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Forty-one souls obey Gospel in Upland, California, campaign

Upland, California - We Care Cadre and local Christian soldiers deployed to win souls in Upland, California

Upland, California – We saw 40 souls obey the Gospel and one more was restored before the final Sunday closed, Victory Sunday, at our We Care Campaign in Upland, California.  Other than a few days where we sent teams to work the Glen Avon area, these souls were won within only a MILE AND A QUARTER of the Upland church building!  We saw 18 churches attend our We Care Seminar a month before the Campaign started.  Then, Jon Rowe, local minister, said he saw 30 congregations from the “Inland Empire” either working on the teams and/or present at the evening services!  THAT shows a tremendous unity among the churches there.  Here are the human conversion stories of this wonderful effort written below, starting with the latest events and moving backwards toward the first day:

The team of Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Jack Rich (cadre) and Marquis Johnson(local) found Laurie Duran. They gave her a box of food. When they got inside Maurice asked her the question and she was not sure she would go to heaven. She could not listen to them at that time so they set up a study for the next day. They asked her if there was anything else she needed and she told them she needed a couch because she had just moved in and had no living room furniture. When Shri-Lahn went back the next day there was no answer at the door so she left a note on the door telling Laurie that she had a couch for her and to call and the couch could be brought to her. She then went back to the church building for lunch. Laurie came to lunch and found Shri-Lahn. She told Shri-Lahn that the reason she had not answered the door is that she thought it was another religious group who had previously almost pushed their way into her apartment so she didn't want to answer the door. After lunch they had a Gospel presentation. Laurie wanted to obey the Gospel but she wanted her friend to be there. Late that night she called Shri-Lahn and told her her friend couldn't be there for three weeks, but she wanted to go ahead and obey. She wanted to come the next morning, which she did. What a wonderful end to our campaign to see one obey the Gospel as we were packing up and getting ready to leave.

Marcus Newsom was brought by a friend to the church building on Saturday to participate in the barbeque held at noon. His friend goes to church at the Crenshaw congregation in Los Angeles, but Marcus lives in Riverside. Larry West had left some notes from his sermon on Friday night on the board in the auditorium and Marcus saw them. He asked Joe Ferguson (cadre) what was the meaning of them. Joe then explained them to him. Sunday morning Marcus and his friend were back for services and at lunchtime Joe had another Gospel presentation with him. Marcus wanted to think about it and he and his friend left and got almost home (40 minutes away) and he decided he was ready to obey the Gospel, so they returned to the building where he put Jesus on in baptism.

When a lady named Vickie Villa obeyed the Gospel her daughter, Alila Gonzales, wanted be baptized also. Don Brock (cadre) told her they would have to talk about it with her. On Friday Don and Sharon Brock (cadre) went back and presented the Gospel to Alila, explaining everything in more detail since she was only twelve years old. She still wanted to obey Jesus and she and her mother wanted her grandparents to come and be there when she did. Saturday they all came to lunch and Alila asked her grandmother, “Grandmother, do you know what the Gospel is?” Her grandmother said no so she proceeded to tell her what it was. After lunch she then obeyed the Gospel.

Ernest and Neda Lomax (cadre) met Al Alcarez at the laundromat and brought him to the building. They presented the Gospel to him and he did not respond right away. The next day he was going through the parking lot and met Kay Wilson and she presented the gospel to him. He kept coming every day and went out with the teams. He heard the Gospel presented five or six times. He kept saying he was going to obey but wanted to wait until Friday. Finally Friday came and he obeyed the Gospel then.

