Northern California Conference
Yreka church member Ben Woodruff has been involved in ministry for unhoused people in his community. Through his work with area churches and agencies, it was only a matter of time before he got his home church involved.
Ben and the Yreka church members committed to taking one night per week to serve hot meals to the unhoused at a local church. According to Woodruff, “We soon realized that not many of them were coming to the church. To maximize our effectiveness, we started going out to their camps with food. That decision increased serving from two to four meals in a building to serving 30 to 40 in the camps.”
Southeastern California Conference
Born in Ijuí, Brazil, Santos grew up ministering through music with his family. Alongside his father, mother, sister, and brother, he traveled all over the world sharing the gospel. At age 11, Santos and his family moved to Riverside, California. The music ministry remained active as he finished high school and later obtained a B.S. in electronic engineering technology.
Gatra Suhari serves his congregation as youth pastor at Azure Hills church.
Originally from the islands of Indonesia, he migrated to the U.S. as a teenager and attended Redlands Adventist Academy. He then went to La Sierra University, where he earned a B.A. in religious studies. As early as his senior year of high school, Suhari recognized God’s call to ministry.
Southern California Conference
2022 was an eventful and rewarding year for Pasadena church.
At the start of the year, the church began planning for their yearly evangelistic community effort: the Seeds of Truth Bible series to take place in the fall. An evangelism committee was developed, a team of Bible workers was trained and established, and a calendar of pre-work activities was set. Three major community events were scheduled and organized: a youth conference in May held at Camp Cedar Falls, a community baby shower in July, and a health fair in October.
At the close of the May retreat, 13 souls were baptized as a result of the preaching and seminars during this event. Others were scheduled to be baptized following the completion of Bible study courses provided by church members. Many young people also reconsecrated their lives to Jesus on the mountaintop and began attending the Pasadena church.
Health Care in the Pacific Union Adventist Health
The new center for Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM) has enrolled three full cohorts—24 students—since opening in August 2022. The center provides in-person and online professional chaplaincy training in English and Spanish for individuals from a variety of faith traditions.
“We were working very hard to launch the program and praying as a team that God would bless the center. Before we finished producing informational materials about the program, God sent us the people,” said Roberto Vizcaino, CPE supervisor and AHWM senior chaplain.
CPE training includes in-depth study of ethics, psychology, sociology, family and group interactions, trauma and crisis management, and more. Faculty come from diverse backgrounds, including professional chaplains, doctors, nurses, and psychologists. The AHWM CPE center is currently in a pre-accreditation process and will be considered for seven-year accreditation by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.