A Letter from Pastor Jose Hernandez
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you! We thank you for your generosity and for being willing to serve as the vessels that God uses to bless the community of Watts. This past year has been difficult on many fronts, but throughout it all we have witnessed the goodness and mercy of our Living God. This is why, here at Hope Central Watts, we lift up prayers of thanksgiving and blessing over all of you who have partnered with us spiritually and financially. You are an extension of Hope Central (after all, we are all one body) and together we will continue to work towards bringing the kingdom of God in Watts as it is in heaven.
So please take the next few minutes and rejoice with us as we testify to what God has been doing in our midst these last couple of months.
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25 ESV)
1. Wow, to say that this year has been challenging is an understatement. We
started the year 2020 much like the rest, gearing up for a full year of ministry. We even got started working extra early on the Father-Daughter dances that we highly anticipate every year. We also had camps scheduled with Forest Home and a full calendar of outreaches in the projects which we soon had to navigate around as most of our events were cancelled.
2. As the pandemic began to unravel, we lost our church building in which we had
been for the last eight years. The 109thRecreation Center was transformed into a homeless shelter due to Covid-19, a move that was mandated by the city of Los Angeles. We had to quickly learn how to broadcast our messages weekly digitally, but most importantly, we had to learn how to stay connected while remaining physically distant. God made a way, and we continued to serve the church’s needs, both spiritually and physically.
3. In addition to this, we tragically lost Momma Dorris, the matriarch of our church, community leader, and owner of the Hope House. When Momma passed, we unfortunately were not able to utilize the Hope House, our ministry house which was strategically utilized for the past eight years. In October we moved out, but God is faithful. The Lord continued to provide a place for us to meet
4. Now come the praise reports. Since March 2020, Hope Central Watts was able to deliver over 70 tons or 154,000 pounds of food to families in communities all over Watts and South LA. It has been a huge blessing to us as we have seen the Lord Jesus Christ open doors for us to preach the Gospel and give hope to those in our city. God has granted us so much favor and as people have come to the Lord, our church has grown in number and spiritual maturity.
5. In the middle of all of this, we led a massive prayer march through the street of Watts, which was not shown in the news. However, we had hundreds of people
from different churches all around Southern California attend and many heard the Gospel that day.
6. We were able to end the year with a treat by having Pastor Ed Taylor and Calvary Aurora come serve with us. They helped distribute food and we had a car wash fundraiser which allowed us to purchase the box truck that we were praying for in order to increase our capacity to serve our community.
7. The vision for 2021 is simple-to engage the community of Watts with the Gospel through practical ministry. We plan to continue the food ministry and continue to engage the youth by any means necessary. We want to continue to be a bridge to the community by making Jesus Christ known through the Gospel and by loving the people and building relationships. We thank you all for your continued prayer and support.
This year, we also had our very first Men’s Ministry breakfast. We believe it takes a village to raise a man; therefore, we decided to bring together the youth boys and Men's Ministry. We were blessed to have our beloved Pastor Chet Lowe teach the Word of God while our talented brother Gabriel made delicious breakfast burritos. That morning, with our stomachs full, God stirred the hearts of all the young men in that library facility. As the start of something new, we are looking forward to continuing to gather once a month to encourage and equip the young men of Watts.
Most recently on February 12th, we were able to serve those who serve us on a daily basis. In partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department Southeast Division, we made to-go gourmet BBQ plates and gift bags for all of the officers. We were able to give them bibles and we will continue to pray for their safety and for their families, peace in the community, and for justice.