Living back East with college degrees, Ash and Satiya never dreamed that they would one day be homeless in Desert Hot Springs. After an 8-mile walk from Morongo Valley, they were exhausted and dehydrated. With no place to go, they sat in front of a business complex.
With his wife in the hospital, Russ Crumpacker decided to grab a bite to eat. When he got out of the car, he saw the two homeless people and invited Ash and Satiya to eat with him. They could not believe that Crumpacker would want to be seen with them, especially the way they looked. Expecting rain that night, he also took them to the store and bought them more blankets and a tarp to keep them dry. When he dropped them off in the Morongo Springs Nature Preserve, he gave Ash and Satiya his phone number.
The next day, they made the decision to reach out to Crumpacker. He brought them to his home while praying all the way. Crumpacker had cracked ribs and his wife had undergone a hip replacement—both caused by recent falls—and he needed work done around his house. He invited them to stay and help, paying them for the projects that he would have paid other people.
And God continues to send new people from the community to fill those seats. It is clear the Holy Spirit is at work in Desert Hot Springs church.
He brought them to church in Desert Hot Springs the next Sabbath. Ash and Satiya felt like they had found a home. In their first study with Cecelia St. Clair, the church’s Bible worker, Ash and Satiya accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. On Sabbath morning, April 16, the church held a very meaningful communion and Easter service. Crumpacker and Glenn Munson, Desert Hot Springs church pastor, baptized Ash and Satiya together, with strong support from their new church family.
This support had begun before they’d even heard of the church. The Desert Hot Springs “Church on Fire” prayer group had been meeting every Friday evening in the sanctuary to pray for their church family, their community, and their leadership. Hands had been laid on the very pew where Ash and Satiya sat on their first visit, and they were prayed for in this way even before they met Crumpacker.
Led by Dee Lee, prayer ministry leader, “Church on Fire” is a group that comes together every Friday evening to pray. They close the evening by physically placing their hands on the pews and praying for the person who will be sitting in that seat. And God continues to send new people from the community to fill those seats. It is clear the Holy Spirit is at work in Desert Hot Springs church.
By Dolly Moen