by Enoc Marquez, Pastor of the Gresham Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Company
The idea of starting a new church in Bend started during the 2014 camp meeting. I spoke with the Sanchez brothers about the plan for Bend. We prayed for God’s guidance and started a 24 hour prayer chain so God would give us guidance and would send us the people that would start.
The first meeting we had was with the Torres family of the Cascade church, the Sanchez family from the Prineville church and the Luna family.
The first meetings took place in the Cascade church, however it was a bit uncomfortable because the church was small, but the members of the group were very interested and started looking for people to evangelize.
While searching for people, we found a couple that showed interest in the church. They had a problem because they had rented a room to someone that smoked and drank quite a bit and they wanted this person to vacate the room. While we were talking to the couple the person who rented the room arrived, so I asked permission to welcome this person; I opened the door and said: “I was waiting for you, Christ loves you and wants you to give your life to Him.”
She answered: “What is this about?”
I said: “I would like to ask you to give your life to Jesus as soon as possible.”
She said she didn’t want to, that she was catholic and she was fine this way. This is when I explained to her she should stop drinking and smoking because it was hurting her and those around her. She then became interested and asked how could she do it, to which I answered: “just do it, ask God for the power.”
The days went by and she was dismissed from the house, so she walked the streets alone without any hope.
One day I received a call from her, she was asking for my help to pay a hotel. Brother Salomon was able to find her a job and she started studying Fe de Jesus. She finished the study in a week and she asked for baptism. I baptized her gladly and today, by her own testimony she is at peace in Jesus and she is waiting the second coming of Christ.