“Loving Santa Ana One Person at a Time”- this is something that God placed specifically on our hearts when we felt the call to plant a church in Downtown Santa Ana. While the city is large, and needs can seem endless, God reminded us that our calling is really to be present with and love the person right in front of us.
To do this, we knew that our church couldn’t just be about what happened on the weekend. We needed to be with our neighbors each day of the week, and build relationships with whoever he brought our way. So we prayed about what opportunities would be right for our community.
Right about the time we moved to Downtown Santa Ana, we met Myrna. Myrna said that YoungLives, a unique part of Young Life that focused on teen parents, had been really successful in growing a group in Huntington, but many of the girls that came traveled all the way from Santa Ana. This may sound close miles-wise, but in prime Orange County traffic, this can take over an hour. So it made sense to start a club close to home for these parents. It also made sense that this could be a unique opportunity for our church to be a part of! We helped launched the club last January, and have been so blessed to see the growth in not only the club, but individual parents as well.
Each month we gather with the parents that attend to enjoy a meal, play a game, hear a message, and have some guy/girl time. It is a great opportunity for the parents to also just relax and be teens. Our volunteers help serve food, play with the kids, join into the games, and have conversations over crafts or cupcakes.
Personally, I have been driving two girls each week to club. They literally live in my neighborhood, and I am thankful for the chance to have gotten to know them. Each month we get to catch up on what they have been up to and talk about how much their daughters have grown. I also regularly see them in my neighborhood as I am out and about. I love getting to know these girls and feel privileged to be a part of their larger community.
This week we had a great start to the New Year at our January club. All of us at Reunion Church are excited for the ways that God is going to use Younglives in Santa Ana and in the lives of the parents we serve!