Author Archive

Guatemala Trip

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Church Update, Missions, Reporting

Guatemala Trip

Guatemala1

(Note: this article was written by Sonya Leddy.  She was a part of the HOPE Brigade in Guatemala this summer. She shares about her experience in this blog post.)

My experience in Guatemala this summer exemplified the words “It is far better to give than to receive.” It was set in motion as I joined over 50 volunteers ready to give at this 3-day medical brigade. We quickly joined forces as a team of doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, teachers, students and translators all with one mission – to care for the extreme poor and those in most need. It was evident after the first day of serving that our bodies were exhausted but our hearts were fulfilled & satisfied from the work that was done.

Guatemala2Each day our team assembled with joyful, giving hearts to painstakingly administer medical and dental care, count thousands of multi-vitamins and pain relievers, fill desperately needed prescription medication and entertain the precious children. Hundreds were served daily at no cost, prescription and reading glasses provided free of charge, and three months of multi-vitamins distributed to every man, woman and child seen. Words cannot do justice to the impact and blessing brought to this community from the donations and sacrifices made from the churches across the US. It was truly an inspiring testimony of God’s love for the poor.

Guatemala3The children’s program, in which I served, bubbled with smart & creative kids. They played games, had their faces painted, made bracelets and customized their very own T-shirts. It was a pleasure to watch their faces light up as they proudly embellished their shirts with rhinestones and glitter, or colored their names artistically written in bubble letters. One mom requested that ‘God loves you.’ be written in English on her baby son’s t-shirt. While this mother was grateful for the t-shirt, I was much more grateful for her faith as a mother despite her circumstance.

Guatemala5While countless moments like this moved my heart, as I expected. One moment stood out. During a brief conversation with a brother from the Guatemala church I mentioned how my faith has been challenged in recent years. I experienced the loss of my 4 year-old, son to a tragic accident, and my 35 year-old, sister to an aggressive cancer. He said tenderly, “You were called to have passion for all, not just a few.” Wow!

 

Guatemala6My heart has been humbled and my passion transformed. I have not stopped thinking of Guatemala since I’ve left. My husband says I’ve found my calling. I believe him. When you volunteer with Hope Worldwide your mission is to bring hope and change lives. YOU return with a greater hope and a changed life. It IS, far more better to give than to receive.

 

2013 Youth Camp Report

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Church Update, Events, Reporting

2013 Youth Camp Report

The following is an article written by Brian Craig about the 2013 LA Youth Camp.  You can find the original article on Disciples Today.

2013 Youth CampThe night sky was filled with thick clouds as Geo Garces began his Wednesday night message. The camp director was preaching about how we can approach God and talk to him about whatever we are going through–even if we are feeling angry, sad, or struggling with doubt. As Geo read from various Psalms, he emphasized how the writers were honest and vulnerable with God about their feelings. And then he began to share personally himself:

“Earlier tonight, I was in that field over there, calling out to God, ‘Lord, don’t you know its Wednesday night? Why all these clouds? Don’t you know we are supposed to have the Starlight Devotional tonight? I know the forecast calls for 90% cloud cover, but please, Abba!'”

He continued, “See kids, God hasn’t answered my prayer yet. But I still need to trust him, even when I doubt, and whether he answers my prayer or not. And God wants us to be honest, vulnerable, and real with him about whatever it is we are going through and how we feel about it.”

It was the third day of the annual LA Youth Camp, and the plan for the night called for the memorable “Starlight Devotional.” That was to be the special night when all the campers would be lead out into a large hidden field on the outskirts of camp where they would lie down in the silence and dark, look up at the stars and meditate. It was to be a night where the campers hearts would open up to God and they would make commitments to him. But with the current cloud cover and the forecast for the next two days, at this point it was doubtful if we would be able to proceed with the event.

This was my fourth year driving up to Idyllwild, to the annual LA Youth Camp. John Mannel and his team began the camp back in 2000 for kids going into 5th-8th grades. Every year it has just seemed to get better and better. This year we had well over 500 campers, lots of amazing counselors, and a full staff. The camp has gotten so large and successful that the decision was made to have two camp weeks next year and split the staff between the two camps. So everyone was in the mindset of learning all they could from each other so we’d be able to not miss a beat with next year’s camps.

