Viewing entries tagged
local compassion

Parenting With Open Arms

Parenting With Open Arms

When Jennifer and her husband, Peter, decided to extend their family of three some years ago, they desired to do so with the hope of spreading the gospel as well.  A friend of theirs had journeyed through the foster-to-adopt system in Los Angeles County, which prompted the idea for them to look into doing the same. 

The Benefit of Buying at Eastside

The Benefit of Buying at Eastside

Scrip is a program that enables you to purchase gift cards to hundreds of the stores, restaurants and gas stations that you frequent, with a percentage of each purchase going back into Eastside’s Compassion Department to help families in need.

Life Together

Life Together

By Devon Wayne

Our small group started with eight people who didn’t know each other, but over time our stories have woven together into a beautiful tapestry.

A job opportunity brought Julie to Southern California. She had been looking for a church but couldn’t find the right match, so she decided to join the one closest to her home. Google–that source of all knowledge–pointed her to Eastside. Since joining, Julie has volunteered to serve in Kidside, has travelled to Israel, and is preparing to go to on a mission trip to Thailand to serve people there.

Next is Bobby, known as Boy Bobby (as there was a girl Bobbie among our original eight as well). Boy Bobby has a huge heart and a gift of listening. He has taken on a leadership role in our group. He met Hannah, a beautiful, kindhearted woman who grounds him. Hannah has joined our group, and she and Bobby were married at the end of last year.

A few weeks after the group started, Bobby got sick enough that he needed to go to the hospital, and when he needed a ride home, he was bold enough to ask for help from a group of people he had only known for a few weeks. Brandi responded to his text and drove him home.

Brandi has a huge heart and sense of humor. She sees the Spirit within you and will be there to provide words of love and grace when you need them. Brandi leaned on the group as her mom, Nancy, battled with cancer. Before Nancy left us to join God in Heaven, a prayer of hers was answered. It all started at the end of summer 2015, when our group had a barbecue.

A former member of the group hosted the barbecue, and we invited her roommate, Aaron, to join us… and we wouldn’t take no for an answer. Aaron didn’t go to church or follow Jesus, but hey, barbecue is barbecue. We invited him to join us the following week when we started up our Bible study, and he came.

Brandi caught Aaron’s eye, so Aaron started attending church and asking questions about faith. We didn’t always have the answers, but we’d research them and come back the next week to talk more about his questions.

Last year, Aaron was baptized and proposed to Brandi. By then Nancy, Brandi’s mom, had gotten sicker, so a backyard wedding was planned weeks before the actual wedding. I had the privilege of doing Nancy’s hair and makeup for the backyard wedding, and Boy Bobby officiated the ceremony. Nancy went to Heaven a few days later, her prayer that her daughter would find a husband having been answered.

During this time Aaron’s mom, Michelle, started attending Eastside and was baptized a couple of months ago.

I guess that leaves me. I made the commitment to join Eastside in about 2014, and, after feeling lonely and lost in such an overwhelmingly large church, I decided to get plugged in. I joined a small group and began volunteering. The largeness of the church began to shrink, and it began to feel less lonely.

During the first couple of weeks of our small group, Brandi and I learned that we live a mere two-minute walking distance from each other. This proximity allowed us to do life together. She and her dog Clarence often stopped by for walks. When her mom’s condition worsened, I was able to provide dinners and next-day lunches for Brandi. These moments allowed our friendship to grow.

I was raised Lutheran and didn’t feel the need to be baptized again, but God’s whispering became more audible, and the Spirit swelled in my heart. In the beginning of 2015 I was baptized, and that summer I travelled to Kenya on my first mission trip. My heart for compassion causes has grown exponentially, and I am overjoyed as I prepare for my third mission trip. These compassion experiences make me feel more grounded and connected. My cousins left me a message online that resonates with me. They wrote, “Helping you turn the human race into the human family. God bless you.”

Turning the human race into the human family, I just love those words.

Our stories and lives have been interwoven through moments in time. We are now a group of twelve, and whether people have been with us for months or for years, their lives and stories are becoming a part of ours. Our group, like many others, shares life moments: baptisms, illnesses, deaths, mission trips, camping trips, potlucks, laughter, and tears, but most importantly we share God’s love as we seek to expand our knowledge of Him.

If you’d like to find a community of people to do life with, check out eastside.com/groups.

