We paid our thanks today to Fire Fighter's Engine 54 in Homeland. We wanted to honor them and thank them for all they have done for our church property over the past month. We were met by Paul Brown, Brian Chase and Michael Kyoile.
Paul Brown was on our campus for all three of our fires. Michael Dykier was also present at the fire on Friday. Ginger Gray, Gary & Mary Ann Gilleon, Ann Gray & Michele Maness, and Mike and I were privileged to present them goodies and meals as a token of our appreciation. We brought a basket of nuts, granola bars, popcorn and candy courtesy of the Women's Christian Connection. We also brought a ham, Subway sandwiches, brownies & cookies. Ann Gray and Michele Maness brought some homemade goodies as well.
Our new friends gave us a tour of the fire engine and explained to us how a fire is fought. We had a delightful visit with Engine 54 of Homeland Fire. We thank God for these devoted people who work to make all our lives better. We lift them all up in prayer. Engine 54, we love you.
But a good bit of news is that no new fires have been set since the suspect has been arrested.
Praising God in Homeland!!
May 20, 2016
It has not quite been 3 weeks since the fire destroyed the sanctuary of Community First Church of God in Homeland. Today the parsonage, where we lived for 4 years, was totally destroyed by fire as well. Fire Fighters were on the scene around 4:30AM. This one appears to be intentionally set. There were other places around the building which were attempted to be ignited. Cal Fire said they have some good evidence and a suspect is in custody. Apparently, there were several more fires started again in the area this morning.
Last October 2015 there was also a fire at the parsonage. That fire was declared an arson fire.
I will keep you informed as details are made available. But in the mean time, please keep Homeland in your prayers. And that this body of believers doesn't become discouraged.
We began weekend #2 after the fire with a continuation of the Rummage Sale on Saturday. We had more donations than we could sell! Thank you Jesus. Pastor Ernie Castaneda, his son Tony and Rita set up a BBQ and sold hotdogs and nachos. And of course, he like most of us give the kids free stuff! They stayed all day with us and donated all they made which was $61.oo. Thank you.
Lori Mooney contacted us on FaceBook and wanted to meet us. She and her husband were saved in this church many years ago. They were the youngest people to attend the church where the average age was 75. She was overwhelmed by the kindness and love this church showed her family. She said her husband passed away suddenly about 5 years ago. She has never forgotten the church and the kindness of the people. She gave us an offering and a beautiful note.
Another woman, Nancy (didn't get her last name), just stopped by to help and bring donations for the sale. She could hardly walk and looked like she was in so much pain but stayed to help anyway.
Later that day, Mike and I were invited to attend The Grove Church in Riverside. It was Pastor Tom Lance's first time back since hip replacement. He introduced us to his congregation and said that their Benevolence offering for the weekend would go to the Homeland Church. True to their word, Pastor Nolan brought by a generous check this morning. Thank you The Grove!
The CWC women will be putting together a Love Basket for our Fire Fighters on Engine 54 this week and we will visit the fire station on Tuesday May 24 to offer our thanks and gratitude to our first responders. Anyone who would like to come with us, meet us at the Church at 10:00AM.
Sunday, Pastor Rocky gave an awesome message about the Glorious and Victorious Church After the Fire. I have posted it on the Church Face Book page.
Our new email address is up and running. The new address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our leaders continue to move ahead faithfully and are doing an amazing job. Thank you everyone for all you do!
Below is the YouTube video of Sunday's Restoration Service. I am hoping we can add the introductions of the service shortly. This begins with the message from Pastor David Winn, the executive director for Church of God in California and Nevada.
A special thanks to Greg Vogel for filming. VogelPhotoVideo.com
We continue to be encouraged with the community's support and love.
Judy Strahan from Samaritan's Purse and Operation Christmas Child lives in Hemet. Our Christian Women's Connection participated and was able to contribute to the shoe box ministry. In the United States over 8,765,637 boxes were donated. In Southwest Riverside County alone; 26,916. Judy stopped by to give a generous donation from her church as she was recovering from being ill. She just had to be here she said. Her friend, Deborah Rex from San Jacinto also left a gift.
