We had such an incredible evening celebrating and serving our wonderful volunteers! Each one of them is SO appreciated - as they truly have gone above and beyond for the NorthEast community. We simply would not be who we are today without their continuous support, help, and efforts. We made this event all about serving them and showing our appreciation to each and every one of them, and we are so glad they enjoyed it!
Human Bingo ~ such a fun way to start the evening!
NorthEast Awards (NEAs) ~ Kristel and Hannah awarded over a dozen volunteers for their specific efforts! It was the first year doing the NEAs and was such a great way to show our appreciation! Our VOLUNTEER OF THE DECADE award went to Kriste BustamanteLaura and Emily honored Kriste by expressing all the amazing things she does for NorthEast, and by gifting her with a one of a kind charm bracelet
Staff Members Express Appreciation ~ each staff member got to stand and personally thank our volunteers for their amazing work, which was a cherry on top of a perfect evening.
Just yesterday, Hannah, Kristel, Emily, and Bethany were able to host a fundraiser event for NorthEast of the Well at the beautiful house of Karen Lorenz! It was nothing short of a success.
We welcomed long-time NE supporters with open arms, and were delighted to welcome in some new faces, as well! We feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to speak on our ministry, worship together, share powerful testimonies, and fill our bellies with yummy food.
We are so thankful to Bethany and Kaitlin for sharing their testimonies and finding the courage to be open, raw, and honest. Hearing the story of their journey to God and to NorthEast was incredibly moving to us all.
We are beyond grateful to all those who helped organize this fundraiser, and especially to the Lord for allowing us to continue to grow this ministry through Him.
NorthEast was given the opportunity to send some of the kids and teens from our community to an amazing summer camp ~ Camp Pondo ~ located in Running Springs. Here, they were not only able to enjoy themselves, develop meaningful relationships, participate in fun activities (zip-lining, swimming, character building exercises), but also build their relationship with God.
The main theme of this camp was Ephesians 2:10, which states, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” This verse was discussed in great depth and truly resonated with each camper in a very impactful way.
~ BONFIRE ACTIVITY ~
On the last night of camp, the kids circled around a bonfire. This was not just any bonfire, but one that allowed them to grow closer with the Lord. They each got a notepad and wrote down different things that they want to give up to God… They found the courage within to share their written words to the group, and then threw their notes into the bonfire before God and their peers. This exercise brought upon many tears, hugs, and life-realizations.
Many of the teens walked into camp with similar pasts/brokenness… Depression, struggles with suicide, absent parents etc. HOWEVER, each walked away from camp carrying a new perspective than the one they brought in… a new love for God… new + meaningful friendships… and with a newly found self-confidence.
We are so thankful to the Lord and to Yfc Spin-Ministry for allowing our kids this INCREDIBLE experience and opportunity for self-growth!
This past Sunday, NorthEast was able to visit Village of Laguna Woods Church! We were welcomed in by Pastor Ward and his wife, Lenora, as well as Pastor Mike and his wife Judy. We are so thankful to each of them for bringing us in and allowing us to present our ministry, teach and worship, share a couple testimonies (by Bethany and Madeline), and pray over the congregation with us. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to teach at the bible study before the service, and then open our ears to Pastor Laura’s message during the service. What a blessed series of events!!
We are humbled by and grateful for the uplifting scripture that was read over Laura during the service, and would like to share it:
Acts 18:9-10 -
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
As seen in the photo, Pastor Laura and Pastor Mike were able to pray with the elders from the congregation – what a beautiful moment… filled with God’s love!
ALL IN ALL - NorthEast is so incredibly grateful to have been welcomed into three different churches in just the last month!! We pray for these three churches - Crescent Baptist in Anaheim, Canyon Hills Presbyterian in Anaheim Hills, and Village of Laguna Woods – to continue to spread the message of the Lord far and wide in their own wonderful ways.
B A P T I S M S
This past week, we were fortunate enough to celebrate not one, but two baptism ceremonies (13 baptisms total!) Each celebration could not have been more powerful, more beautiful, or more enlightening. It is such a blessing to witness the men, women, and children in our community choose to openly dedicate themselves to God – it is celebrations like these that keep NorthEast going; that keep us reminded of the life-changing work we are doing through Him.
