The City Blog

Helping a Sister church Fill and Hand out Backpacks in Barrio Logan

On Wednesday, September 20, we joined Servant Church in a really cool outreach event.

Servant meets each Sunday at Burbank Elementary School in Logan Heights, an area with the highest number of children per capita in San Diego. Each fall, they raise money to purchase backpacks and fill them with school supplies to bless every child and family in the school.

Here's a word from their pastor, Chris Sandoval:

"We are so thankful for Harbor City Church’s participation in this event! The financial support was amazing. It’s tough for a church starting out to have the resources needed to bless our neighbors and neighborhood. But the volunteers who came were fantastic! They had great attitudes, and there were so many of them! They really free our church up to be able to directly interact with the people who we were trying to bless. They gave us the chance to change this from a “Hand Out Event” to a relationship-building event where we were able to share with them the love of Christ.

And this is from one of the volunteers from Harbor:

"The event was one for the books!. I loved the part where before we started to set up and while we were unloading, pastor Chris took some time to pray for the team and the people coming. 
 
"I also remember that when my family first moved to the US (from Haiti), we were those people and we were so thankful to people who did stuff like this where we were blessed with either backpacks, or school supplies etc. It felt good to be used by God when it came full circle. 
 
"And also, Isaac from Servant Church was very impressed by how many people we had coming from Harbor. Every time one of us showed up, he would be like "another one?"! 
 
"Yesterday was definitely an experience and I'm glad that our two churches can come together like this to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Looking forward already to the next one!"

Caroline's Story: Filling the Emptiness of My Heart

My whole life I considered myself a Christian. I believed in God, I prayed to Him when I needed Him, and I attended church on Sundays with my family.

If you would have asked me this time last year, I had it all. I had just graduated college and began my career, bought a brand new car, had some of the coolest friends I could ever have, and finally had the “perfect” relationship with my boyfriend that I just knew was the answer to all my happiness.

It was my birthday weekend in October and my friends and boyfriend spoiled me rotten. We celebrated all weekend and partied like the college nights we never wanted to end. I thought to myself, what more could I possibly want?

I woke up the next morning and missed church because I was too hungover. I laid in bed the entire day and can honestly say I have never felt more empty in my life, as I did that Sunday.

The question I kept asking myself was what is missing? I have everything I’ve ever wanted and yet my heart is still not full.

Little did I know, I was broken in places that only Jesus could heal.

The Lord was stirring in my heart and as much as I tried to keep running from Him, I couldn’t ignore the fact that even in the midst of this sinful life I was living, He was still pursing me.

Over the next week I cried out to Jesus for help. I made a promise that whatever he would have me do, if he would just show me the way, then I would follow him.

The Lord made it clear to me that I needed to break free from the stronghold sin had on me. This began with ending the sinful relationship I was in. Now this didn’t happen overnight and difficult is an understatement, but through Scripture I was able to see God’s promises and I clung to them relentlessly.  

Jesus began filling the emptiness in my heart that only He can fill and through His abundant grace, I was saved.

Over the last year I have experienced an overflow of The Lord’s blessings. I was given the opportunity to move to San Diego for work and the way every little detail has fallen into place, I am confident I’m exactly where God intends for me to be.

Two weeks before moving here, the most special woman I have ever known, my Nana, fell suddenly ill. Within days my Nana could only move a finger to acknowledge she knew I was beside her. For months I’ve tried to find the words to explain the feeling of peace that filled that hospital room as I held my Nana’s hand when her heart stopped beating.

Pastor Clayton King described a similar time in his life by saying, “It was the weakest I’ve ever been and the strongest I’ve ever felt.” This understanding that the Holy Spirit was with me in that moment is something I will never forget and never ever take for granted. I will be eternally grateful that even through the darkest of times, may the name of The Lord be praised.

I was encouraged by a friend who had heard of the Vision Pathways program to try out Harbor City and the first Sunday I walked into this church I was welcomed with open arms. It still amazes me that after moving across the country on my own and leaving everything I have ever known, I have never felt more at home than I do with the people in this Church.

I had prayed to find Christian friends to do life with, and to say The Lord answered my prayers just isn’t enough. He has provided me with far abundantly more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. My heart has never been so full.

All the glory to God forever and ever!

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