Last fall, Sylmar church celebrated the baptisms of eight children, youth, and young adults.
While working out at a local gym, Adrienne Loaiza overheard a personal trainer, Rick Ballestero, member of Sylmar church, commenting about his belief in God to one of his clients. As Adrienne, a Cal State University Northridge student, listened, he became curious and did not delay asking questions when the opportunity arose. In turn, Ballestero was quick to answer his questions.
“I never hesitate to share my faith in my workplace,” he said. Sensing Loaiza had a lot more questions, Ballestero invited him to join a small study group meeting at a local park. Loaiza responded to the invitation, bringing two university friends with him, Destiny Fuentes and Michael Duarte, who also had been studying the Bible.
Soon Ballestero invited all of them to attend church with him. Near the close of the service on their first Sabbath visiting the Sylmar church, Senior Pastor John Aitken Sr. asked if anyone in the congregation would like to follow Jesus by taking the step of baptism. Loaiza, Fuentes, and Duarte responded and began taking Bible studies at the church.
On Sabbath, October 29, Loaiza, Fuentes, and Duarte were baptized along with five others, including Mitchell Won, a student at Loma Linda University.
“The Holy Spirit had truly led these young adults on a unique journey and a desire to study the Bible,” Aitken said of the baptism, “including a fascination with how archaeology perfectly fits into the sweep of history, proving the Bible’s accuracy.”
Duarte truly represented all the candidates as he shared his thoughts while he was in the baptistry. “Today is the day I have decided to follow the Lord, walk in His truth, and abide in His Spirit,” he said. “Thank you, Jesus!” Each of the young adults echoed the strong leading of God’s presence in their lives.
Not long ago, Sylmar was a small church with an older population and few children. Today, the church rejoices over the leading of God’s Spirit in the influx of families and young adults now a part of the vibrant church family!