by Victor Rodriguez, pastor of the Shelton Spanish Adventist Group
Shelton Spanish is a daughter church plant project of the Olympia Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Hispanic population has grown considerably with Mexicans, Guatemalans, and others Latinos and the need for more churches is great. So our new church was started just a few months before the pandemic reached Seattle area in February 2020.
Although the pandemic has hurt church attendance for several months, the Shelton Spanish Group was ready to adapt and get into prayer and intersection mode as well as to do Bible study in a different way. All of these could not be done face to face because of the preventive orders and rules in place in our Washington State to stop the rapid growth of sick people. However, through teleconference and the use of Zoom virtual meetings, the group was able to navigate to a new era to which it was not prepared.
For several months, a group of sisters and brothers in Christ lead intercessory prayer for our community. By the end of August 2020, we finally saw the opportunity to open the church, but it was a completely different environment. Following the recommendations and mandates of the state, everyone in attendance wore masks, and physically distanced. Hand sanitizers were provided and a registration was taken every Sabbath. But, although the service was then shorter and schedule changed to a later time, all those who where able to attend were very happy to be there. Many new friends were gained.
We were then, ready to follow our evangelistic meetings set for every fall, which normally becomes the last reaping meeting of the year. All the members were excited that we could still have a meeting, which could be also be available through digital media to the public who may not be able to attend.
The Shelton group was set for evangelistic meetings dated for the end of October 2020 and beginning of November. Advertising was done every Sabbath and through social media. Our meetings were planed to take place on the weekends. Every night we had people from other places and countries who connected on Facebook to watch the presentation of the series “We will see Jesus,” with speaker Pastor Victor Rodriguez. The series presented answers for our times of troubles, the love of God, certainty of salvation among other topical presentation which ended with the second coming of Jesus.
We had local people who attended the meeting but within the capacity limitations that were indicated. Every night we had a good response to the calling of the Spirit of God through Pastor Rodriguez and we can say that about 20 to 25 contacts were establish who continue to come to church on Sabbath services. On October 30, three new members were baptized and joined the Shelton Spanish Seventh-day Adventist group.
We have seem the hand of God guiding and leading as we move by faith toward the goal of making disciples for Christ as the Great Commission asks us to: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).
Please pray for us as the new year will bring new opportunities in witnessing for Jesus Christ.