Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Come Together

Merry Christmas!
God is with us! We certainly couldn’t be doing what we’re doing alone. His handiwork is so fun to discover as we work alongside Him to beautify the depths of the darkest areas of the city. We also have you reading our updates, encouraging us and praying for us – which helps a lot! And we have a great team here in Los Angeles that sacrificially serves to make Fuente para las Naciones what it is today. We all come together collectively to serve our Lord and King Jesus and help other’s know of the Good News!

Pictured below from left to right: Norma, Monica, Fabiola, Justice, Chad, Rebecca, Jessica and Tracy.
Tracy comes during our Wednesday night and Sunday morning services to help wherever needed. That usually ends up being in the nursery (to help Tammy, not pictured) or in Monica’s class.

Jessica (picture above, second from left) works with the youth both during church meetings and throughout the week – planning their discipleship times and fun activities. She has great ideas and a heart that is troubled for seeing these teens through these difficult years of peer pressure, violence and the solidification of their world view. One of the youth recently said, “When I started coming I thought God was fake, but now I don’t. I pray to God when [bad stuff happens in my house] and he answers.”

Norma (pictured above in the middle with two of the women) and Fabiola head up the women’s ministry focusing on Bible based answers, prayer and healing and quality time together as they maneuver through the difficulties of being mothers, wives and new believers (often with unbelieving husbands).

Monica (pictured above with part of her class) works with the elementary aged children. They presented “Joy to the World” in front of the church last Sunday with hand motions and great enthusiasm! What a blessing to have somebody like Monica love and teach the kids. Many families are being blessed by this ministry to their little ones!
Thanksgiving Dinner
Through the collaboration of a lot of different churches, individuals and organizations we were able to collect a lot of food and distribute food boxes to most of our families. The food was meant, in part, to bless them and allow them to have a great family Thanksgiving meal together. We also gave each family the primary ingredients of the dish they were to bring for our church’s Thanksgiving dinner….and what a feast we had!

We had 4 turkeys and a ham along with a lot of all the fixings….and NO LEFT OVERS. We had a great turn out even though the weather was really cold (we didn’t have enough space inside the house for everyone so we were out doors).

The children had fun crafts to make including special cards for their parents to share what they were thankful for.

After dinner we sang music of praise and worship to God giving different people an opportunity to sing on the microphone. We also shared what we were thankful about and then when we opened up the microphone we were surprised at how many people mentioned they were thankful for us and this church. Coming together is such a blessing!

We continued sharing our Thanksgiving on Sunday when we were able to serve some great food to the homeless that live in and around the park.

Christmas at the OAKS

Every year, at the start of December, World Impact hosts an amazing day at their campground outside of Los Angeles for families to get away and celebrate the Christmas season. There are hay rides, adventure sports, family pictures, crafts, games, great food and loads more of fun all around. Last year we took 11 people with us – this year, as you can see in the picture above, we were a larger group (67). Next year we would like to take 200 people up to camp with us. We do not just want to take people that we know or friends of people coming to church, but people that are actually part of the church – so as I told the congregation last week….though it’s God who brings the increase we have a job too and we’ve got a lot of work to do!

Jumping off the “Leap of Faith” was a highlight for many of the men.

So many smiles! Families loved working on a great variety of arts and crafts – many of which became presents they can give away.

Each family also was given a box of fruit and homemade cookies.

Let’s Pray

This last month has brought an onslaught of problems. Several of the ladies that have made the most radical confession of faith and resolve to follow Jesus have been pried away left discouraged and hurt by a lady spreading gossip and confusion. There are some serious relational problems (a lady just left her husband) and sicknesses (several going to the hospital) and an overall heaviness despite some amazing developments and areas of growth in other areas. The devil is definitely out to sow dissention, confusion, hurt and rob, kill and destroy. Pray with us to press on, have wisdom on how to address specific issues and protection over us and all these new believers.

With an average mid-weekly attendance around 50 we are continually battling space constraints in our house. Sunday mornings we have been meeting outside on our patio with a series of tarps overhead (see picture to below), but that isn’t a long term solution. Please continue to pray with us for the right space at the right price at the right time along with wisdom and direction in the process.

We started this letter by telling about some of the great work that the team here is doing – enabling us to focus on other things, but none of them will be here long-term. The interns Jessica and Monica as well as Tracy have only committed until the end of the school year. It is then very important to get something else in place. Ideally this would involve training and raising-up leaders, teachers, helpers from within our church, but given that the time frame is short we may have to also look for other help from outside.

·Church Christams Party – December 22
·New Year Outreach & Carnival – January 1
·Churchwide Day of Prayer & Fasting – January 7
·Community Outreach (Homeless & Rehab. focus) Jan. 8
·Sunday Service – January 9
·Youth Retreat – January 15-17

Thank you! Have a great Christmas.

Chad & Fabiola

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The late night calls are the worst….a sobbing voice whimpering out a plea for help. We rushed out as fast as we could and met our friend out on the busy street – she was a complete mess. Her husband, a local gang member who left her and her four children to go live in a drug house where he can freely use and sell the mess, stopped by briefly to rob their last $100 that she had saved up from her part-time job for the coming rent. The week earlier his reason for a ‘visit’ was to take their car from her. When we entered their one-room converted garage the children were huddled around a TV at one corner watching cartoons pretending like everything in life was just perfect or at least wishing it were. We prayed and worked on calming her down and spent some time comforting the children. “Why!?!” she would scream out – worried about how she was going to put the next meal on the table and if they were going to get evicted, but also just cut raw to the core of her heart. It was so hard to watch her writher in emotional turmoil, but what was even harder to watch was how she called her 9 year-old son over to ask him to take care of her and comfort her. We pulled him aside later and helped him understand that he doesn’t have to carry that weight on his shoulders – that Jesus wants to walk them through this situation. What hope there is in Jesus who came to walk through the hardest of situations with us and bring healing, life and light!

The next day we checked in again and the mother said, “I’ve never felt this bad in my life, but I leave everything in the hands of the Lord…I trust in Him and leave this situation up to Him. I just ask that you pray for me and my husband and my children.” Will you please join us in prayer for this family?

We know that a trip out of the city with their church family will not change their situation, but it will help bring that sense of family they need, the calm and peace and fun that families need to have. We are so excited that on Saturday, December 4th we are going to get to take this family up to The OAKS for a great day filled with Christmas family fun. We are also thrilled to take with us a mother and her three children who weeks ago was reunited with her three boys after having them taken away for six months by social services. As you can imagine it has been very hard for this mother to be away from her children for so long – especially the youngest that was only a few months old when they were taken from her (to no fault of her own).

Please pray for this amazing day of crafts, Christmas activities, stories and food we will be able to share as church of people being restored in Christ. We have planned to take 85 people with us – it is so exciting to see that every time we take a trip like this we have more and more people with whom we are working that can benefit from these amazing activities and grow deeper in their love and knowledge of Christ practically and experientially. Please also pray for our monthly Sunday church service on December 12.

During this Christmas season if you would like to give a special gift to one of the men, women or children that we are pouring into here are some practical ways you can do that:

Craft and snack for Bible Clubs (for 1 week/30 children) for our weekly outreach $25
Discipleship packet (2 books and NT Bible) for spiritual growth $25
Groceries for Christmas dinner for families in need $50
A beginner’s guitar and classes (for six months) to train up worshippers $100

If you desire to give to any of these areas please send your gift to World Impact and mark it “ATR 8329 Fuente”

Thank you so much for your love and support.

Merry Christmas,
Chad & Fabiola Wolyn