Michael Sanchez, who obeyed the gospel earlier in the week, picked up his children, Alexis Sanchez and Michael Sanchez Jr. they do not live with him but he wanted them to hear the Gospel presentation. Reggie Gardner (cadre), Syble West (cadre), and Michael Sanchez (local) presented the Gospel to them. Because of their ages he was very careful to thoroughly explain it all to them. He then asked them if they wanted to obey the Gospel and they replied yes. As they were coming to the building Reggie again wanted to make sure they understood what they were doing so he asked them what was the Gospel and they replied, “The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.” They he asked, “What does the blood do?” They replied, “It forgives you of your sins.”  Reggie then told their dad, Michael, that Michael was going to assist them in their baptism. It was a beautiful sight to watch a father baptize his children.

The team of Jon Rowe (local), Traci Williams (cadre), and Chris Thornburg (cadre) met the mother of Andrew Hauver. She kept trying to shift the focus to her son, Andrew. The team made an appointment with her for the next day, but when they went back she was not there but Andrew was. They asked if they could visit with him and he said, “Sure.” They went in and shared the gospel with him. He was very open and grasped all that was shared with him. At the end he said he wanted to obey the Gospel right now. He then said, “I want to make sure this is the right church.” Jon then took him to Acts 2 and showed him that he was added to the church that Jesus built. After some discussion about that Andrew was then ready to obey the Gospel.

The team of Jim Smith (cadre), Roy Blair (local), and Juanita Moore (cadre) first met Justin, the son of Annette Schulte, at the ice cream truck as it came down the street. Jim went over and asked if he could talk to him. He agreed and the team then offered food. Justin said, “Good, we don’t have any food and Mom really needs help. You can come back and talk with her.” They made an appointment for the next day. It took a total of five sessions with Annette before she obeyed the Gospel. She had so much going on in her life that they spent two sessions just listening to her story and letting her get it all out and off of her heart. Then they began to present the Gospel and had three sessions in one day. They kept getting interrupted by different events that were happening and then at the last session she decided to obey the Gospel. Larry’s sermon was interrupted halfway through it in order for her to get into the water. She wanted forgiveness and wanted the Spirit in her so she didn’t want to wait any longer.

The team of Ernest and Neda Lomax (cadre) had a study with Verdel, the mother-in-law of June Akridge. June came through the room several times while they were studying with Verdel. Verdel felt that she had obeyed the Gospel previously. That night Verdel brought June to supper and Neda presented the Gospel to June.  She told Neda that she would have to sleep on this because she had never been in a church building before. She had never been to a wedding or funeral or church service and knew nothing about church or the Bible. She then came into the auditorium and listened to the sermon. When filling out the visitor’s card she checked that she needed to study more. Jon Rowe, the local minister, picked up her card and showed it to Neda, who told him that she had already presented the Gospel to her. Jon told Neda that he would talk to June the next time. The next night June was back and Jon talked with her some and she told him the same thing, which was that she needed to sleep on it. She slept on it that night and then came back the next night for dinner. Jon sat with her and talked with her some more. She told him, “I might have a surprise for you tonight.” Right after dinner she obeyed the Gospel.

The team of Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Chris Thornburg (cadre), and Mac Hutton (local) knocked on the door of Dora LeDesma. When asked if she knew anyone who needed food she said she didn’t need it but her sister did. Her sister and also her sister’s husband had both recently been laid off. Her sister didn’t live there, so Shri-Lahn said they could leave the food with Dora and she could give it to her sister. When Mac brought in the box of groceries, Dora asked, “Can I pay you for it?” Shri-Lahn said, “No, this is our gift to you.” That is what got them in the door. She told them later that she knew they were real when they wouldn’t let her pay them for the food. She had had numerous groups knocking on her door and had attended different churches, but felt they all wanted her to give to them. The fact that we were willing to give to her really impressed her. She then told them that she had been praying for 71 years for someone to come and tell her what she needed to do. Shri-Lahn said, “Well, here we are!” After the Gospel presentation she told the team that she was having trouble forgiving people who had hurt her in the past, so Shri-Lahn explained to her that if she obeyed the Gospel as God wanted then her sins would be forgiven and God would help her forgive these people and the more she associated with Christians they would help her. She finally agreed that she wanted to obey the Gospel She said she had, after 71 years, finally found the truth and she had found the church she wanted to attend. She was not going back to any of the other churches.