George Lambrecht from Cardinal Church Furniture Company stopped by to let us know he was praying for us. And said he built the pews that were in the sanctuary 45 years ago and worked closely with Pastor Hand. He was deeply saddened.
Tonight we had our monthly Council Meeting. We had a powerful meeting and we are all on track and moving in the same direction. Details have to be done but we as a church are up for the challenge as long as God leads us through the desert!
This is Engine 54. They were the first on the scene at the sanctuary fire on April 30. Saturday, May 7, 2016, this crew stopped by the church property to see how we were doing. We thank you Engine 54 and we want to show our appreciation. We look forward to meeting you and thanking you in person.
May God bless you all.
Today was the first day of our tent service after the fire. The tent was assembled and ready including a heater and generator for electricity. Sound equipment, mics, and lighting were in place. It was time to Glorify our God. So many people from other churches, congregations and organizations were there. ABC and CBS/ KCAL9's Greg Mills were present. They had heard about our Restoration Services after the fire 8 days ago. They both did an outstanding job with their reporting and were very encouraging.
Charles Stedman is the President of the local LDS Church organization in Hemet/San Jacinto. There are 12 congregations who have offered their time, talent and treasures to help us in Homeland.
Pastor Nolan Turnage, who is the Outreach Pastor from "The Grove" Church in Riverside, spoke and said that their congregation is ready to walk with us until we walk into our new building. He also presented us a generous donation.
Pastor Ernie Castaneda presented a message as well. He is offering to provide and BBQ Hot Dogs for our next Rummage Sale on Saturday May14.
Pastor Johnny Hodges from New Life Fellowship Assemblies Church across the street presented prayers and encouragement. Their congregation also presented us with a generous donation. Thank you New Life. We have always loved partnering with you.
We also received an offering from the Islamic Society of Hemet with their encouraging words and prayers. They too are a member of the Interfaith Council of Hemet/San Jacinto. Thank you!
Pastor David Winn, the Executive Director of the Church of God for California and Nevada, presented an inspiring message quoting Joshua 1-8. See video sermon post. Pastor David spent his Mother's Day with us and just after having his first grand child, we felt honored that he would generously give his time to be here to support and encourage this congregation.
Pastor Rocky Moore prayed for the church and led us in communion. And his positive attitude and energy is contagious. Pastor Rocky has a passionate presentation of the word of God with pin point accuracy. His prophetic anointing touches peoples hearts, changes lives and honors God.
I will be uploading a link for the entire service as soon as editing is completed. It was a good day. A day of restoration. A day of new beginning.
Thank you everyone who attended, has been praying and blessing this body of Christ.
Today was another busy day of clean up in Homeland. We decided to postpone day 2 of the rummage sale so we could focus on getting things ready for church tomorrow. That proved to be a good decision. There was A LOT activity on the campus today. We had a work team from 5 different LDS congregations in Hemet/San Jacinto come early and they were prepared to do anything that needed to be done. With shovels and rakes in hand they started by spreading the rock over the west end of the property to cover an area designated for parking. They worked tirelessly to move and smooth out the rock until the Bob Cat tractor arrive. Then the next business was to load the debris the fire fighters removed from the building into the dumpster. It was a messy, dirty job but they completely cleaned up all the mess in front of the church and outside the church.
Special thanks to: Dana, Curt, Jeffrey and Chad Walsh, Phil Medllyn, Annie & Derek Jindra, Ron & Austin Doty, Brandon Douglas, Carmen Araiza, Ann Gray and Jim Medlyn.
A special thanks goes out to CFCOG volunteers for Friday and Saturday: Arron Englehardt, Paul & Andrea Mains, Gary & Mary Ann Gilleon, Ginger Gray, Matthew, Melinda, Marshall & McKinnley Mains, Mike Selvar, Ron Cooper and Susan Tedisco. Big thanks goes to John and Margaret Blain for warming up the food for lunch today and providing drinking water for everyone.
After lunch a donation of a piano and organ from Vickie Root arrived. It was delivered by Terry & TJ Hollis and George Gray. They had rented a U-Haul truck and unloaded it into the Fellowship Hall.
Mike Selvar jumped on the Bob Cat after hosting archery and finished the clean up and completely leveled the rock in the parking lot!! He is amazing.
