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BEACON FOR HIM MINISTRIES
A Light of Hope to Those in Need

 

September 2015
The Family That Came to Serve: From  left to right, Lupita and Zenaida Lopez, Carlos, Genesis,
and little Penelope Higareda, 
and Michael Mendoza in front.
Maná del Cielo: Manna from Heaven

When Zenaida Lopez saw Laundry Love happening inside her workplace, the Spanish-speaking guests at that laundromat kept saying, “That church gives us food and pays for our laundry, but we don’t know why.” And then God started telling Zenaida to go to “that church.” At the time, Zenaida knew nothing about The Branch’s laundry ministry or their involvement with Beacon for Him.

A year earlier, Zenaida’s pastor told her she was ready to take her family and find a new place to start working for God. For some time, God had been making the family feel uncomfortable at their own church—in a “You’re ready to move on” kind of way. Now they were getting strong messages from God that they needed to get over to this church the laundromat guests kept talking about. They kept hearing that they were needed there. Lots of unexplained coincidences lined up to keep this family moving closer to Beacon. Convinced they were being sent over to serve at 439 Anaheim and become a voice for the Spanish-speaking community there, they decided to obey God and leave their home church of twenty-three years.

When Zenaida and Lupita walked into Beacon and met Shannon, they immediately felt welcomed. They were also overwhelmed. Once at Beacon, they found the same vision as their own. To serve the community. To reach out to the suffering and the poor. To share God’s word and spread his love.

Zenaida and her family have come from a lifetime of suffering—a history of poverty, ruin, hardship, and loss—so they know what it’s like to struggle. They know what it’s like to be in need, and what it’s like to be broken and humbled. They also know what it’s like to find God, to give their lives to him, to experience healing and redemption, and to be restored. Now they feel compelled to give back to the community the love and grace God gave them. After that first meeting, they knew Beacon would be the perfect setting for this purpose.

So Zenaida and her family took a leap of faith and decided to serve God by serving at Beacon. They’re still wide-eyed from this major transition, but they know they’re supposed to be here and they’ve fallen in love with the Beacon community. “Every time we serve at Beacon,” says Lupita, “it’s so physically tiring because you’re running back and forth, you’re sweating, it’s hot, and you’re doing three things at the same time . . . but at the end of everything, it’s like, we’re so blessed.”

When they first came, they were complete strangers and they knew they couldn’t just walk in and have a set place, so their mindset was that they were just going to serve wherever they were needed. They started by serving in the kitchen during Monday soup outreach. Then there was a need for help during Celebrate Recovery meetings, so they started serving on Sundays. They pretty much said, “Tell us where you need us and we’ll be there.” Today, this family serves every Monday in the kitchen, dining room, and clothes closet during soup service. Alongside our Vice-President Sergio, they host Bible study on Wednesday nights. They continue to serve during Celebrate Recovery on Sunday nights. They prepare loads of food for the Beacon community throughout the week. This family also comes in during the week to help sort and organize clothing donations. Most recently, they launched their start-up Spanish church, Maná del Cielo, which means “Manna from Heaven,” or “Bread from Heaven,” which they host at the Beacon building on Friday nights at 7:00 and and Sunday afternoons at 2:00.

This is one busy family, working hard, pouring countless hours into the community through Beacon for Him Ministries. “We are here to serve God,” says Zenaida’s husband Carlos. “We’re here to preach God’s word. Sometimes it’s hard, because God asks you to do things and you’re like, How? But we always put all our strength into doing what he wants. Anything he commands this family to do, we try to do it well. That’s what we do because we are God’s servants.”
Are you interested in a Spanish church service?
Check out Maná del Cielo,
Friday nights at 7:00 and Sunday afternoons at 2:00:
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A Homelessness Forum to Remember:
On September 3rd, several Beacon board members attended a homelessness forum in San Pedro. This forum was set up by Councilman Joe Buscaino, who wanted to bring the community together to discuss the epidemic of homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area. The purpose of this forum was to offer perspective, answer questions, and gain a sense of understanding of what is possible, both short term and long term, what is legal, and what everyday residents can do to help.

The forum included three panel members (Greg Spiegel, Mayor Garcetti's Homelessness Policy Director, LAPD Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph, who has spent the past 18 years policing downtown's Skid row, and Shari Weaver, of the Harbor Interfaith Services). Each panel member shared with the audience a career's worth of perspective on the issue of homelessness.

This was a very powerful, informative, and inspirational presentation. You can CLICK HERE  to view the entire program on video.
How You Can Help:

At Beacon for Him, our ministry is about shedding judgments and prejudice and allowing our hearts to open up to a group of people who are misunderstood. It's about seeing those who are invisible. It's about standing hip deep in the muddy waters of humility, grace, and suffering, and walking side-by-side with those who often struggle to stand. It's about falling in love with the marginalized, and offering meaningful connections.
 
Our vision is that every homeless and at-risk person in our community will find the kind of hope that takes root and creates change. We need resources and support to turn this vision into a reality. Visit our website to see how you can contribute financially or donate needed items or supplies.

If you haven't yet had the chance, come visit us during our Monday morning soup outreach (every Monday from 9-noon), or contact us for a personal tour to see firsthand what we are all about, and take this opportunity to get involved.
 
Poetic Asides:
Labor Day
by James Bockrath
 

This I have to say:
We honor work on this day,
As you go and play.
 
Many things we can do
That you likely never knew,
And might perform too.
 
In pursuit of pay,
We do what has us stay,
As much as one may.
 
Call of need we heed.
Attainment of goals we plead,
Before we proceed.
 
Efforts might succeed.
Failure could have us concede.
Hope never exceed.


*To read Jim B.'s entire collection of 11 Labor Day Haikus,
and to read more about Beacon Writer Jim Bockrath, CLICK HERE.
Out of the Dark
by Michael Pacheco

The cost to discover is sometimes quite high.
 
Weigh what's to lose in order to find.
 
A double-edged sword is curiosity of man.
 
Some doors once open shut never again.
 
So young and weak to hit the gritty street and the underworld host to all freaks.
 
When the moon is high and your spirits are low, beware of the creatures, they can bury your soul.
 
Lost in the labyrinth of lies and deceit, tread with much caution, stay up on your feet.

At times you'll need speed, cunning, and wit, like the agile gazelle who knows not to quit.
 
Keep the spark of faith always alive in your heart.
 
It's the only real light that leads out of the dark.

*To read more about Beacon Writer Michael Pacheco, CLICK HERE.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  (NIV Ephesians 3:14-19)
Copyright © 2015 Beacon For Him Ministries, All rights reserved.


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