Rhonda Ramos was referred by two different people as one who needed food. The team of Jack Rich (cadre), Joe Wilson (cadre), and Kara Ortiz (Joe Wilson’s daughter) took food to her and found out that she had been to several different churches and had never found one that she felt would accept her. They went through the Gospel presentation with her and she saw what she needed to do. There was no question or hesitation at all. They then brought her to the building and she obeyed the Gospel She has a very honest heart and wants to be involved in the church family.

The team of Ernest and Neda Lomax (cadre) and Jim Newman (cadre) knocked on the door of Ray Perez. His sister answered the door and when they asked her the question she told them that she was sure she would go to heaven because she was a born-again Christian. She really appeared to want them to leave. About that time Ray came bursting out the door and wanted to know what they were doing. They explained to him their desire to help people and he seemed very interested. He hasn’t been here long and was looking for a church home. He then told them he would come to the building the next day at noon. When he came he was looking for Jim Newman and Jim introduced him to Reggie Gardner (cadre), who took him into a classroom to present the Gospel to him. Jim then found Neda and told her Ray was there so she also went in the classroom to be with him. After hearing the Gospel he did not hesitate in obeying it.

When the team of Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Kevin Mossiah (local), and Joseph Smith (local) knocked on the door of Nino Familari they heard music blaring out of the windows of the house. Nino turned the music off and invited the team in and listened attentively to the Gospel presentation. He immediately understood it and wanted to obey the Gospel. They brought him to the building where he put on Christ in baptism.

Al met some of the cadre in a Laundromat and they brought him over to visit with the church here. He went through the Gospel presentation several times but did not respond to it. Tuesday evening he brought his sister, Cinda Garcia, with him to eat supper. Kay and Joe Wilson (cadre) met her and shared the Gospel with her. Then she sat through Larry West’s sermon and responded to the Gospel during the invitation song.


The team of Jon Rowe (local), Kacee DeMasi (local), and Hubert Robinson (local) met Mike Sellee just standing in front of his apartment complex with his dog. After talking with him there, he finally invited them up to his apartment where they shared the Gospel with him. He responded to the Gospel and they came to the building for him to obey. He was very shy and didn’t want to get out at first because of all the cars in the parking lot. He really wanted to have a private baptism so most of the cadre left the auditorium while he obeyed the Gospel.


Joseph Smith has been attending the campaign from Norco, California. Joseph had a very strong belief in God and Jesus. He began attending the church in Narco and was craving personal attention, which he found when Andrew Lemus became his friend there and shared Jesus with him. He realized that he had not truly repented of his sins because he was continuing in those sins. He saw that he needed to take care of his soul just the same as he needed to take care of his body. He was attending the campaign with some members from Narco who came every day to participate. After hearing several presentations and listening to the sermons at night he spoke again with Andrew Lemus and Razzle Rowe (local). He was then persuaded that he needed to obey the Gospel.


Jon Rowe (local) and Don and Sharon Brock (cadre) set up a study with a man. When they came back for the study he was not there. They started to leave but Vickie Villa was there. Victoria needed a lot of help. The team brought the groceries in. While the children were getting cereal they found out there was no milk for the cereal so Don went to the store to get some. In the meantime Jon Rowe shared the Gospel with her. When he asked for her answer she said she didn’t have and answer, but then she said, “No, I know my answer. I’m waiting because I’m sitting here talking to you. Let’s go.”  They came to the building and interrupted Larry West’s preaching to obey the Gospel.


