Desert Center Eagle Mountain Church of the Nazarene

It has been our privilege to serve as pastoral couple to this church re-start since June, 2009. The church facility has been cleaned up, renovated and made inviting by four Work and Witness missions by the District.

It is my profound conviction that as we seek God's direction and reach out beyond our four walls, God will supply and will bless. We do not pass the offering plate during the service, as the group is so small we don't want anyone to feel obligated to put money in the plate as it passes. Instead it is placed by the sanctuary door.

An example of how God provides: This year an emergency situation of the water heater leaking, God's intervention that it did not do any damage, but necessitating shut off of the building water, was solved by help from Uriel Silva, youth pastor of Indio Las Palmas Church, who was willing and able to transport the new unit to Desert Center! The old unit was removed and the new one paid for and installed with God's help and timely assistance of a church member. A winter resident, who made and donated a quilt the last two years, whose husband does not attend, made and donated another quilt raffled to the community this year. Some people just gave, while other community people bought tickets. Altogether, more than $1400 came in! The love and work that went into these gifts and more, given freely and generously, made possible our little worship station's best financial year to date! We were able, as a result, to support three children in Compassionate Ministries Child Development Centers through February, 2017, and pay FULL BUDGETS! All this from a group of four church members, and with a high attendance of 25 on one Sunday. Praise God!

Deep appreciation of the church's ministry continues by those who attend. God's presence is clearly felt among us. We have additional new winter residents this year who have joined with us when they are in the area, worshipping and supporting the church. We have been blessed this year by deepening fellowship. A three-month sermon series on the theme of Time – a day, a moment, an appointment set by God, an event - was well received by the worshippers. The messages highlighted those God-moments both for salvation and for confrontation with Divine imperatives that occur in a person's life - or that of a nation or the world. “Today is the day of salvation; now is the accepted time”.

As happened the previous three years, grant money, set aside by First Solar Corp./Desert Sunlight, for community projects, was applied for on behalf of the community. Grants include a community-wide WiFi system, and equipment for the local fire station. More importantly, a man who declined to come and worship for some years, not only came, but at his own cost installed an improved PA system for the church as well as faithfully attending worship! A lady offered to help with cleaning the building. These things show a sense of love for God and His house.  We are also blessed to have people worshipping with us who serve the community as volunteers in various capacities.

Every time we begin to think that God is done with that tiny, isolated community, something happens to re-confirm that He is NOT done there. The Easter Sunrise Service we hosted this year had the largest attendance ever. God's message was “A Reason for Hope”. Many expressed being moved by the truth that Christ's death and resurrection are the answer to the two deepest needs of the human condition: sin and death. When it seems that funds to continue are not going to be forthcoming, hearts open in generosity. When it seems that “nothing is happening”, unchurched community members ask for ministry in the loss of a loved one that extends to many in the community, with a public call to remember that, in the midst of earthly enjoyments, God reminds us that eternity is calling and “not everything goes with Him” [per Eugene Peterson/The Message].

We became more acutely aware this past year, that addiction ministry both to “down and outers” and “up and outers” is sorely needed in this community. Many of the well-to-do snowbirds are captives to alcohol, and many “regular” community members are captive to multiple addictions. At the very end of the year, we were introduced to a ministry called “Set Free”, a Baptist-affiliated ministry that came to Desert Center and is occupying the Baptist church building. We joyfully discovered that the pastor and his wife have themselves been delivered by Christ, and have a live-in rehabilitation program and a message that may be just what the community needs. It is our privilege to cooperate with and support these Christian brethren in a skeptical community. We don't know all God has in mind, but are certain that He knows!! We are grateful for the opportunity to be “workers together with the Holy Spirit” in whatever way He leads. Our greatest joy is to know He is present, and to work as He directs.

Rev. M. Diane Mossbarger, Pastor

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