Alabaster Jar Ministry

Last Saturday the Alabaster Jar Ministry was able to bless nine special ladies with a meal fit for princesses, love of their Heavenly Father, encouragement for their spirits, pampering of their physical persons and lots of prayer.  Among the guests was a Catholic Sister who has dedicated her life to helping restore women rescued from human trafficking.  We had invited her and two ladies in her care to the event.  She had intended on dropping them off, but we insisted she allow us to bless her as well.  What an amazing experience it was to be able to bless her, to wash her feet and pray for her!  God brought this scripture to mind as we washed her feet:  Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!”  
 
One of the ladies rescued from trafficking was of the Muslim faith – it was equally a blessing to wash her feet, to pray over her and bless her with news that Jesus loves her.  Another young lady transitioning out of homelessness was brought to tears of joy as we told her she was beautiful, worthy and valuable in her Heavenly Father’s eyes.  Each lady came in a little hesitant but each lady left with a glow, a lighter step and a heart full.  It was such a blessing to pour out God’s love on these ladies.  They were so appreciative of every little detail.  They even commented about how beautiful the labels on the water bottles were.  One of our team members had them specially made and imprinted with Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  

Covering the Hands and Feet of Homeless

Shoe and glove donations proved to be a huge blessing for thousands of homeless in San Diego with over three thousand pairs of shoes and two thousand pairs gloves being collected! We surpassed our goal of shoes and feel so very blessed to share with others in need.  Thanks to all who donated and to the awesome CRB volunteers. Without the donations and the 15 to 20 volunteers per service, this would not have been possible.

On December 24th CRB’s Hands of Hope outreach ministry distributed the much-needed shoes and gloves to the homeless in downtown San Diego. The remainder of shoes and gloves were provided for the San Diego Rescue Mission, Community Interfaith and the Salvation Army.

Over the course of all the Christmas Services, 150 people took up Pastor Jeanette’s challenge to donate the shoes from their feet and to leave the church shoeless. How awesome was it to see the bare feet walking out of the church.

Thank you to all who donated shoes and took time this Christmas to help others.

 

Selfless Service

Saturday, December 8th CRB hosted its third Alabastar Jar Event. This outreach is meant to connect with women who are in safe homes and saved from the streets of San   Diego. Our evening was to serve dinner and provide a relaxing spa night to seven beautiful women (ages 17 and up) from Generate Hope home. These women are coming from the horrible and unthinkable world of sex trafficking.

I attended this outreach knowing it was going to be hard, but rewarding to help these women. However, to my surprise I left confused and unsure of what happened. These women came into the dinner with somber faces and looking a bit confused as to what the evening would entail. The dinner was served with the best china and women dressed in tux shirts looking professional. The servers hosted with class and made each woman there feel like a princess.

After dinner the women were led to the spa area. Each volunteer was assigned a person to tend to. My job was to assist the spa attendant who was hands on with our woman (I will give her the name Katie) handling the facial, hand and foot scrubs and massage. I was a bit nervous because Katie was young and in the home for less than one week. She had a black eye and was very reserved, showing no emotions. As the night progressed, Katie was able to relax, lower her guard and start to open with a smile on occasion.

Throughout the evening, Susan Johnson (Alabaster leader) discussed Gods love and shared stories from the Bible. She talked about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and how we are honored to be washing their feet. As the night came to a close, we showered the girls with gifts and I observed Katie go through her gift bags. To my surprise Katie was happy but not ecstatic over the gifts! When saying goodbye I got a hug from her but felt distance was there.

Going home I thought I would have a good cry and feel better but this did not happen because I did not feel that “warm and fuzzy” feeling you feel when you help to serve. I was confused and wondering if she enjoyed her time at the Alabaster Jar event. Were the seeds planted for her to understand that there is good in this world and beyond? The feeling was selfish on my part because I did not think an impact was made on her life. Hello…welcome to reality! One night of being pampered is not going to take away the years of abuse!!

After contemplating over this evening in my head over and over for three days, I realized that Katie blessed me and taught me an important lesson. Jesus was here on this earth doing so many good deeds and did he get blessed with “thank you”? NO he was rejected, persecuted and put to death on the cross. Why should I expect to get that warm and fuzzy feeling every time I serve? Is that just to make ME feel better about myself? For Jesus it is about genuinely caring for others, putting others first even to the point of suffering for them. It is about selfless service. The important lesson I have learned is now to serve selflessly and put all my service into the hands of our Father.