Reggie Gardner (cadre), Drew Duggar (local), and Michael Sanchez (local) were at Michael’s house and wanted to get Michael’s mom to listen to the Gospel, but she was sick. Michael asked Reggie if there was an age limit on obeying the Gospel. Just at that time Michael’s little brother, Vincent Sanchez, who is 16 years old, walked in the room. Michael nodded at him and Reggie knew that Michael wanted his brother to hear the Gospel. Reggie then asked Vincent if he was certain that if Jesus came he would go to heaven and Vincent said, “No, I wouldn’t know.” Reggie then said he could show him how he could know. At the end of the presentation Vincent said he was ready to obey the Gospel. They then came to the building and Vincent obeyed the Gospel in baptism.


The team of Jon Rowe (local), Charlene Cole (local), and Marshall Steward (local) met Erica Straley. She needed groceries. They went in and shared the Gospel with her. They finished the presentation and she said she had to go because she had a college class and she rides her bicycle there. They invited her to come to the meeting that evening. They then came back to eat lunch and during team assignments she called the building and said she wanted to obey the Gospel. Jon called her and she rode her bicycle to come obey the Gospel. Jon asked her what happened to college and she said something had come up so that she was able to come to the building and she wanted to do this right away. She interrupted team assignments to obey the Gospel.


The team of Fred Williams (cadre), Jack Rich (cadre) and Sharon Govalla (local), knocked on the door of Arlene Jauregui. Fred asked her if she knew what the Gospel was and she didn’t. She invited them in and her mother, Patty Jauregui, and her sister, Marie Carlos, came in. They got involved in the Gospel presentation. Patty was going to run and errand, but got so involved in the Bible that she decided to stay and listen. While going through the scriptures Patty said, “We need to be saved.” They then followed the team to the building to obey the Gospel. Afterwards, Patty was talking to Larry West and told him they had moved here a year ago looking for a church. She said, “Now I know why God moved us to this particular place. He has answered our prayers beautifully.” She then said, “I’ve never seen a church with this much love before.”

The team of Shri-Lahn Newman (cadre), Danny Moody (local), and Marquis Johnson (local) knocked on Eugene Floyd’s door. They found out while visiting with him that he was a member of the Lord’s body, but had not been faithful to the teachings of the Bible. He didn’t have time to talk with them that day so Shri-Lahn and Sharon Banbury ( local) and Ralph Baker (local) went back on Monday. After Shri-Lahn presented some scriptures from God’s word to him, he wanted the team to pray for him so he could be forgiven of his sins. After the prayer Shri-Lahn then asked if there was anything else they could do for him. He asked them to pray for a job for him because he needed one badly. He had barely gotten that out of his mouth when the phone rang and it was someone wanting to interview him for a job the next morning. Shri-Lahn said, “See, you have gotten yourself right with God and now He is going to help you. I’ve never had it happen that quickly before, but it happened!”


After the sermon preached by Larry West Sunday night, “From Hell’s House to Heaven’s Palace,” Don Ross responded to the Gospel. Don’s wife, Vicki, had been praying for Don to obey the Gospel for 40 years. Don had often attended church with her and since October had been coming faithfully, participating in various jobs and activities. There were many tears of happiness shed that night because Don was loved by all the church family here.


Sunday morning before class, Drew Duggar was coming in the entry way to the church building. He met Reggie Gardner (cadre) and asked for Ernest Lomax, another cadre member. Reggie tried to find Ernest, but couldn’t locate him. Drew kept saying, “Debby (a caregiver at the care center behind the church building) told me to come and see Ernest.”  He really didn’t know why Debby had told him that, but he came anyway. Reggie invited him to come in for some breakfast and coffee, so he came in to drink coffee. He then asked Reggie what was going on with all the RVs in the parking lot, so Reggie told him we were here to tell people about Jesus. Drew had been involved in several service type campaigns in the past with various religious groups. Reggie then involved him in the Gospel presentation and asked Danny Moody (local) to join them. Drew had some questions during the presentation, but at the end he put it all together and said that was probably the missing link in his life. He had been in a lot of misery in his life and said if he obeyed God things would probably come together in his life, so he came into the auditorium just before the worship service and put Jesus on in baptism.


