Paula Y LucasLucas and Paula started a church in Visalia, California, just three months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. At the start of the lockdown, God placed on their hearts and the hearts of their church’s youth to “take care of His sheep” and serve the community.

Lucas explains, “God showed me it wasn’t only the people in the church who needed spiritual support. The people outside needed their souls reached.” Every week, the church opened its doors to distribute food and pray. People stood in line for hours to receive prayer and a bag of food. Against all odds, the church began to grow.

New families attended the Sunday services, and the staff began leading Project Philip Bible studies. People were hungry to learn, and many people attended church for the first time because of the miracles they witnessed during the weekly prayer times. Lucas states, “When people would come for prayer during the pandemic, they would pray for miracles. We would see immediate responses to our prayers. People were changed. People were healed.”

Lucas and Paula had always assumed that the key to growing the church was to reach adults. However, young people showed them a different way. When the youth began serving other youth in their community, a bond was formed. They understood one another. Many didn’t have two parents at home. Others were alone during the day because their parents worked.

Now, this group of youth is passionate about Jesus. They are a pillar of the church. They seek the lost, offer them prayer, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. These young people are actively transforming their community, one family at a time.

Lucas states, “When we hand a Bible to someone, we are giving them hope. The Lord can transform a family. Then, they can transform another family. Then the entire city can change. That’s why we say thank you to Bible League for the training we received.”