Mean while, a donation was given by Cross Point Baptist Church in Hemet by Ginger Gray's sister, Karen Webb and Pastor Jack Staybach. They donated a communion table, communion trays, elements and offering plates. Plus a beautiful Bible with a stand.
My new friend Ann Gray donated 3 dozen roses for our Moms for Mother's Day. She and a friend hand wrote "Happy Mother's Day" on each card and tied a beautiful ribbon around each rose. She wanted to bless the Moms in our church.
Melvin and Leona Tarver attended Melvin's sisters memorial on Friday at the Rancho Bernardo Church of God. Pastor Harry Kiehl told Leona he was dedicated to seeing Homeland get back on it's feet again. He is assigning 2 of his Pastors to walk with us until we walk into a new sanctuary. Rancho is a congregation of 1100 people.
Mike met with Pastor Ernie Castaneda, from James 2:17 Church he has offered to provide, BBQ and sell Hot Dogs at our next Rummage sale and donate all the proceeds. He has also volunteered to invite people in our neighborhood community to church and help with Spanish translation.
So Church, we are ready to proceed with services tomorrow morning at 10AM. The tent is up, chairs are set, generators are ready....We are ready to GLORIFY GOD AGAIN IN HOMELAND!
This BLOG page is designed to be a diary and journal of the events of this entire tragedy. There are so many miracles, amazing stories and testimonies coming from this. We want to share it with the world and to show the world the goodness of God. Please feel free to add to this BLOG page with any stories where God has touched you through this.
All week we have received phone calls, offers to help, prayers and people uniting together from all faiths.
THE RUMMAGE SALE:
Today we continued as scheduled with our rummage sale that has been planned for months. Just to show the community that we are not going anywhere. It was over cast and threatening to rain all day.
Many people showed up to help with set up including 14 youth from LDS churches in the area. They were Robert Wood, Austin Paxton, C.J. Chapman, Channing DOI, Blake Schllurter, Connor Giguiere, Jacob Rasmussen, Kalee Blanchard, Raegan Rasmussen, Raegan Garlitz, Heida Willis, Amanda McGuire, Julie Kennedy and Mike Constance. They helped us set up, shovel rock for our parking area and break down everything when it eventually started to rain. Many people from the community were saddened by the event. And we were encouraged by the support of our community.
Many people from the community and Interfaith Council have brought donations for the Rummage sale. We have never had so many donations before! Thank you Everybody for your generosity.
Pastor William Terry from a church in San Diego stopped by and handed me a $100 bill and said "This is from us as seed money for your restoration."
Pastor Ernie Castaneda from Hemet has offered to provide Hot Dogs, potato salad, chips and water for sale at our Day 2 Rummage Sale. All proceeds will go to Homeland. Thank you Pastor Ernie!
Rabbi Josaph has several spiritual and prayer partners praying for us. Synagogues in Ethiopia, Eastern Europe, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are all praying for the congregation in Homeland. He says there are more synagogues than he can count. Rabbis are also placing a special prayer for us in the wall at the "wailing wall" in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Marie James called from Washington. She is part of the Interfaith Council in Hemet/San Jacinto. She heard about the fire and wants to send a generous donation to the church. She also said she was going to dedicate their Friday Shavuot service honoring Homeland.
Ann Gray from the LDS Church and Interfaith Council came by the church to offer services with a work team to help clean up the debris from the fire. They plan to have 20-30 people on site to help tomorrow.
She also asked if we usually do anything for Moms on Mother's Day. She will be donating 3 dozen roses as gifts for our Moms. The love of God is amazing. I heard Mike say today, "When God's people fall in love with each other that's when God is glorified."
Tomorrow we are going to carry on with day 2 of our rummage sale.
Ron Cooper, our Chairman of the Trustees is such an organized, awesome man. He has arranged for a tent to be set up for our Sunday Restoration Service at 10AM. He has also had temporary restrooms provided on site. David Winn our executive director will also be here and share. Pastor Johnny Hodges, from New Life Fellowship across the street, has asked to share something with the congregation. And many, many more churches are lifting us up in prayer. We will video the service and post it on the website for those who can not be here.
Hew, how's that for a day? Kim