Blessings through adversity!
Centro Cristiano Hispano
“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’” Genesis 12:1 (NIV)
The LORD’s call to Abram was to be a journey into divine blessing, leading through earthly challenges and adversity. We call this heilsgeschichte in our Lutheran studies of the Scriptures, meaning “salvation history” or, in Spanish, “la historia de salvación”. The same has been the legacy of many of our Hispanic brothers and sisters of Centro Cristiano Hispano (CCH) of Circuits One and Two of the PSD.
Jesus, our Savior continues reaching into human lives writing our histories often through adversity into great blessing!
In the mid 1980’s, a young Lutheran couple from El Salvador fled their homeland after the assassination of their pastor, Rev. David Fernández, and the threat of forced conscription into a bloody civil war. They arrived by foot at St. John’s Lutheran, Oxnard and found PSD Hispanic Missionary at Large, Pastor Dennis Bradshaw. Out of violence, turmoil, and tremendous adversity in their lives, God was at work as new outreach to our Hispanic neighbors was then birthed in Oxnard. There is so much more to this couple’s story, yet we can sing Steven Curtis Chapman's song with them,
“My Redeemer is Faithful and True!”
Later in the 80’s, a father and son of Mixtec heritage (indigenous Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico) traveled from the poverty of the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico to work in San Bernardino County, harvesting oranges. They sustained themselves by boiling pinto beans over several days, drinking the broth, and eating a few corn tortillas a day. They later found work in the strawberry and celery fields of Oxnard. Through hunger and struggle to learn the languages of Spanish and English (their heart language is Mixtec), they have supported their family and now have Christian sons and daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. What great blessings! The father’s two sons, Javier and Marcelino Velasco are missionary pastors of CCH, pioneering a mission plant in their home of Santiago Naranjas, Oaxaca. Indeed, Our Redeemer is Faithful and True!
The term “immigrants” speaks of real people.
People who Jesus loves, and for whom He died, rose, and will return again. In our Hispanic missions and congregations, the contemporary version of Abraham’s heilsgeschichte is echoed again: “… ’Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.’”
The united mission work of CCH side by side with congregations of Circuits One and Two in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and in Santiago Naranjas, Oaxaca is the continuation of the LORD’s Abrahamic promise to the nations through faith in Jesus Christ!
Join us in Prayer
Lord Almighty, help us all take up the journey of “adversity into the blessings” to be seen in Jesus’ promise: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
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