Stockton Church Organizes Giveaway of 183 Bikes—
During the Christmas season, churches throughout the Northern California Conference found numerous practical ways to inspire hope that carried forward into 2021.
During a giveaway at the Stockton Mayfair church, 183 people—aged two to over 60—received a bicycle for Christmas. During the event, the parking lot was full of hope as participants waited for their number to be called to choose a bike.
The project was partially funded by a grant from the North American Division, which has sponsored bike giveaways at other locations. To promote the event, members distributed fliers in the neighborhood, Pastor Rudy Peters appeared on a local television program, and the church spread the word through social media.
The event will make a difference in people’s lives for years to come. "So much comes along with [having a bike]," said a father as he lifted his small daughter onto her new bicycle. "Being in her life, being there to teach her how to ride it—it’s a forever bond, a forever memory."
Read More: nccsda.com/during-a-difficult-season-ncc-churches-share-hope/
Behind the Scenes of Fresno Central Church's Tuesday Food Giveaway—
With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger. Seventh-day Adventists in the Pacific Union have stepped up to serve—like never before. Our churches and members are continuing to meet needs in their communities.
Fresno Central church in the Central California Conference has a food giveaway every Tuesday morning, and recently, Pastor Daniel Gouveia took his camera and went behind the scenes to show what it takes for the church’s community service team to get ready, pack boxes, and open the gates for the people waiting in line.
And it’s not only much needed food that they give away—they have a table with books and literature, and they encourage people to study the Bible. The pastor asked various volunteers what they love about serving and why they do it every week. Thank you, Fresno Central, for your hard work and commitment to feeding the hungry.
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NPR on Food Insecurity in the US
Santa Clarita Teen Helps Feed Those in Need—
In Santa Clarita, in Southern California, Arianna Laolagi is doing what she can to provide food to those in need in her community.
In February 2018, Arianna founded "Meals That Heal," a volunteer-based Christian collective with 100% of its proceeds dedicated to aiding homeless and unemployed people in L.A. County. Since its formation, Arianna and her organization have helped more than 400 homeless people. The team cooks hot and nutritious plates of food and distributes them alongside hygiene care packages.
After schools were shut down in March, Arianna, with the help of the Pasadena church and the Meals That Heal team, organized a contactless drive-through grocery giveaway for nearly 100 families who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Nurse Uses Music to Promote Healing—
Doctors and nurses in San Bernardino County are swamped as a surge of COVID-19 patients continues to pour into hospitals. Tad Worku, a trauma nurse at Loma Linda University Medical Center, uses music to help heal patients and to help them recover by managing their stress during the pandemic. With his guitar in hand, he plays and sings for patients and hospital staff. Worku performs outside the hospital in Loma Linda—and his music cheers up the healthcare workers inside too, because they can watch him perform live from their computers. What a beautiful way to witness to patients and hospital staff!
Learn More: abc17news.com/news/national-world/2021/01/06/nurse-helping-to-heal-covid-patients-through-music/
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"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'"
– Matthew 25:40