R E M I N D E R S
Receiving messages like the one copied below never fail to touch our hearts and remind us of the overwhelming love of God - “God works in so many wonderful ways....I am so grateful to be a part of North East of the Well community...Last night was a beautiful dedication to our faith and our walk in faith. For so many years I have struggled and drifted along. Placing my life in situations that were nothing short of destructive. I am humbly filled with Gratitude today....and I know that God is real."
This past Sunday, some of the Northeast team was involved in the Canyon Hills Annual Mission Fair! Here, NorthEast got the opportunity to speak on our mission and our purpose, our wonderful partnership with Canyon Hills, and how incredibly thankful we are for our relationship with them.
We are filled with love and gratitude when we think of Canyon Hills - as they have been a constant support to us. Once a month, they provide meals to our Anaheim community, they have bought us bibles to share with our people, and have been a continuous blessing to us overall.
We thank Him for such a beautiful day and for the opportunity to share!
~All four of the beautiful women pictured are on the Anaheim Discipleship, with Gail being the Discipleship Teacher. We are so very thankful to each of them and their continuous efforts in spreading God's love.
A few days ago, Laura, Shaneen, Hannah, and Bethany traveled to a program called Gems Uncovered; here, they were able to witness and participate in a very powerful and beautiful graduation. This was not just any graduation ceremony, but one that enabled young women to step into a new life - Gems Uncovered works directly with women who come in from human trafficking, and offers them a way out, a new identity, and a new perspective. The lovely graduates each made a vision board, which expressed where they have been, but more importantly – where they are aiming to go.
This was a reminder to us all that… It does not matter what your past is, if you have God on your side you can do such amazing things through him. Please keep these young women at Gems Uncovered in your prayers as they take on this bright, new chapter in life.
~~Shout out to Bethany for singing during the girl’s graduation (which triggered lots of teary eyes and touched hearts)!
We had SUCH a wonderful day with our NorthEast Kids last week! After kicking off our adventure by gathering and singing praise in the office, we hopped into our vans to visit the beautiful Tanaka Farms. Here, the children not only got to explore the strawberry fields, but also pick and eat the yummy strawberries! To top it off, they got to take a ride on a tractor, as well as pet the farm animals! To end our wonderful adventure, the kids got to swim, play, laugh, and soak up the sun at our pool/pizza party (shout out to super host, Hank Weber!) When it was time to go, all we heard from the children was... "Five more minutes!!" We thank God for such a blessed day.
Receiving messages like these from our mom volunteers never fail to make us smile:
"Yesterday was the best youth outing ever! Kids and youth learned to swim, swam for first time, made friends, ate of Gods beautiful provision at the farm. GREAT Organization and effective leadership by new staff! Wow! My kids said thank you mom for bringing us, we had so much fun!"
We loved being highlighted at our "anchor" church this weekend, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Pastor Laura preached on Luke 10 for all 4 services, entitled "AGENDA or CALL?". NorthEast took part in worship, and got to talk with many people at our table in the plaza. One of our favorite things was getting to pray for people after service!
Last Thursday / Friday we held 2 different baptism celebrations and dunked 11 people newly committed to Christ. We ate, heard testimonies, worshiped, and rejoiced! Our "baptizees" (is that a word?!) came from Anaheim, Santa Ana and Long Beach areas - all places we regularly do ministry throughout the week. FOR ANYONE THAT MISSED THIS: honestly, a baptism is probably one of the BEST and MOST ENCOURAGING ways to see what God's up to at NorthEast. If you want to come to the next one, make sure to message us - planning for July. We usually do an evening and daytime to accommodate our community members in both sober livings (working during the day) and full-time residential programs.
Had a fabulous & fruitful SPRING STAFF RETREAT on Tuesday. Look how our team has grown! Special guests joined us: Catalin & Oltitta Baciu from Teen Challenge Romania! Catalin began our day with a leadership session on SUBMISSION - here's a few golden nuggets for you:
- We're not born with the desire to submit, it's against our nature: but we can FORM it through Christ
- Our submission unlocks the ANOINTING of God
- The HIGHEST form of wisdom is hearing from the Holy Spirit
- Brokenness is the secret to intimacy with God
- We can do busy ministry from a place of REST
Thank you, Bacius! We also got to discuss our roles, our mission, and our needs as a team. Some real honest moments together.
