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Mission and Ministires
CCC 2023 Mission Report
Interview with Dan Serns: Reflecting on 2023 How have you seen God guiding you? I’ve had to pray a lot more, and that's a good thing. One night last year during prayer time I asked God what I should focus on, and He gave me three things. 1. I need to remember what the prophet Samuel said to King Saul. When Saul was small in his own eyes, God used him. I always want to be humble and teachable. I want to be a servant. 2. The Lord impressed me that when we work in a team people notice our strengths. When we work alone, they notice our weaknesses. Build teams, help others build teams, and connect people with each other. 3. Always remember that the reason we do everything is to give the Adventist message to all of the Central California and the world in this generation. We ask ourselves, Will what we're talking about multiply that or will it cripple it? What are some highlights of 2023? We had two Fill Every Baptistry Sabbaths where we asked every church to fill their baptistry and pray about who should be baptized. We encouraged churches to have a week of meetings leading up to those sabbaths. In 2022, we trained 150 men to preach a series in the spring and we trained 50 women to do that in the fall. In 2023, we trained 50 young people to preach in the spring and 50 children to preach in the fall. Another highlight was that we reopened our Soquel Camp meeting, which is about eleven days long. Thousands of people come in on the weekends. We baptized 51 people at our camp meeting, and there were 52 more who made decisions to be baptized when they got back to their homes. We also reopened Camp Wawona and had several staff and campers baptized. I believe in baptism. It means people are really making a public testimony of their commitment to the Lord for the rest of their life, and the church is committing to help mentor them in their spiritual walk and help them lead other people to the Lord. One more thing is we launched our digital evangelism project.This is amazing! In the first phase we picked six churches in our conference to be pilot churches, then did advertisements around their churches on social media. We ran prayer ads and people began to click and ask for prayer. These went immediately to people who began praying with them. Now we have over 1,300 people receiving online pastoral care at least once a week around those six churches. We haven't even officially got to the stage where we invite them to join a service project, but they're showing up at the churches. And we had our first baptism in August in Silicon Valley. How can a reader become involved? Number one: start with your time with God and your own family. And number two: start a group. All you need to do is find a couple of friends, brainstorm ideas, then go to work for Jesus and find people. Leave it to Him and His final movement and God will give you ideas. Any hobby, any interest, any spiritual thing you’d like to do more of, we will help and your local church will help. I see more spiritual awakening and more willingness and desire to see churches grow and start something in new communities where we haven't been. Where can a reader learn more? A great place to learn more about what is happening is at www.cccadventist.org. Our online digital academy is a place you can learn more about outreach and receive training. Everyone can also become a neighborhood pastor for the neighborhood where they live.
Los Banos Spanish Church
Los Banos Hispanic Church Celebrates Remarkable Growth Los Banos, a small city located in the countryside about an hour from the Bay Area, has been the site of recent church growth. Los Banos Hispanic Church was organized, with a special event that highlighted this accomplishment, on Oct. 14, 2023. Ricardo J. Viloria, from the Central California Conference, highlighted the church's success: "Starting with 90 members, 30 baptized in 2023 alone, Los Banos Hispanic Church has exceeded our expectations for a new church plant." The church's strategic location has facilitated this growth, as more people move to Los Banos for affordable housing while working in the Bay Area. This influx has opened opportunities for church expansion and the establishment of more congregations in the region. The organization ceremony saw the baptism of 11 new members and was attended by conference leaders Dan Serns, Ron Rasmussen, and Mayra Thompson. Eber Licardi, a dedicated volunteer, plays a key role in the church's outreach and growth, organizing various activities including evangelistic series, the most recent led by Pastor Justin Aguilar, contributing to the church's expansion. Originally a branch of the Los Banos English Church since September 2018, the Los Banos Hispanic Church now actively supports the local Adventist Church School, demonstrating its commitment to community development. The church's mission continues with plans for further expansion, following a successful model of nurturing small groups into fully organized churches.