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A Family Transformed
By Vittoria Allen

Since opening in December, City Heights has seen hundreds of people healed, saved and transformed. Pastor Micah is passionate about living out Matthew 5 when Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. His desire is to be the touchable hands and feet of Jesus to the community there.

On a Sunday in January, a family of six walked into the City Heights campus for their first time, having no idea their life would be turned upside down in just one short hour. Timoteo, his wife Yadira, and their four kids sat through service and at the end they all found themselves standing at the altar to receive salvation.

“We’ve always been in church, but we had gone away from going for awhile and we’ve been going through a lot of struggle in our lives,” said Yadira. “We knew we needed God. Always had excuses. We didn’t want to deal with churches. We’ve been hurt before. Recently, my son who was an atheist came to us and said, ‘Mom I got invited to this church and I want to go.’ That’s what brought us back.”

Since the Velazquez family had quit going to church their lives had gone downhill. Timoteo and Yadira were doing drugs, experiencing financial problems, kid problems, family illnesses and more. On that day when they stepped into the City Heights campus, the entire family of six responded to the Gospel. “That day, when we heard the calling it just came to our heart. We knew we had to go forward.” Timoteo, who speaks primarily Spanish tells his wife to translate for him, “[Our life] was to much to bear and the calling was just what we needed. We had hit rock bottom.”

Since that day, the Lord has completely transformed their family from broken, lost, and hopeless to free! “We stopped doing drugs that day. We pray as a family. We are doing more as family. Our attitudes have turned 360. There is more patience. Instead of arguing and the way we used to do things, we pray about it. We are just seeing how everything is changing in general.” They didn’t waste anytime getting involved either! Yadira started attending women’s ministry and she says even though Timoteo doesn’t understand much English, he loves attending men’s ministry! They are also going through Life Class together.

Just a few weeks after the family responded to the Gospel, City Heights held a baptism and again, the Velazquez family had no idea what God had in store for them. They didn’t register for baptism, or plan on participating, but God had other plans. Most of the family had been baptized before, but one day their 9-year-old son said “I’m ready. I want to do it. God is good.” Yadira recalls how fearful her little boy used to be. Full of anxiety every day and all of a sudden, it was all gone.

Timoteo had the opportunity that Baptism Sunday to baptize his own son! “Never in my life did I think I’d be able to do that,” he said.  “It was, wow. We never felt like we were there for our kids and that day, God let me feel like I was free.”

Together as a family, the transformation they have felt has already made ripples throughout their community. Yadira expressed with excitement that a long time friend of hers who attends Catholic Church has noticed her family’s joy and is now attending City Heights with their family. They can’t express enough what a blessing it is for Rock Church to be in their community.

“Before, we were so afraid," Timeoteo shared. "We thought we weren’t worthy. We feel so confident to ask for help now and that is what the Rock has done for [our] family. We were so ashamed. Now, we are free! There was always such judgment and we felt like there was no help. That’s not true with the Rock. We are children of God, and the love that he has shown us has changed us.” Timoteo said that he feels a hunger to share the Gospel. “We used to run the streets selling drugs, but now we want to run the streets sharing the Gospel!”