Our 4th Spring Luncheon was a SUCCESS! This event is hosted annually by Women at the Well Auxiliary and our NorthEast staff, with the purpose of growing and expanding participation in the Auxiliary. This year surpassed our expectations with 80 women gathering at the beautiful Hedstrom home to hear about our ministry and vision. We were able to present our ministry to many new women for the very first time, and we were overwhelmed at the response. God is good!
So proud of the 5 ladies we baptized last Friday! Each one took a stand and shared their testimony, including why they chose to get baptized and what God had brought them out of. We enjoyed a beautiful brunch, worship, a devotional, and celebrated the way God has already moved in each life. We believe baptism is AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD CHANGE! Special thanks to: Hank Weber (host with the most), and our Women at the Well Auxiliary ladies Karen Hedstrom (for making the entire brunch!), Kathie Madden and Gaile Fortier (for cupcakes and gifts) and for wonderful President Heather Re who supports with her presence, and so much more!
4 men took the plunge last week: we baptized 1 man from Ryan's House (sober living outreach), 1 from Timothy House (Teen Challenge Adolescent Center), 1 from our Long Beach community and 1 (little man) from our children's ministry! A special thanks to Hank Weber for opening up his beautiful renovated home - this event doubled as his "house blessing"!
A few of our NorthEast staff were blessed to take part in the 7th Annual Pastor's Conference, held at the Teen Challenge "Castle" in Riverside. The theme was REFRESH, and that is how it left us: refreshed! Our staff and leadership are ready to pour back out into the ministry of NorthEast!
NorthEast of the Well just finished our 2nd "Jail to Jerusalem" trip to the Holy Lands. We took a group of 20 - comprised of our ministry and outreach partners, community and staff - and journeyed to Israel for a 10 day leadership development experience. The ultimate goal of this trip is to raise up teachers of God's Word: by seeing sites and walking where Christ did, we let scripture take root in our own lives so we can pass it along with new understanding and passion. We didn't waste any time in practicing - most members prepared and shared a biblical teaching at a site during the trip. God is developing leaders and teachers from a group that used to be users and abusers - this is where we see our vision statement come to life: THE OUTCAST BECOMES THE WITNESS!
Check out our Facebook page for a more thorough coverage of our trip. https://www.facebook.com/northeastofthewell/
We loved taking part in a NIGHT OF WORSHIP at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church last Saturday. NorthEast was present the entire weekend: Sunday was St. Andrew's Mission Fair, and our team was in the plaza, talking all about our ministry and how people from SAPRES could get involved. Thanks again for having us!
Our Annual Women's Discipleship Retreat took place January 25 & 26. Ladies attended from our Anaheim, Newport, and Long Beach communities. Theme of the weekend: choosing to be ALL IN as a follower of Christ. Sweet times were shared together on morning walks, around the table, in God's Word and in prayer for one another.
We recently got to be special guests at the Orange County Teen Challenge graduation! NorthEast brought worship & the Word, and heard 3 stellar men share how their lives have been dramatically changed. Pray for these 3 grads as they head to The Castle in Riverside to complete the next phase of their program: WE ARE ALWAYS LEFT BLESSED & REFRESHED AFTER A TC GRADUATION CEREMONY!
We sent a group of 6 preteen girls off to winter camp last weekend at Forest Home, a Christian campground. These kids come to NorthEast of the Well regularly with their moms/grandmas and represent Anaheim, Newport & Long Beach. They've been through a lot in their lives, watching their caregivers go through addiction, recovery and restoration. At Forest Home, they enjoyed a special weekend JUST FOR THEM: they played games, learned about Jesus, worshiped, and shared their hurts and struggles in a safe, encouraging place. Thank you to those who made this retreat possible: a special shoutout to NorthEast staff (aka camp counselors) Haylie Greggory and Shaneen Neag, as well as driver Jason Griffice.