Author Archives: tbarajas14

Jesus Revolution Movie

The film Jesus Revolution is based on the Jesus Movement that took place in California and beyond in the late 1960s. It’s not a picture, but it is a portrait. Not only does this film discuss the Jesus Movement, but it touches on how Calvary Chapel started and how Pastor/Evangelist Greg Laurie and his wife Cathe came to Christ. It’s rare when an entertainment company such as Liongates takes a Christian movie under its wings. This just shows how God is working to minister to those who have not heard his name.

As a church, Calvary Chapel El Monte invited its congregation to watch the film at the AMC Santa Anita 16. It was a blessing being at the theater and running into fellow sisters and brothers in Christ; it was a time of fun, fellowship, and enhanced unity. The movie didn’t shy away from tough issues, such as how addicting and damaging drugs can be, how the hippies felts so lost during those times, and even how churches closed their doors to those who needed God the most. Thank God for His sovereign grace, and the courage of Pastor Chuck Smith to open his doors to barefoot, long-haired, hurting hippies. This movie reminds us of those Biblical truths, that there is a living God, who loves you and calls you to come to Him, be saved, and allow Him to change you from the inside out.

Pastor Manny had this to say, “We all know there’s an infinite difference between the message of a movie and the message of God’s Word. The Bible is flawless truth and is authoritative to the Christian, but what a blessing to have movies that in an artistic fashion are able to communicate the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And what a blessing to see this message available in the public arena (Marketplace – Acts 17:17 and Areopagus – Acts 17:19). Many people have been saved and recommitted their lives to Christ as a result of this movie. Praise God! I would have liked to see much more of the Calvary Chapel story, but this is a glimpse of a wonderful part of it. If you haven’t seen the movie, I do encourage you to check it out.”

Awana Ministry

What is AWANA Ministry at Calvary Chapel El Monte?

At Calvary Chapel El Monte we are blessed and grateful to have an AWANA Ministry Sunday’s at 5PM. AWANA is a club for children to have fund while learning about discipleship in Christ. You might be wondering about the word AWANA, what does it mean or stand for? It’s actually an acronym for “Approved, Workman, Are Not Ashamed,” based on 2 Timothy 2:15, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” It’s amazing that at a young age the children are learning to work hard and not to be ashamed of God’s word!

How did the AWANA Ministry start at Calvary Chapel El Monte?

Pastor Richard and his Veronica, were called to start an Awana program in Calvary Chapel El Monte back in September 2018. Recently we were able to see with our own eyes, the love and passion that this ministry has for God’s children. We were blessed and humbled by the experience just watching this club in action, the Overseers and many servants who serve in this ministry to ensure the children are taught the word of God.

Why should your child join the AWANA Club?

We were able to ask two parents about why they would recommend this program to other parents. Hearing from other parents and why they believe the AWANA club is good for their kids might shine a light on this subject. In the AWANA club, your child is surrounded by God’s love and his word.

We were able to interview Stephanie Saladana and Marie Gayton, two God-fearing women and mothers that have their kids in the AWANA club, or had their kids in the AWANA club and now serving as servants for the AWANA Ministry. I asked three important questions, “Why AWANA for your Kids,” “What changes did you notice in your children when AWANA became apart of their lives,” and “What would you tell other parents about AWANA?”

Stephanie Saladana

Why AWANA for your Kids?

Because we like the idea of them being able to come to a program that just doesn’t help them but also allows my kids to interact others in the faith. This program helps them to apply the word, have a deeper relationship with the Lord, and study the word. Something my husband and I never had as children. We want to make sure we’re doing our job to raise them in the Lord. 

What changes did you notice in your children when AWANA became a part of their lives?

Excitement about learning the word. It has become something more than coming to Awana. Something to memorize and to apply the word. God is speaking to the children and spedning that time with the Lord. Becoming more aware of the word and recognizing it. 

What would you tell other parents about AWANA?

We have a responsibility to train our children in God’s way. We should take that responsibility if there’s an opportunity to learn from God’s word. The opportunity to take advantage of pouring into them. God gives us a promise as parents that if we train them up in his ways the kids won’t depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Marie Gayton

Why AWANA for your Kids?

It was a good time for them to fellowship and to reinforce what we were teaching them.  Encourage the kids to memorize scripture. 

What changes did you notice in your children when AWANA became apart of their lives?

Wanting to be here at Awana. When their little and you have to drag them to Awana and the best part is when they start dragging you as a parent. 

What would you tell other parents about AWANA?

It’s totally worth the effort to bringing them to AWANA’s. Even after a long sunday it’s totally worth it.

The Beauty of how God works in the AWANA Ministry

It’s beautiful and even stunning to witness how the Lord has been using AWANA. Not only is this program helping the children to learn discipleship in Christ but it’s also allowing them to be part of an Awana family. Pictures can tell a story and each picture posted here tells the story of God’s grace. God works in each and every one of us to share the gospel and to tell God’s truth. It’s important to teach our future generation. These kids not only learn the word but are embraced by God’s love for them. Behind the scenes of Awana, there’s a lot of work that goes on and it’s absolutely astonishing how each servant and child represent a puzzle piece that fits perfectly together. The Awana program isn’t just another program but one that stays true to God’s word and a family that cares for each and every child of God. 

Truth & Treat 2022

Calvary Chapel El Monte was blessed to be able to host another year of “Truth & Treat” which is a sort of hybrid between a “Harvest Festival,” and a safe and Spiritual alternative to Halloween. Our church has had this event annually since 2011, but unfortunately for the last two years due to COVID-19 restrictions we weren’t able to.

The purpose of Truth & Treat is to offer the truth along with the treats, and thank God there is plenty of both available on this night. We have a heart for the kids with a motive to minister God’s Word to the children. During this event, there are several activities going on such as games, face painting, jumpers, music, and give-aways, not to mention the free food for the kids, snack bar, and food trucks. One of the best part of hosting “Truth & Treat” is seeing the community in costumes and coming together as a church to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Calvary Chapel El Monte’s Assistant Pastor, Henry Acosta, holds “Truth & Treat” dear to his heart and expresses that “The heart behind Truth and Treat is to share the love of Jesus to El Monte and the surrounding communities. We do this by providing a safe, free, family friendly environment where kids can receive the benefit of filling their bags with treats, but also their hearts with truth. Every game we’ve produced is based on a Biblical story. Our heart is to serve the kids and their families.” Pastor Henry provides the true meaning behind “Truth & Treat” and even addresses how this event has impacted our community especially when the pandemic happened. He reveals that when Covid-19 happened, “We felt the void of not having one for two years. This was confirmed by people outside of our church stopping by and asking us when we would have another one. That’s why the 2022 festival was such a blessing and we look forward to hosting “Truth & Treat” again next year, Lord willing.” 

Praying you and your family can join us next time!