Multiplying Their Faithfulness: Meet David Chavez
New Life Community Fellowship, now Sandals Church Fresno
Here is David’s story:
I was 13 years old when I came to New Life. My family lives within a mile and our roots are in this area. One day I was playing basketball and I believe God spoke to me. I was being a grouch and not living his way and getting into some pretty bad stuff. He said, “Why are you going to ask me for help if you’re going to continue to do what you always have been.” I just stopped, dropped the basketball and just started crying.
Then my uncle who is a meth addict asked me, “Do you know about Jesus?” This was no coincidence. From that moment, I believed who God was. I started to discover that God wanted not only to love me but love me in order to straighten my life out and discipline me. It was something I never received from either one of my parents and so that was the greatest gift of love that he showed me. I completely gave my life to Christ and continued to go to New Life, being faithful to the place where God met me and even though it wasn’t culturally vibrant or diverse or what I wanted, I knew it’s what God wanted for me.
When I visited Sandals I realized this could be so much more. My main concern for New Life was the diversity inside did not reflect our demographics in Easton or Fresno. God completely satisfied that concern visiting Palm Avenue and seeing quite a collection of different faces and different races.
They don’t make it scary or judgmental or a cultural thing they make it a God thing
God cares not only for the people who were brought up in the church but also for the minority and for those who have a story similar to mine – coming from a broken home and a broken family. Sandals has a way of making that line between church and the outside world so easy to run into. That’s what I really appreciate about it. They don’t make it scary or judgmental or a cultural thing they make it a God thing and so people are able to come in thinking, “I just have friends here,” and then BOOM! God meets them there and shows them that love and from that point, they’re able to step into this church feeling at home and not aware of how different they are or how different we are, but really just able to be held and comforted and realizing that they’re at home.
As we launch our 11th campus, we are thankful for the faithful people, steadfast and true, who remained to join us, affording us the honor of multiplying their faithfulness.