2013 Camp 2There is something so amazing about being surrounded by hundreds of kids at this “magical” age as they are discovering who they are and how they fit in to their community. They still have so much of their innocence, and it is awesome to watch their eyes open to God and his word. They are responsive to the influence of their counselors as they are figuring out what to do with the different emotions they experience and relationship issues they go through. It’s coIMG 0743ol to wake up early in the morning and see little gatherings of campers all through the wooded areas and along the creek as their counselors lead them quiet times together. It’s the perfect time in life to teach them to begin to look to God for help in challenging circumstances and for answers to the deep questions of life.

There are so many fun things that happen at camp, with memorable activities and sporting events. The legendary “Water Wars” are a highlight of the week; Geo and the staff talk a lot of “smack” at every assembly leading up to the great battle, so by the time the war comes the kids are a frenzy of excitement to destroy the staff in a deluge of water. But for most of us, our favorite moments are the times of worship at night in the outdoor amphitheater, as the kids scream, shout, dance and sing their hearts out to God till they have no voices left. You can’t help but shed a tear at the sound of their young voices worshipping our Creator.

So, back to Wednesday night in the amphitheater. As Geo got into his final point about going to God when we are happy, praising him for good things and remembering to be grateful, murmurings began in the crowd. “Geo, look up!” someone said. Suddenly, clouds had cleared and the whole sky was full of stars. Geo told the campers to look up and to praise God for parting the clouds for the Starlight Devotional. The crowd erupted in cheer that God had heard our prayers. It was just one of those moments when God winks at you, when he reminds you of how amazing it is to belong to him. I felt a sense of awe and gratitude in my heart for this wonderful camp. And I was filled with the expectation that these young campers were on the right track towards one day devoting their whole lives to our awesome Creator.

Easter Sunday Services

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Announcements, Events

Easter Sunday Services

You will love our Easter Sunday Worship Services.

We are breaking with our normal routine of 8:45 and 11 AM and having these worship services.

7 AM Sunrise Service at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point

  • This informal gathering will be on the grassy hillside at Salt Creek Beach.  With the beautiful ocean as a backdrop you will sing songs, enjoy the fellowship and hear an inspiring message from the Bible.
  • Here is the location:  Salt Creek Beach

10 AM Easter Worship at 10 Goodyear

  • This inspiring worship will be held at our facility in Irvine. Inspiring music, warm fellowship and an inspiring message from the Bible will leave you excited about your faith.
  • Here is the location: 10 Goodyear

If you have any questions, contact us.

Happy Easter!

Worship in Ontario on Sunday

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Announcements, Events

This Sunday there will be no worship services at our building at 10 Goodyear in Irvine.

Our group will be traveling to Ontario to join with an all-LA worship that promises to be very special.

Here are the details.

What:  An all-LA congregational worship with over 6000 in attendance.  This will be an inspiring and uplifting time to worship the Lord, enjoy some great fellowship and learn from the Scriptures.

Time:  2 PM

Note:  There is a $10 per car parking charge

Place:  Citizens Bank Arena
4000 East Ontario Parkway
Ontario, CA 91764

Citizens Bank Arena


View Larger Map

Beyond Obedience

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Announcements, Events

A Bible-centered Parenting Approach

Teaching Children to Honor Their Parents

March 22, 2012 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Shining Stars Christian Preschool
Orange County Church of Christ
10 Goodyear, Irvine, CA 92618
Childcare will be provided
Cost: Free, RSVP with Stacy Williams

Beyond Obedience

The special guest speaker will be Dr. Mike Messina, Clinical Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Here’s what Dr. Mike has to say about the day.

I am excited to present this special parenting class.  With two children of my own, I am very passionate about the topic of parenting.  Being a parent is not easy, but I consider my job as a parent the most important job that I have.  As a Christian, I want nothing more than for my children to love God and obey His Word.  It is for these reasons that I strive in prayer and hard work for my own kids, and strive to teach Bible Centered Parenting to other parents, so that they too can know the joy of their own children loving God and obeying His commands.

You may find it surprising that children are only specifically addressed once in the entire New Testament: Ephesians 6: 1-3 says,