Bravely Forward: Sherry's Story

Bravely Forward: Sherry's Story

For some of us, only one medical emergency, or one pay cut, or one traffic citation separates us from experiencing homelessness.  Oftentimes as a society, we assume that the folks we see on on the streets of our neighborhoods have a story of how they got there that is far from relatable,  but nothing could be further from the truth.

There's an On-Call Team at Eastside

There's an On-Call Team at Eastside

Three times a week, one of Eastside’s community partners reaches out to our Local Compassion department with news of an individual or family’s pressing need.  Erica Sperrazzo, Director of Local Compassion at Eastside Christian Church, then gets to work, seeking out the ways and means necessary in order to assist the person(s) in dire straights.

A Community in Support of Our Officers

A Community in Support of Our Officers

On a Tuesday morning this past February, two policemen responded to a typical traffic accident call in Whittier, California; but when they appeared on the scene they were faced with much more than that.  A man known to have gang affiliation had stolen the vehicle responsible for the crash that morning and opened fire on the officers as they approached him at the site of the collision.  What was supposed to be standard procedure, turned into a day filled with emotion as the gunman took the life of one of the officers and injured the other.

Moms in Need Receive Diapers, Indeed!

Moms in Need Receive Diapers, Indeed!

Over the past few weeks leading up to Eastside’s annual Serve Day, a drive for diapers and wipes has been commencing.  The recipients will be none other than moms in our community that are hard pressed in purchasing these everyday necessities to keep their little ones happy and comfortable.

Linking Arms with the Kids in Our Community

Linking Arms with the Kids in Our Community

“Our goal is for the kids to be kids, to provide a place where they can have fun and enable them to form real relationships with people in the community.”  Lofty goal?  Nellie Hernandez of Orange County’s Social Services department doesn’t think so. 

Unpacking the Suitcase

Unpacking the Suitcase

Mike explained that it was rare for addicts to be honest when in critical need, but honest they were as they spoke that day.  Leaving no stone unturned, they expounded on their situation, saying they were not married, not members of the church and currently on the verge of eviction from their motel. 

Celebrating a Year of Handwritten Love

Celebrating a Year of Handwritten Love

Jody Masquefa and her husband, Yves, own a restaurant in Anaheim that’s now daily serving up hope in the form of pasta to families in dire need of support.  February 2, 2017 marks a year of anonymous dinners being delivered to these families at CHOC hospital who are facing the devastation and hardship that illness has imposed on their children; this is the story of how they got here.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

January is the month devoted to creating awareness of the ever-present societal issue of Human Trafficking. US Homeland Security defines the term as a “modern-day slavery that involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.” 

The Domino Affect of Love

The Domino Affect of Love

The result was overwhelming as the same people who surround her on a daily basis at work jumped at the opportunity to serve! They worked together to supply every request on the list so that someone else’s needs would be filled last Christmas.

Low Income Kids - Abraham's Story

Low Income Kids - Abraham's Story

 “Thank you for the pencils and paper and backpack. I really like the shirt too! I don’t like it when I don’t have my stuff for school, I feel so dumb. Your pack makes me feel better. Thank you!”

Homelessness - Brett's Story

Homelessness - Brett's Story

On the hunt for a shower each morning became a new part of that routine, hygiene kits given by Eastside helping when a source to get clean was nowhere to be found. 

Where There's A Will, There's A Way

Where There's A Will, There's A Way

Eastside stepped in and was able to fund the remaining weeks of the family’s stay while their paperwork process was completed--allowing a huge weight to be lifted off this single mom’s shoulders.

Giving from the Most Natural Place

Giving from the Most Natural Place

Have you ever had the desire to plug your passions into helping the community that surrounds you, yet remained unsure on how to go about it? Read on to hear how one woman made a world of difference by simply realizing her natural capacity for connecting those in need with those in a position to fill those needs. 

A Heart For Service

A Heart For Service

Savannah is continually inspired to serve through seeing the impact serving has made in her own life and in the lives of others. “When you see people’s faces light up, when you see people receive your services, it’s just a reminder that God has done so much more than that, and God does that every single day..."

A Recipe for Faith

A Recipe for Faith

He has found that serving and getting involved in local compassion efforts at Eastside have helped turn a big church into a small church. Because of the community he’s built through serving, it’s rare for him to walk down a hallway without knowing someone.