The team of David Gantt (cadre), Edie Garges (local), and Tommie Denson (local) met Yolanda Rodelo in the courtyard of the apartments they were working in just across the street from the building. David started working the flow chart with her. She was very friendly and she loved the Lord a lot. When David got to the relationship of the Gospel to baptism she saw it clearly and was nodding her head in agreement. She then came to obey the Gospel.

After the welcome circle for Michael Sanchez everyone went to eat the supper that was provided. Robert Sanchez, Michael’s father, had to leave and take Michael’s mother and niece somewhere, but came back. At one time Robert told Reggie Gardner (cadre), “You don’t mess with God.”  Lydia Walden (cadre) came over to the table and joined Reggie and Michael and Robert. Lydia then asked Robert if he wanted to hear what Michael had heard. Robert said he would like to do that, so they went into a quiet room and Reggie proceeded to give him the Gospel presentation.  Robert couldn’t really tell Reggie why he was baptized the first time other than it was the right thing to do. During the presentation Reggie quoted Robert every few verses, telling him, “You don’t mess with God.” At the end of the presentation Robert readily agreed, without any hesitation, that he needed to obey the Gospel, which he proceeded to do.


On Friday afternoon the team of Reggie Gardner (cadre), Syble West (cadre) and Charles Gentry (local) had knocked several doors. When they came to Michael Sanchez’s house, he met them at the door before they could knock it. He invited them in and they then got into salvation dialogue. Michael shared with them that he had some sins in the past and he now knew he needed to get right with God. During the Gospel presentation there were many distractions and interruptions and Reggie was thinking Michael might not be paying very close attention. However, when they got to the last scripture Michael read it three or four times, then he looked at Reggie and knew he needed to obey the Gospel. Reggie told him they could do it right then. He jumped up and was ready to go. Reggie asked him if he wanted to tell his family where he was going and he decided to do that. He was so excited he was ready to head out the door and go straight to the building. He went to tell his family and came out with his dad, his mother and his niece. He was very excited about obeying the Gospel. His family was also happy that Michael was getting in line with God. After he obeyed the Gospel he and the family were very happy. The welcome circle made a big impression on all of them.


Mike Mish came to church Wednesday night. He was in Don Brock’s (cadre) session while going over Salvation’s Highway. After finishing that Mike then asked, “After going over this chart, how do you teach someone the Gospel.” Don and Steve Rosson (local) took Mike and went through the Gospel presentation. At the end of the presentation Mike said he needed to be baptized. He said he was baptized earlier but he didn’t know about the Gospel. He then went in and obeyed the Gospel.


On Tuesday, March 29, Bill and Ruby Oden (cadre) and Carolyn Carriaga (local) went to talk to Carolyn’s daughter, Allison Chavez, about the Gospel. After presenting to Gospel to Allison she was persuaded she needed to obey, but could not come that night. In the car on the way home, however, Carolyn told Bill and Ruby that she herself had not obeyed the Gospel when she was baptized. She was very young when she was baptized and did it because all of her friends were doing it. She came to the building that evening for the prayer meeting and afterward obeyed the Gospel. Then, on Wednesday night after the training session on Salvation’s Highway, Allison Chavez was able to come to the building and obey the Gospel.


During the week of March 21 through 25 a small group of cadre was invited to the Glen Avon Church of Christ to train the members there. A mini-campaign was held that week and four to five teams went out each day. The team of Jim Smith (cadre), Jane Bezan (local), and Luc Rowe (local) taught Maria Tobar on Friday of that week and she came to obey the Gospel. Maria was deathly afraid of the water, but she was determined to obey Jesus. She was very excited and jubilant that she had become a part of the family at Glen Avon.


On Sunday, March 20, twin girls, Caitlyn and Carley Bryan, came to John Rowe and said they wanted to be baptized. John visited with them a little bit and realized that they did not understand the Gospel. He had their parents get them something to eat after church and then bring them back to the building so he could present the Gospel to them. He went over the Gospel with them and they then obeyed the Gospel.


