Indio Spanish Church Is a Spiritual Oasis in the Coachella Valley
"The Indio Spanish Seventh-day Adventist church has become a real oasis to the Coachella Valley," says Alfonso Valenzuela, the new pastor of the 50-year-old church. "Not only are the adults on fire for the Lord, but also the young people."
This congregation conducts weekly evangelistic meetings. In addition, various ministries are active nurturing members and reaching out to the community.
As a result of all these activities, nine people have been baptized, and several are studying the Bible with church members and preparing for baptism. Former members are coming back to church; members are becoming more united as they minister to others; and the young people, in particular, have discovered the value of mission and are committing their lives to the service of the Lord.
Every month the young people celebrate Sábado Joven (Youth Sabbath), a program for youth, by youth. On those Sabbaths, after eating lunch together, more than 35 young people serve the community by delivering food, inviting people to church meetings, and singing and praying for the sick and the needy. Every Saturday night, after the youth program, they participate in games and activities that attract more than 50 young people to the church.
"Recently we had a lock-in activity that attracted more than 100 kids to the teen center, a brand-new city facility. We spent all night playing, eating, and having a lot of fun," said Veruschka Zárate, youth activities coordinator.
Music plays a significant role in the life of the Indio church. Every church program begins with praise music led by the youth and includes contemporary music as well as traditional hymns and songs.
Every Wednesday evening, more than 300 people attend evangelistic meetings.
"We were having so many visitors at prayer meeting that we decided to move it to Monday nights. In its place on Wednesday nights we have evangelistic meetings, with gifts and special music. Under the title ‘The Teachings of Jesus,' we present the Christian doctrines from Jesus' point of view," said Manuel Galván, personal ministries coordinator. Several volunteers, under the leadership of Gloria Zepeda, community services director, provide food and hot soup to all the visitors, a total of 750 people who are assisted every month.
"Something that is helping our church and our community is that we are also teaching English as a second language every Thursday night. Once a month we have a Dia de la Familia (Day of the Family), and every quarter we have a Festival de la Familia (Family Festival) with topics of interest for every family member," said Linda Ruiz, the church's family life director.
The prayer ministry is a vital part of the Indio church. Under the leadership of Esther Bravo, church members and visitors meet on Mondays and on Sabbaths after the church service to pray for the needy and the sick.
"We have a long list of prayer requests, and our prayer warriors are constantly praying for miracles from the Lord," said Bravo.
Besides the evangelistic meetings the church is conducting every Wednesday, members are giving their support to major evangelistic projects. Arnold Trujillo, Pacific Union vice president, conducted meetings the last week of June. Alberto Ingleton, Southeastern California Conference vice president for Hispanic ministries, plans to conduct a two-seek series in November. Conference evangelist Phil Jones is preparing for a six-week series that will begin in January.
For more information on the activities of the church, visit its website at IndioSDA.com.