by Tommy Machida
Hi Everyone! My name is Tommy Machida and I’m currently an intern here at Evergreen SGV. My family’s rich history with Evergreen began even before my sister Aimee and I were born, when my parents, Brian and Carolyn Machida first met at the young adult group before the Evergreen LA and Evergreen SGV hived! Evergreen SGV has always been my home church, and so many monumental moments in my life have taken place here - my baby dedication with Pastor Cory, my baptism during my sophomore year of college, and even my sister’s wedding last year.
In the third grade, I accepted Christ at Evergreen SGV VBS. I still remember Pastor Raynold Nakamura’s message - He shared that our hearts are black without Jesus, but that after Jesus comes into our hearts, He purifies and cleanses us from sin and makes our hearts white. I remember feeling my heart begin to race, and when Auntie Carolyn Sera asked if we wanted to accept Christ, I raised my hand to say “Yes!” to Jesus for the very first time!
I also played Evergreen SGV basketball for 7 years, not only learning how to play for God’s glory, but also gaining lasting friendships with some of my closest friends to this day. During my college years at UC Riverside, I was a part of Asian American Christian Fellowship (AACF), and God used that time to lead me into college ministry. My calling into student leadership at AACF helped me understand what it meant to serve the body of Christ in the context of college students. During my sophomore year of college, I obeyed the Lord and became baptized at Evergreen SGV. I decided to become baptized at the church where not only I professed my faith in Christ, but where I gained a family that I know would celebrate in my proclamation.
Throughout college, God grew my faith and hunger for His Word. Also, by His infinite grace, God prevented me from pursuing the worldly distractions and temptations that every college student inevitably faces. I believe this grace was a testament to Evergreen SGV’s amazing spiritual and biblical foundation, which guided my decisions to choose God and understand the importance of my faith versus anything else this world has to offer.
After college, I decided to officially become a member of Evergreen SGV, and integrated myself into the prophetic prayer, High School Mexicali, and KR3W ministries. I felt that God was calling me to serve the church, specifically as an intern, so I began to oversee the Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) college ministry alongside my co-intern Kenton Tse. SDG has been my AACF leadership experience and home church experience combined in graceful harmony. Every experience that I gained from ministering to college students at AACF Riverside, I have been able to implement with SDG. I am amazed every week at the college student’s dedication to grow in their relationship with the Lord, hunger for His word, and desire to build a Christ centered community at Evergreen SGV.
Through all of the different seasons God brought me through, Evergreen SGV has been constant and I am so thankful for this church family. Evergreen SGV taught me what a spiritual home feels like. It has always been a great place to be watered with Scripture and sound doctrine as Church School teachers poured their love and reflected God’s servant leadership to me. Even if I already briefly mentioned this, in summary, I believe that God has used this church family to show me what it means to grow up loving God, loving others, and make a difference. And now in the present day, I am excited to continue learning and growing, and for the opportunity to serve the church that has given me so much. God bless you!