The following Sunday, March 13, a young teenager, Jaida Williams, was there with her grandmother. Jaida actually lives in Napa Valley with her parents. She said she had been thinking about baptism so John took her aside and presented the Gospel to her. She then obeyed the Gospel.


The next day, Sunday, Alex Cundier, came to John after worship services. He had heard John’s sermon on the Gospel the Sunday before, which was February 27. Then after hearing Larry’s sermon also he realized he had not obeyed the Gospel when he was first baptized. He told John he felt odd because for all those years people had thought he was a member of the Lord’s church. John talked with him some more and then he thought about it during the meal after services. He then told John that he wanted to obey the Gospel, but wanted to do so in private. John took him privately and he proceeded to obey the Gospel. After the baptism John told Alex that he might find he wants to share his joy and let others know what he had done. He then said, “You know, I do want to tell my family and friends and announce it and put it in the bulletin.” They then called everyone in and let them know what Alex had done.


Responses to the Gospel actually started in this campaign during the seminar here. Anthoney Avalos was attending the seminar with his aunt, Jane Bezan, from another congregation on Saturday morning, March 5. After hearing the things in the seminar about baptism, he wanted to talk to the local minister, John Rowe. Anthoney had never been baptized and after hearing the Gospel being presented, he went to the water to obey the Gospel.



Peggy Spoonts West sent a message to the members of We Care Ministries.
Peggy Spoonts West
Peggy Spoonts WestMarch 24, 2011 at 5:56pm
Subject: Cadre News using the web!
Hey, Gang! I wanted to forward this news to you from one of our beloved cadre members--it works everywhere--this is awesome :)

Greetings from Texas to all the wonderful people who are a part of the We Care Cadre,

Peggy West has been following some of my posts in Facebook concerning those learning about and obeying the Gospel after studying with me and others in a computer chat room in the Paltalk network ( http://www.facebook.com/l/a6ae9of5zL-1EJX6uNPbBrZICvA/www.paltalk.com). The room is called "the Wonderful Gospel that Saves" She asked me to share with you some of what has been going on. This year since January 1 we have taught and baptized 18. We simply show them the Gospel and ask them to think. These 18 have said yes they need to be baptized so we use http://www.facebook.com/l/a6ae92IA4X8ApFSxVaEysTEByww/www.churchzip.com to locate a church nearby. We also utilize the We Care videos to help them better understand God's will. One lady, Jill has watched them at least 50 times since she got baptized.

Let me share with you a few stories. A lady named Jil came into the room about midnight and I asked her if she had been saved and how. She indicated she had asked Jesus into her heart and so I asked if I could share some scriptures with her. By the time we got to Romans 6 she was so convinced she could not wait to get into the water and called a church the next morning and was baptized at 4pm that same day.

There was another couple in Kentucky that we studied with who were baptized that weekend and were married 2 days later.

There was John in California who had been in a very serious motocross accident and was confined to his house while he recovered. He began to study and after a few weeks called the preacher in SanFrancisco to come and baptize him in his bathtub.

Just last Wednesday night a 26 year old man came into our room and told us he had just been "saved" and so we studied with him. He too saw the difference and could not wait to be baptized. His job is delivering papers and he does it by walking or riding a bike when the weather allows. Last Thursday morning a truck lost control and came within inches of running over and killing him. That impressed on him even more how important it was for him to "step into the water" The closest church was 30 miles away but he did finally get a ride and was baptized Sunday afternoon at about 1:30pm.

It has been amazing how God has led people to the room. There are several more who are trying to arrange baptism. Two in Canada and one in Michigan and others are still counting the cost. God has blessed me with the opportunity to be retired and spend time teaching others. I am eager each night to see what he has planned that night. Please pray for these 18 and the room's success. Hope to see you in South Texas in October.

Love You All

Robert Wagnon