YMCA of Orange County CARES Program
“Every member a name, every member a story.”
Shifting the culture and bringing Christian influence back into the YMCA means practicing the second greatest commandment—loving our neighbors. If we are to love them, we must know them.
Recently, 15 volunteers from the YMCA of Orange County CARES team served Erika, a terminally ill neighbor in Costa Mesa. They partnered with Trellis, a collection of churches seeking to bring about good in the city. Ian, the YMCA’s Newport Mesa chaplain, set up this day of serving and led the charge to mobilize servants for Erika.
Erika has a heart that functions at ten percent and is too weak to even get surgery to help. She’s now living in her father’s home who recently passed from the same disease that now affects Erika. Four months ago, Erika was a self-proclaimed atheist. She was first contacted by Ian when he heard from the city of Costa Mesa that she needed help. She resisted because she didn’t want to get “preached at.” She also knew that without help, it would take her a couple years to clean out her recently passed father’s home as he had hoarded items for years. Erika accepted help, and a team from local churches began the clean-up process in late April.
Two months prior, Erika was speaking to someone though an app on her phone. This stranger contacted her to say that God has a message for her. Rolling her eyes, Erika said, “Oh yeah right … like he’d speak to me through you … l don’t even know you.”
He said, “God told me to tell you that you need to give him a chance and that He sees your life and what’s going on in it.”
As Erika was telling this story, she said “I didn’t tell him anything what was going on, but one minute before he said this to me, I said, God if you are real, I need to know that you care about my situation.”
As the church and the YMCA has come alongside her, Erika now sees how God works through people. Erika got baptized at Ian’s church on Sept. 9, and would like prayers for her adult daughter who is an atheist.
Please also pray for ownership for the YMCA of Orange County CARES team. The more the team members own CARES for themselves, the more drive, passion and transformation they will see in their community.
We commend the work of the YMCA of Orange County, serving as the hands and feet of Christ in their region. We can all take a lesson from their mission statement for this exciting outreach program.
Life on mission where we live, work and play.