A Note from Pastor Hose Hernandez of Hope Central, in Watts, California
Dear Beloved Brighton family, We are so grateful to you. Thank you for your constant prayers and love. We are so excited to share what our Lord has been up to in the last six months. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance" James 1:2-3 The first part of the year is when we pray and plan for the activities of the rest of the year. We ramp up our efforts in the summer because it's our experience that during summer, violence goes up. However, this year the violence has been nonstop. Gang violence is way up. Shootings are up 80% plus. Murder has been off the chain. After sitting with a grieving mother earlier in the year and seeing that she was empty, God spoke to me with a word, "disrupt". As a very active body in the community, we needed to go out and disrupt the enemy's work through prayer. So back in May, we began this spiritual disruption of the enemy's work in the Nickerson Gardens. We started a community prayer walk around the Nickerson Gardens, where it looks like evil reins. About five percent of people in a twelve hundred resident housing project cause one hundred percent of the problems. We began our mission after sitting with this single mother who had lost her college-bound eighteen-year-old to gang violence. We started by going out once a month and praying around Nickerson Gardens. The first month we prayed NO MURDER, the second month we prayed NO MURDER, the third month we prayed NO MURDER, so you get it. God is faithful. But along with this disruption campaign, we began to do our last church service of each month in the projects on the basketball courts. This Sunday September 26, 2021 will be our last service in the project for the year. Out of this was the birth of the youth camp. In early June, we were able to take 48 youth to camp, 17 of which were from the Nickerson Gardens and some of which were active gang members. God moved powerfully at this camp; we had eleven kids give their lives to Jesus and or rededicate. The icing on the cake was when 14 of these kids decided to make that outward commitment to Jesus by getting baptized. Since then, God has continued to bless us with people and favor. In August we began negotiations for a church space. It's with great joy to share with you all that we have a home in Watts for our Women's Study, Men's Study Thursday, Youth Study Friday, and our church service on Sunday. 1John 4:19 "We love because he first loved us." The vision for the rest of the year is simple, love the lost. With having a one-year lease, we have already seen people both old and new coming to the church. However, with lawlessness increasing, people are still dying at a higher rate than in recent history. People need hope. We plan to take that Hope to the streets and our yearly outreach efforts like Thanksgiving and Christmas. On the last note, I'll mention we just celebrated ten years of serving and preaching the Gospel this month. Thank you to our dear family of Calvary Chapel Brighton. Your love, prayer, and financial support have helped us make a significant impact in Watts.