Hector and Esmeralda Serpas wanted a church that spoke their native Spanish, but that also helped quench their thirst for more knowledge about God.
One night Hector found the website for La Cosecha, a Hispanic Grace Brethren Church in Lancaster, Calif. He clicked on a link to listen to the sermons. “I liked what I heard,” he remembers. “The teaching was very easy to understand. It was very practical.”
And, the sermons were in Spanish.
The next Sunday, they visited the church’s worship service and almost immediately realized they’d found a home. Hector, 40, enrolled in a theology class, also taught in Spanish, which was scheduled to meet the next week.
“It was something I’d been searching for,” he notes. As the class progressed, he’d share what he learned with his wife. “We realized we had never been taught that way,” he adds.
Esmeralda, 36, who came to the U.S. as a teenager, has been instrumental in beginning an intercessory prayer group at La Cosecha. She makes certain the various needs of the church and its members and staff are prayed for on a regular basis.
“I love that communication with God,” she says. “To me, it’s a blessing, a privilege.”
The El Salvadorian natives are typical of many of the people who are part of La Cosecha, which has been meeting in the Antelope Valley for more than three years. Hector, who moved to San Francisco as a child with his family, works for a radio company in Los Angeles more than an hour away. Esmeralda is a stay-at-home mom. They are striving to raise their children, ages 4, 6, and 8, to love and serve God. They also feel most comfortable in a Spanish-speaking church, even though they’ve worshiped with English-speaking congregations.
“It’s their culture,” explains Pastor Oscar Chavez, a native of Honduras and west coast director for Go2 Church Planting Ministries. “When we come from our countries, we feel abandoned, even though we were the ones who abandoned our countries. We want to be accepted.”
He stresses that more than 44 million Hispanics from around the world make their home in the United States. “That makes the U.S. the biggest Spanish-speaking mission field after Latin America,” he says.
He finds that Spanish-speaking people are open to the Gospel because they are away from what they know. “They are vulnerable,” he says. “If we don’t reach them, the cults will.”
The Serpas know the benefits of being involved in La Cosecha and they share that with others. “The teaching is solid,” says Hector. “It is based on the Bible and not what a man thinks.”