In Los Angeles, United States, local church spearheads a series of activities to connect.
Recently, West Hollywood Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Los Angeles, California, United States, partnered with City of Hope to host its first large-scale health fair. The day-long event provided care for 230 people in the surrounding community.
Health stations lined the fellowship hall, where volunteers administered free medical services such as blood pressure readings, glucose tests, diabetes screenings, foot care, ultrasound checkups, and more, plus vision tests and dental cleanings. Outside, haircuts, nail care, food, and clothing were also offered. Lunch was provided for all who came to the fair.
“We wanted to make an impact in the community and serve as many people as possible,” Franklin Grant, West Hollywood Spanish church pastor, said. “The mission of our church is to serve. Jesus gave us the mission to teach and preach in His ways. We take this seriously because that’s the reason for our existence. Otherwise, why are we here?”
Church members advertised the event weeks in advance by sharing announcements on social media and distributing flyers in the neighborhood, the latter being most effective. Prayer was at the heart of this event from beginning to end. A faithful team prayed every morning in the weeks leading up to the health fair. During the event, prayer was offered with those who wanted it.
Feedback from attendees reaffirmed the church’s commitment to serve as God has called us all to do. “We saw such joy and gratitude on the faces of those who attended,” Grant said. “People were so grateful to us just for being there. We are simply doing what God asks of us: to be kind, compassionate, and tender-hearted.”
This health event has prepared the way for building and maintaining relationships with the community. A few weeks after the health fair, West Hollywood Spanish church’s Vacation Bible School program welcomed back to the church many of the same families served at the health fair. The church’s fall revival this October is another way to remain connected to, and meet the spiritual needs of, this growing community.
Plans for another health fair are already in motion, and Grant hopes the church will be able to host health fairs like this twice yearly.
“We’re here to help in whatever way we can; we have to just get up and do it,” Grant said. “I think our problem sometimes is we’re afraid of challenges, but the joy we experience serving far outweighs the fear.”
The original version of this story was posted on the Pacific Union Conference news site.