you mean you feel different? Are you okay?” “I don’t know how to explain it,” responded Angel, “but I just do, I feel better inside, all clean and new…I can’t explain it, but it feels great.” What an opportunity camp gave to Angel and Silvia to experience the love of God and to open doors even wider for us to share with the whole family who Jesus Christ is on a personal and day to day level.
Some highlights of the week include making new friends, getting very wet (see Fabiola and Jennifer above) by the firemen that hosed everyone down during the carnival complete with games, cotton candy, snow cones, mini-train rides (see below), a petting zoo and lots of prizes.

The camp fire songs and skits were a lot of fun (see below), as was cabin time and the great food during meals. Overall it was a wonderful time to experience and know Jesus more through wonderful teaching time during Bible class times and probably more so, through the love shared by their counselors.

BBQ (4th of July)
We are always looking for excuses to get together and invite more people out and the Fourth of July was a perfect reason to bring everyone from the church together for a BBQ, some games (volleyball, soccer) and fellowship. We had a turnout of about 50 people not counting the many families and homeless that we were able to feed while we were there in the park.

World Cup 2010
June 11 – July 11
Isn’t great what a sporting event will do to bring people together? During several of the games over the last month Chad has been able to connect in a fun, but also really meaningful way with some of the key men in the church.
Please join us in prayer for:

“Go the Distance” Sports Camp

August 2-6
·A high-quality Christ-centered sports camp offering classes in basketball, soccer & cheerleading.
·BBQ on Friday (we still need a sponsor for this event; if you are interested in financing or live in the area and can come out around noon on Friday, August 6th please let us know A.S.A.P.)
Movie Night
August 3rd
Outreach and fun time together as a church…movie is currently still being selected.

Creative Solutions
With everyone that is coming to Fuente para las Naciones arriving without a background in what it means to follow Christ and be part of the Church….we have to depend on God for a lot of wisdom, direction and patience as each person grows in their faith and understanding. We spend a lot of time in the Bible and praying with each person. We also believe that living life together is the best way to be a church. We know that God’s timing and God’s way are perfect, but as we wait and listen we would greatly appreciate that you join us as we pray for what to do about:

·Children’s Bible classes (“Sunday School”) (we need teachers – would love them to come from within the church, curriculum, materials)
·Youth group (we need youth workers)
·Music (Worship) ministry (we need instruments and talented individuals/people with a desire to learn)
·English service (we have many that are interested in becoming more a part of Fountain for the Nations (Fuente) but not enough people to teach in English or enough days to split the services and we feel it isn’t time for bilingual services just yet.

Family Camp
September 4-6 (Labor Day Weekend)
This is a ways out yet, but potentially such a life-giving event for families in our church and us as a church as a whole (it’s like the summer camp we wrote about above, but for the entire family and church).

Thank you for your continued support!
Never to be the same,
Chad & Fabiola

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Youth of our Nation

Thank you for joining us in prayer last month for the men of the city as they are such pillars of the family and community and truly are underrepresented in our church and churches throughout our nation.
Our hearts are also deeply burdened for the youth.
This month we ask that you join us in prayer for the many young people wading through hurts, pains and confusion who need to hear and begin to run with the Good News. Today’s youth are in crisis – to them there is no absolute truth and no morality. Just the other day we received a phone call from a lady in our church referring us to a family that was severely struggling relationally. After going and visiting this family and speaking with the mother and the daughter together we later had the daughter and a couple of her friends over for an introduction to the Bible class. Our heart was broken as she began to share about the gang members coming outside of her sixth grade class and beating up one of her friends. She then shared that her uncle was just shot to death a block from our house recently. She was open to our love and God’s love, but is so hardened at such a young age and has a lot of healing and growing to do in the years ahead. When asked if she knew what sin was she mentioned details of things no 12 year old should know about. Many young people struggle with loneliness, feelings of worthlessness, anger, hurt, meaninglessness, and unmet needs. Only 12 percent of people under 18 are coming to church in the US. Surveys show that 90 percent of people who give their lives to Christ do so before the age of 30. The need is huge, because nearly 50 percent of the world’s population is under the age of 25. Clearly there is a lot of work to be done and we realize that this works falls squarely on all of our shoulders. (Statistics from Ten Keys to Reaching Youth by Paul Fritz.)
We want to be ready to address these issues that come up within the youth of our church and be positioned for the influx of growth in the next two years. There is a huge high school being constructed just 3 blocks from our home with over 75 classrooms (over 2,000 seats) to be completed for opening in 2012. Soon there will be thousands of young, lost students walking up and down our street, using the park in front of our home and bringing in families for sporting events. Currently apart from meeting the youth individually or in special meetings we have been plugging them in to Kaleo, World Impact’s youth ministry, where they are able to interact with a diverse group of youth from all over South Central Los Angeles and receive powerful teaching and activities directed towards their age group. This summer we are hoping that we can take many youth to summer camp at THE OAKS, where the theme is “Take off the Mask”. Pray with us please that many would come and that their lives would be transformed in the saturated times of fun, acceptance, relationship building and great teaching during the week long experience.

Please pray with us that Jesus may capture the hearts of the youth here and that they might be an integral part of what is happening in South Central through our church, Fuente para las Naciones!

Thank you!!!

Chad & Fabiola