by Hugo Villalobos, Pastor of Hermiston Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church
This year our church decided to make prayer a priority.
As we sat with our leadership team in we noticed that last year a good number of families had experienced some type of loss or suffering in their lives. Marriages were struggling, teenagers where losing interest in church and attendance was slowly declining. These types of circumstances made us aware of the spiritual reality we live in and the influence the enemy has to destroy families and therefore a church. We weren’t going to let this continue. If we wanted revival in our church we needed to humble ourselves and seek God through prayer on a personal level and as a church. “An enemy might defeat one person, but two people together can defend themselves; a rope that is woven of three strings is hard to break” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NCV). We began to plan out our year and include as much prayer as possible in all our events. It has been so worth it. We have seen God move in a powerful way like never before.
I preached an evangelistic series on the power of prayer. We had several first time guests come to our meetings. They heard that our church was praying every day for healing and anointing. Our theme song was called “God Will Provide”. We kept singing this song on our mid-week prayer meetings as a reminder that the best is yet to come and that God always provides. Fast forward a few months, many of those guests have been attending church ever since; some have been baptized and other are planning on taking the next step in the weeks to come.
Another new thing we did was pray every morning for 40 days at 6am via teleconference. We had people from different cities and states join us on this journey. It was refreshing and a big blessing. We also began seeing a need to be more involved in our community. We decided to give back to the community and held a free kids festival at a local park with food, games, bouncy houses, booths, giveaways, and Christian music. We held a vigil at our church the day before our community festival where we prayed for our volunteers, guests, safety, and Holy Spirit. We saw our prayers answered because as a result of this event we had 250 guests and a family of 3 got baptized the next week. Prayer has become an essential and a non-negotiable part of our church. We believe in prayer and rely on prayer.
Seven months ago we began meeting and praying with our teens and young adults to find a way to reach our city in a relevant effective way. Since we are a Spanish church, many of them had friends that didn’t know Spanish. God put in our hearts to reach our English speaking community and now seven months later, we have begun the process of planting a new church company with English services. It’s amazing what God can do with prayer. We’ve had 2 pre-launch services so far and have had an average attendance of 70 (all Millennials and Gen Z). Nine people have accepted Jesus in their lives and we will celebrate with baptisms. We have teens and young families serving in church inviting their friends. Lives are being changed. People are finding purpose and making a difference. We will officially launch weekly services on October 6, 2018. We will exist to share love, hope and faith to our city. Please keep us in your prayers. We’ve started our fundraising campaign and know God will provide. For more info visit www.myrekindle.com