This June, 440 women gathered at Murrieta Hot Springs to fellowship and draw closer to Jesus at the 30th annual Hispanic women's ministries retreat, titled “Seeking Abundant Living.” “Women are drawn to the annual spiritual retreat for spiritual refreshment, growth, and bonding,” said Gloria Huerta, Hispanic women’s ministries president. “It provides a safe haven for non-Adventist women to enjoy Christian camaraderie in a beautiful setting, to learn about Jesus, and ultimately have the desire to walk with Him day by day.”
With breakout sessions, morning walks, united worship, and more, this retreat provided spiritual refreshment and community. The retreat also featured a war room, a new addition this year. Modeled after the sanctuary, the room offered an opportunity to personally experience the meaning of each emblem. “Tears were shed and lives were changed,” Huerta said. “Many visitors had a hands-on experience of the sanctuary, a key fundamental belief of our faith.”
Women’s ministries committee member Miriam Hernandez brought five visitors to the retreat; each left with “overwhelming gratitude,” she said. One particular attendee, Emerita, prayed at the retreat that the Lord would come into her heart. “Emerita came with a hunger and thirst to find Jesus,” Hernandez recalled. “She found Him.”
Carmen Rodas, Central Spanish church member, has attended all 30 retreats. While some things have changed, women continue to experience the profound truth that, as Huerta put it, “we are not alone.”
AUGUST 2018 HISPANIC WOMEN'S MINISTRY SPOTLIGHT
Much can happen in 30 years. For Southern California Conference Hispanic women’s ministries, 2018 marks the anniversary of the ministry’s founding in 1989.
Pastor James W. Zackrison, the founding director, could never have imagined the impact this ministry would have in SCC churches. Remember the words of Moses: “And in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place“ (Deuteronomy 1:31, NKJV).
Since 2016, the ministry has hosted a heart health convocation, free to all attendees. This event has attracted nearly 900 women each year. The ministry has also broadened its community outreach by providing emergency kits to homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and women prisoners of the L.A. County jail. “The charge is: Connect with your community,” said Gloria Huerta, Hispanic women’s ministries president. “Find a need and fill it. Quoting Albert Schweizer: ‘The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others.’ That is what Jesus did. That is what we are called to do. That is our mission.”
Huerta said the hope is to continue involving more young women and teens. “Women’s ministries has a place for them,” Huerta said. “We need them.“
“We have mothers come to us in tears of gratitude, saying, ‘Thank you for what you are doing for our daughters,’” Huerta commented. “We say, ‘Thank you, Lord, for what You are doing for Your daughters!’”