Church Doesn’t Have to Be Big to Do Big Things

Post a Comment » Written on September 26th, 2008     
Filed under: News
HILLSBORO, OR (September 26, 2008) – Mosaic Covenant Church is less than two years old, but already the congregation that started with 35 people is engaging in ministries that include helping migrant workers, preparing a school for fall classes, and helping fix up the homes of people in need.

Pastor Moises Garcia says all of the work flows from the church’s mission statement: “Mosaic Covenant Church is a relational place where people can come to a loving God, who desires to take the broken pieces of your life and transform it into a wonderful masterpiece by having a personal relationship with his son, Jesus Christ, and fellowship with his other works of art (us) in progress.” It is rooted in Ephesians 2:11-22.

“My leadership team holds that dear,” Garcia says.

“They Want to Walk the Talk.”

That commitment has helped the church grow to roughly 150 people who want to serve the community, Garcia says. “They want to walk the talk.”

“We have had a lot of people come because they have received Christ through these ministries,” Garcia says. He notes that new believers receive discipleship training before being encouraged to work in the ministries.

Love Your Neighbor is an annual summertime ministry. Each year, the church picks several people in need of major home repairs and then members pull together their resources to improve those residences. This past summer, members did landscaping, painted, sanded decks, replaced roofs, decorated, and removed debris from yards.

Members also minister to people living in area migrant camps. Living conditions are difficult, so the church has brought supplies for daily living, including food and clothes. The children enjoy gifts of games and toys. Church members also pray with the adults who ask. Thirty people have come to Christ as a result, Garcia says.

The church has ministered at the camp with two other area Covenant churches – Trinity Covenant Church in Salem and West Hills Covenant Church in Portland.

In the summer, the church has held “Praise in the Park” located near downtown. Because the church is multiethnic, others in the park see that God’s love transcends all borders and limitations, Garcia says.

In addition to the worship service, the church puts on activities and serves hamburgers and hot dogs. Most of the people from outside the church who attend are low-income residents of a nearby apartment complex.

“We just want to express our love to them.”

“We just want to express our love to them,” Garcia says.

The church, along with other congregations, partners with the local school district to distribute lunches to children in the community. The school district provides the lunches.

Mosaic and other churches partner with local schools for Community Care Day in Hillsboro. Churches are assigned a school to prepare for the start of the new school year. Members do landscaping and clean the school.

The school Mosaic worked with showed its age and neglect. It once had been abandoned.

Garcia asked the principal what she would like done and then told her that the work would be done within a day. She found that hard to believe.

The church took four hours. In that time, they did landscaping, painted benches and the school sign, cleaned the building and addressed other needs. One teacher who had been inside the building when work started was shocked when she stepped outside as the work was being completed. “She said, ‘My, what happened here?’ ” Garcia says. “The look on her face was worth it.”

Garcia says students from the church who attend the school also have received comments from other kids who were amazed that the church would do the work. The school used to have a lot of trash around it, but now remains immaculate, Garcia says. “The students take pride in their school now.”

Mosaic has undergone a remarkable journey to find its own building.

The church first met in a local elementary school, but had to move because groups can rent the building for only a year. Mosaic then met in a Seventh-Day Adventist Church, but again was forced to move when that congregation’s youth group needed the building on Sundays.

Garcia and North Pacific Conference Associate Superintendent Don Robinson began to look for more permanent sites. They found a newly constructed building in the heart of downtown at the end of the local light railway – prime real estate.

“God spoke . . . and said you ought to be in the building.”

The owner quoted the men a price, which was far beyond what the church could afford. After they left to look at other sites, Garcia says, God told him to return to talk with the owner.

When Garcia met the owner again, the man told him, “While you were gone, God spoke to my heart and said you ought to be in the building.”

Only the outside of the building had been completed. “It was raw space,” Garcia says. “There was nothing inside.”

The owner worked with Garcia to develop a design for the inside. He also paid for all the work himself, which would have cost the church $350,000, money the church definitely didn’t have, Garcia says.

The congregation held its first service in the building on May 11.

Mosaic celebrated a special fall kick-off service last Sunday, with evangelist Luis Palau speaking.

The men had met only briefly before they worked together at an event at the Intel Corporation, which is based in nearby Portland. Garcia says Palau asked him, “When are you going to invite me to speak at your church?”

Garcia told Palau that his church was only 150 people, nothing close to the tens of thousands of people who often turned out at the evangelist’s crusades. Palau responded, “It doesn’t have to be big.”

As a result, “15 people gave their lives to Christ on Sunday,” Garcia says.

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