This April, the West Covina Hills church participated in the 15th annual Cambodia Town Parade and Culture Festival Cambodia Town in Long Beach. According to the event website, Long Beach is home to the largest concentration of Cambodians of any city outside Cambodia. The theme of this year’s parade was, “Stop Hate With Love.”
James Dok, West Covina Hills associate pastor, was invited to participate in the event by the Cambodia Town chairperson, Richer San. “It seems the whole world knows that it’s only through love that we can change the world,” Dok shared, “and that love is the love of Jesus Christ. It was such a wonderful blessing that I was given the opportunity to speak to the theme. I quoted from 1 Corinthians 13 and included a reminder from The Ministry of Health and Healing, ‘The Savior mingled with people as one who desired their good. He showed sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He invited them, “Follow Me”’ (p. 73.4).”
Dok brought the event to the church board, which voted for the Pathfinders and Adventurers to participate. Not all were able to participate with short notice, but Dok looks forward to another opportunity next year.
“As a director of the Pathfinder Club in my church, I am always looking for different activities to help enrich the lives of our church youth,” said Denielle Echeverria, West Covina Hills church Pathfinder Club Director. “Our Pathfinder Club was invited to participate in the Cambodian Parade for the first time.”
“We weren’t sure what to expect or what we would be doing, but what we found was a blessing to my Pathfinders, my Pathfinder staff, and participating adults,” Echeverria continued. “We saw a beautiful community coming together to enjoy and celebrate the wonderful Cambodian culture as they celebrated their new year. We met many different people including different cultures and backgrounds. It served as a great reminder of God's amazing way in creating such beautiful diversity in our world.”
“We are so glad the West Covina Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church has joined us,” San expressed. “We also have the local Rabbi, the Imam of Orange County Islam, and the Southern California Indigenous join us this year; and, beside the Seventh-day Adventist, the Baptist and Christian Alliance churches participating as well.”
While this was the first time for the church to become involved in this event, next year presents a great opportunity to get even more involved with the community there in Long Beach. Learn more about the event at https://www.visitlongbeach.com/events/annual-events/cambodia-town-parade-festival/.