Matthew on behalf of the Mathai Family
My family has been attending EVC for 4 years now. We treasure the way God is bringing us closer to one another through the ministry of this church, especially as we help one another. We’ve learned a lot about God's heart from the teaching of His Word. Our prayer is that we will walk humbly before our God, and have confidence in Him to help us 'make disciples who make disciples'. We pray that our children will grow up to be His children.
Sandy on behalf of the Cervantez family
Our family has been attending East Valley Church for approximately 6 years. God has given us a church family here. I have personally grown spiritually through Bible studies taught by Kim Borsgard. Dan and I have also been able to grow in the Lord through opportunities in ministries such as greeting, Sunday School, Children’s church, and Big House. Our family has also been involved in God’s work through the Mexico Mission trips and grew closer to God and each other.
Our prayer for East Valley this year is for God to revive His church and that the Word would be taught and reach the hearts of all people. We pray that our congregation will see their need of God and praise Him through reaching out and telling the Good News to everyone in many ways. We pray we would strengthen the brethren and proclaim the goodness of our Lord day to day.
Mike and Ginny Van Pelt (combined)
Ginny and I have been coming to East Valley Church for almost 27 years. We had just bought our house, and were coming down to paint and strip wallpaper. We went to Carl's Jr. for lunch, and Ginny said of a man sitting across from us, "I think that man is a pastor." In a few minute, he rode away on a bicycle with a yellow child's seat on the back. As we turned onto Flint, we passed the church, and there was that bicycle, parked next to the church, and we decided we had to check the church out next Sunday. Sure enough, the man on the bicycle was Pastor John Helveston.
Over the years God has worked in my life (Ginny) through the Precepts Ministry with Kim Borsgard, and also the teachings from Pastor John. East Valley is a true body of believers, where the Bible is taught and I have learned a great deal through the ministry here. My prayer for the future of East Valley (Mike) is that we would show God's love to the community in which we are placed, and that Christ will continue to be glorified by this body's ministry. My prayer (Ginny) is that we would continue to grow in Grace in the knowledge of our Lord, be more active in sharing God’s word (I fall short in that area) and that our church would grow numerically.
I have been coming to East Valley Church for 22 years. My journey to this church began when my husband, son and I started visiting local churches in the area. Robert, Michael and I walked into EVC one Sunday and were warmly greeted at the door by Pastor John Helveston. We loved the service, friendly faces and felt at home. Lonnie Wesley invited our son to attend Children’s Church that day. Still unsure, however, we kept looking and then The Billy Graham Crusade came to town at the Oakland Coliseum and my sister and I went! I walked down, got prayed over and expressed in writing on a card that I was “dying on the vine” (a bit dramatic, but that’s how much I felt I needed to be in a church). Shortly after, I received a card inviting me to attend East Valley Church in San Jose! I believe this was God’s Confirmation that He wanted my family to grow there. That was 1995.
The body of Jesus Christ is awesome! It has gotten me both through heartache and need and also celebrated my successes and for that I am truly grateful! In 2008, Robert, who loved this church so much, passed away. Eighteen months later, our dear son Michael, who always told me “You love to sing, Mom, so when you are up there, sing out” passed away 18 months later. The love and support I received from this body was overwhelming. When Robert was in intensive care, the hospital was filled with EVC prayer warriors! A testimony to the nurses and doctors! When Michael passed, the church took a collection that paid for his memorial. Thank you to my Dear friends Debbie and Dan Mackey, who encouraged me to join their life group so I would not grieve alone. Thank you, Linda and Tim Lobert, Anne and Bill Friend, Lonnie Wesley who with weekly Bible Study, insured that I stayed in the Word. Thank you, Ginny and Mike Van Pelt for letting me stay in your home, so I would not be alone. Thank you, Lucy Helveston, who sent me scriptures to encourage me when I had no energy to read for myself. Thank you, Pastor John for encouraging me to stay on the Worship Team. The EVC body has truly ministered to my heart! Thank you all for your prayers and love each week! Thank you Father for allowing me to be part of Kids Club. Thank you, Pat Boyd, whom God has given an open door in the public schools and for setting the example of how to show the love of Christ to young people. Thank you Hassan Moses Vakili, who is a blessing to this church and who binds us together in Praise and Worship and for encouraging me to “Sing out..and own it.” What an awesome Worship Team we have, and I am so grateful to be a part of it! Thank you, Pastor Ron Johnson for boldly preaching the Word verse by verse and reestablishing our feet on the firm foundation of the solid Word of God. It’s amazing how you and Pastor John focused on Philippians 4:2 to mend the division that arose in the Church. I see EVC as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and an ensign on a hill (Isaiah 30:17). Our church is a storehouse that is full because of the meat of the Word (sound theology) and because of our love for others. I see this each week! This is what draws people and fulfills God promise. The word of God tells us to “love God with all our heart, soul and mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). I am incredibly grateful to God for His love being ever present in my life and for the compassion he has formed in me for others. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another (John13:35). I Love you, East Valley!
I have been coming to East Valley for 28 years. Through that time, God has revealed himself through the words and hearts of his servants at EVC. God has used this church to lead me to Christ, teach me his Word, and foster a lasting relationship with him. God has also made this community a home and a place of comfort. By God’s grace, I have been able to rely on this body for prayer, encouragement, and support. Through valleys and difficulties, God has remained constant, faithful, and loving. I pray that God continue to grow this body of believers, grow our faith in Him, and build his Kingdom in our hearts and in this community. We are imperfect people being perfected by his Grace. I pray that we submit to him and grow in love.