Hi, I'm Kathleen Diaz. Please receive our greetings from Southern California Conference.
In this series, we have been sharing our SCC mission, vision, values and strategic objectives. This time, I will be focusing on this strategic objective we have in our conference titled, “Developing Extravagant Givers.”
When Jesus was on this earth, He came to challenge our way of thinking. He interacted with the Samaritan woman, reached out to help the lepers and many other actions that were unthinkable for His time.
But all these stories have something in common. He was always finding ways to serve others.
Jesus gave us one more command. This command was going to teach us how we can serve others. He said in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
To love is to care, and to care is to be able to put yourself in the situation others are going through.
It is to be empathetic with the happiness and pain of others. Love is such a strong word that we don't say it just to any person we encounter. Love entails that we treat others with care and compassion.
I am amazed on how all of our members in the Southern California Conference have not only read this verse, but have also reflected this love to others. Our brothers and sisters suffered during COVID, and as soon as our conference announced we would raise funds to help those in need, the offerings started coming in. People donated for this fund, and we were able to raise over $100,000. With these funds, many were blessed. Those who had lost their jobs, needed food or were suffering due to COVID were able to receive aid.
Once more, our world was shaken by a war this year. There was pain and suffering, and donations started coming in. And I remember, there was an envelope that came to our conference. As I opened this envelope, the envelope had two checks. Each of the checks were labeled with $5,000 each, and in the description, it said “Ukraine Funds.”
I rejoiced in knowing we were going to keep helping those far away suffering who needed our help. And I just want to say thank you. Thank you for all the donations of all amounts, because I know that God has touched your heart and you have responded to that call.
So far toward these funds, we have donated $143,000. But let me give you the good news. Every dollar that was received through our members was matched by our conference. We have been able to send a total of $246,000.
When we give, we are loving one another the same way Jesus has loved us.
You're hearing this message thinking, How can I get involved? Is there a project I could contribute toward? Well, let me tell you something. This year, we are setting up our studio here in Glendale, California. From the studio, we're able to record this video and many others. We're able to preach to a wider range of people, not only those in Southern California area.
With your support, by the end of this year, we would like to have our studio ready — a studio that will have the purpose of preaching about Jesus. You may think, "I have nothing else to give."
It comes to my mind, a little boy. A little boy who only had five loaves of bread and two fish. In John 6:9, it says, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish. But how far will they go among so many?” Our human nature. Many times, we ask this question and we doubt the power of God. “How far will this many go?” But I see Jesus smiling, seeing an opportunity to show how a small gift can be multiplied in the hands of the Lord.
In verse 11, it says, “Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. And he did the same with the fish. And it was enough to feed 5,000 and be able to fill 12 baskets.”
Isn't it amazing that when God blesses us, He not only gives us what we need, but even more than expected?
Don't be afraid in giving. You might think your tithe and offering does not make a difference. But let me tell you. Think about this little boy. He was just sharing his lunch, but his lunch was transformed to be a blessing to many.
And to this day, that story is still being told. Let God guide you in your giving. Pray and ask God: "How can I help with the resources that I have?"
Maybe you have already received a response from God, and you have a story that you would like to share with us. Well, you can contact us because we would love to hear your story. You can share your story through our social media platforms, by leaving a comment below this video, and make sure to subscribe. We want to hear how the Lord has blessed you, and, in return, you have been faithful in returning your tithe and offering.
May God help you and bless you.