Westmorland, California, USA
Many times in the book of Acts, we see God guiding to bring individuals in contact with the Good news of salvation. That is exactly what happened in Westmorland California. One lady taking the time to tell her friend of what Jesus Christ had done in her life, and the courage to invite her to a Gospel meeting, is what God used to reach a town in a different country over 800 miles away.
In December of 2014, following a week of Seed Sower distributions in Guasave, Mexico, a sister named Ofelia, who was saved a few years before, invited her friend, Lula, who was down visiting from California, to hear the Gospel. After hearing the simple teaching of God’s plan of salvation, Lula left her name and address with John Dennison and Leonel Chavez. She asked if someone could come to visit her and a group of ladies that she had started to study the Bible with, in Westmorland, CA.
John and Leonel had no idea where Westmorland was but, after looking it up, realized that it was an hour and half west of Yuma, AZ where we live. They sent us the contact information and on a Tuesday morning in February of 2015, we went to visit Lula and her friends. We had never even heard of the town of Westmorland, but were confident, that God had a plan. It was encouraging to arrive at the house and see familiar John 3:16 texts, Via Magazines and tracts that she had brought with her from Mexico. Not only that, but we were able to sit around a kitchen table with six ladies who were open to hearing more of God’s Word. They made it very clear, that they’d been searching the Bible for themselves, and wanted to be sure we would only teach truth from the Bible. We assured them that our interest was to teach only what the Word of God said and if they ever had any questions to make sure and ask. Both Joanne and I were able to tell how we were saved, and at the end of the visit they asked if we could come back the next week as they met every Tuesday morning at 10:00am. Since it was a group of ladies, Joanne agreed to return the following week, and started a series of studies focusing on the Gospel.
After a few months the ladies asked if there were any way the rest of their families could hear the message of salvation too. That was just would we had been praying for. We rented a small conference room in a local hotel for three nights at the end of May. Dan Harvey helped in the preaching and we were encouraged to see almost all of their husbands attend along with some family and friends. Although we did not find out until later, one man, Armando, was saved the first night.
After inquiring we found that the hotel was not available for the rest of the summer but Armando and his wife said we could use their home. For the remainder of 2015 we continued the Tuesday morning study with the ladies and the Thursday night Gospel meeting. In January of 2016 we added a Monday night study and a teaching and children’ meeting on Sundays.
Eleven souls have professed faith in Christ and 8 have been baptized. It was a great privilege to sit down with a small group on January 8 of 2017 to break bread for the first time. The town is 80% Hispanic and all the current activity is in Spanish. We are looking to God for guidance as to future steps in this new work and would appreciate your prayers.
John and Joanne Clingen