Outreach team finds fertile ground in the desert – By Belen Aleman

YUCCA VALLEY—Outreach Week is a time of year when The Master’s College cancels classes for a few days allowing students to visit and help people in need while sharing their faith and what it means to live for Christ. This year one group, composed of three women and three men, went to First Southern Baptist Church of Yucca Valley.

This activity helped them to not only grow as individuals, but also to help them see “the Lord’s grace on display everyday,” said Hollie Kate Robb—a student participant. Pastor Steven Jones, an alumnus of The Master’s Seminary, began pastoring at the church a week after graduating. He and his wife, Natalie, commuted every weekend until they sold their house in Santa Clarita and moved to Yucca Valley.

“Their diligence is very encouraging, what an example of servanthood,” said student participant Mariel Dennis.

Jones and his wife have three children who they adore. Their youngest, Abigail, reminded Robb “so much of myself when I was her age. And because of that, it brought back so many memories.”

First Southern Baptist Church is a small church located in the middle of the dessert near Joshua Tree National Park. The church is composed by 105 members, mostly from military families. Committed to their military duties, these people found themselves in constant transition.

The church is surrounded by Joshua trees, which are unique in the conditions they need to survive. Because of its peculiarity, these trees are in danger.

“This reminds me on how God is our vine dresser,” said Robb, “who tends to each of His people according to their needs to thrive, to learn, to grow.”

Just like Robb, the rest of the students helped with cleaning, re-arranging the church’s library and organizing their storage units, carpets and kitchen. The group visited nursery homes, leaving with new stories told by the people they met.

“It was nice to just be available for them for the entire weekend so we got to target their needs,” Dennis said. “It was special to serve Yucca Valley First Baptist because we were the first group from TMC to tag along in fostering their growing areas of ministry namely serving the elderly, the military, and helping to set up a counseling room for Pastor Stephen.”

By Belen Aleman

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