Baptism Ceremony

BAPTISM: An outward sign of an inward transformation!

NorthEast was honored to baptize Andrew and Scott last night, as they are apart of our Long Beach Community. We first met them at Tarzana, where we bring a weekly bible study to every Thursday evening! It was moving to hear them share stories of their past that have lead them to where they are today. With Christ in their hearts, Scott and Andrew openly chose to dedicate their lives to the Lord, to use their struggles of the past as a way to better their future. We are BEYOND proud of them!

4th Annual Fall Gala Fundraiser

NorthEast is in awe of the outcome of this year’s Fall Gala ~ Harvest on the Green. We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to put on this fundraising event, as it is our biggest of the year, and truly exists to spread awareness of our mission and our vision. Simply put: more awareness and support means that we may continue to heal those who are broken and continue to do God’s work. We offered our guests many “make a difference” opportunities, such as - Live Auction, Silent Auction, Raffle Prizes & Opportunities, Silent Shopping, and Golden Tickets. We are SO pleased to announce that we have succeeded our fundraising goal!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to our donors, sponsors, volunteers, 214 guests, and the lovely ladies at Women at the Well who worked so hard to ensure this event was a success. We could not have done this without each of you.

Some highlights of the evening include:

- The NorthEast community presented our ministry through our Mission Critical Video, live testimonies, music, and more.

- Pastor Laura (executive director of NorthEast) spoke on our past accomplishments, present goals, and future aspirations. She opened the eyes and hearts of many people; in turn, forming new relationships and growing NorthEast supporters.

- Our testimonies were shared by two lovely ladies from the NE community: Sarah and Delilah. They underlined the difference of their life before they met NorthEast, verses their life now, after meeting NorthEast. They did an incredible job finding the strength to open up about their trials and hardships – many listeners were brought to tears. We are so proud of them.

- Our worship team: Bethany, Kristel, Matt, and Travis were a gift to us all. They did such a beautiful job celebrating and honoring Jesus Christ through the NorthEast theme song: Rescue.

- The live auction delivered by John Byers was a huge hit. Everyone had such a fun time bidding on various items to show their support!

- To end the night with a bang, the talented band Raffia came on stage and showed us a stellar performance! Our guests were up and dancing in no time.

NorthEast at Vanguard University

NorthEast had the opportunity to take part in Vanguard University's Job & Internship Fair! We talked with students about our ministry and how they can get involved: we gathered 25 names of people who were interested in helping with Children's Ministry, Worship, Outreach & more. Thank you for having us, Vanguard!

Casa Teresa Alumni Reunion Family Carnival

END OF SUMMER FUN! NorthEast of the Well was privileged to take part in the Casa Teresa Alumni Reunion Family Carnival last weekend. Casa Teresa is one of the programs we minister in on a regular basis: we go into THREE different phases at their residence to share God's Word! (The "Emergency" phase, the "Parenting" phase and the Alumni meetings!) We got to see many of the women we've built relationships with, and also say hello to leaders and other ministry partners. Emily Schilling opened the day in prayer, and Bethany Devine led the group in some worship. We enjoyed the games and good times!

Pictured left to right: Emily Schilling (Co-Founder of NorthEast), Lisa Wood (Founder & CEO, Casa Teresa) and Natalie Hernandez (Casa Teresa Alumni & NorthEast staff) 

NorthEast at Teen Challenge 5K

In a new location with snazzy tees, NorthEast of the Well again took part in the annual 5️K Teen Challenge Walk for Recovery, raising funds for our friends at Orange County Teen Challenge! From the NorthEast side, we had community members show up from our Newport Women's Discipleship, Anaheim Women's Discipleship, and our Men's Discipleship! We partner with Teen Challenge on the regular, and always want to make sure we are there to support them. Great and active morning!

NorthEast at HIU "Mission & Service Fair"

This was the 2nd year that NorthEast was represented at the Hope International University "Mission & Service Fair". The fair provides opportunities for HIU students to find volunteer or internship positions - we were 1 of 20 organizations represented. We spoke with many students about NorthEast, and how they could help with our outreach efforts, worship teams, children's ministry and more!
Our NorthEast dream team for the day was (left to right): Intern Josh Hill, NE staff Shaneen Coston, NE staff Jen Sandoval, and Intern Lenny Miranda.


Last night we were fortunate enough to Baptize not 1, but 12 members of our community! Each baptism was incredibly beautiful and powerful, as God's love was surely in the air. It is such a blessings 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.

Volunteer Appreciation

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!

Some highlights:

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.

Successful Summer Camp

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.


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!

Village of Laguna Woods Church

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.

Baptisms - Moments to Remember

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.

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."

Canyon Hills Presbyterian Church ~ Annual Mission Fair

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)!

NorthEast at Tanaka Farms

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!"

NorthEast at St. Andrews Church

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!

May 2019 Baptisms!

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.

Staff Retreat Featuring Catalin Bacui

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.

2019 Women at the Well Luncheon

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!