Katie has been treated horrible for so long how she can even fathom being excited over a night of pampering, bags of gifts and learn to trust others. This will take time for Katie and my prayers are with all these women with the hope that these seeds planted on that Saturday evening will eventually carry into trusting others and a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Supporting Military Families

In 2010, a small group from the Church of Rancho Bernardo provided five gift baskets for needy Sailors and their families.  This year, our gifting program (Hope on the Homefront) has grown exponentially due to the support of the entire church and the community of Coronado.  Over sixty families received enough donations and goods to fill a twenty-four foot moving truck!

Nine times so far, the Church of Rancho Bernardo, and recently Coronado’s Prudential Realty collected clothes, toys, canned food, and gift cards, and we distribute them free-of-charge to the most needy Sailors from each of the 20 Navy ships in port San Diego.  We do this simply to say “thank you” to our Sailors and their families for their service, for volunteering for deployments, and especially for defending our freedom 24/7.

After the gifting, one Petty Officer came up to me to thank me for gifting to both her and to her family.  She stuck out her hand to thank me very professionally, and then gave me a big hug and started crying. I knew she did not only “want” these donations, she and her family “needed” these donations.  I think about how much I have, and how little they have.  It breaks my heart just thinking about it, and makes we want to grow this program even more. Thanks again for your great support!!

Check out this article that was published in the military paper: http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/Pages/MilitaryFamiliesReceiveDonationsfortheirService.aspx#.ULPUSUIlZSU

Paul Salerni

Bumper Crop Ministry Record Breaking Weekend

Bumper Crop had a record breaking weekend!! 211 bags this plus 24 cases of canned goods, and a few extra bags after the services on Sunday brings our total to 280 bags!!! Thank you so much to Morgan Cartusciello and the Geeky Guys for helping to collect, haul and lift all these bags! We have collected well over 1200 bags year-to-date!! Donations this month will be given to the Community Care Pantry on Thursday evening.

Respite Day – Fostering Hope Ministry

Fostering Hope event was a huge success on Saturday afternoon. A special day for Foster Parents to take some time and relax, visit and share experiences with other families. While the parents had their own lunch to attend at the Cove the children were excited to see The Little Mermaid production, eat lunch and make their wonderful art projects. Thank you to all the volunteers who have made this event so wonderful. Without your support this would not be possible. Please keep the children, foster parents, and biological parents in your prayers.

Thanks’GIVING’ Donations for Navy Families

Hope On the Homefront finished up the collections of clothing, toys, gift cards and small appliances to help support our local Navy families. This was the best collection to date and is a testament of the amazing congregation we have here at CRB. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event and the wonderful volunteers who spent many hours sorting items and packing the truck. All items will be distributed on base this Friday!

TJ Orphanage

We have reconnected with the Emmanuel Orphanage in Tijuana!  It has been about 3 years since the last visit because of safety issues in crossing the border.  We had the opportunity of meeting with the director Edwardo and seeing the work he and his staff are doing there.

 When we arrived Edwardo took us on a tour of the building.  We stepped into a room and there were about 30 kids in their uniforms studying.  I was surprised because I thought they should be at school. When I asked Edwardo he explained that in TJ, students can attend morning school or afternoon school. His “kids”, as he calls them, attend in the afternoon.  During our visit we did not have a chance to interact with the students because they were diligently studying for school. We understood that our job was to encourage the leaders and support the work that they are doing there; even if that means not interacting with the kids.

 So while the students were hard at work, a group of us went to work repairing a leaky roof.  The roof had such a bad leak that the rain poured into a bedroom where some boys slept.  Edwardo installed a rain gutter to catch the water and redirect it outside.  I could not image what it was like for the boys when it was raining.  So we repaired the roof and hopefully stopped the leak!

 We are excited to continue our partnership with Emanuel Orphanage!

Human Trafficking Event

ImageCRB hosted an Anti-Human Trafficking Event with Not For Sale (a non-profit organization) and the bands the Wrecking and Nomis. It was crazy to see how connected the world is: how we consume products in the US affects how people are treated in Africa.  For example the chocolate, coffee, and clothes that I buy here in the states can lead to bonded slavery in Africa.   You can download the app free2work in order to be an aware consumer.

We also had the opportunity to connect with non-profit organizations in San Diego.  Attendees networked with Generate Hope, Speak up Revolution, and Hidden Treasures.  These organizations are fighting sex trafficking through awareness, after care and safe housing.

It was awesome to see people’s passion grow in being advocates for victims of trafficking and slavery.  CRB has a burden to enter into the fight against Human Trafficking. We will begin by educating ourselves so we can make wise steps as we enter into this fight.   We see the church engaging in educating the community through an awareness campaign.  Also, we will learn how to engage in the after care for victims of trafficking.