Making a Lasting Difference with Our Don Julian Neighbors

By Sandy Tanaka, 2015 Thanksgiving Celebration Luncheon Coordinator

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:16-17                         

We will once again host Don Julian students and their families for a traditional Thanksgiving meal on Saturday, November 21.

I have participated in this celebration since its beginning, as a volunteer and its coordinator. Each year, I see our guests enjoy a traditional dinner under a festively decorated canopy. The children have their faces painted and create little treasures at the children’s craft area. The guests take home an abundance of leftovers and leave happy. However, the question that kept coming up in my mind was: Is the event bearing fruit? If the purpose of the celebration is to bring our neighbors to the Lord, where do they go for Spanish-speaking worship and fellowship?

God always has a plan – a plan for every situation – and it is always perfect! Earlier this year, our Church helped launch VIDA Church at Don Julian Elementary School. Led by Pastors Rudy and Tanya, it is the perfect place for our Spanish-speaking neighbors to learn about the Gospel and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Pastors Rudy and Tanya are fully committed to and invested in the local community as their children attend Don Julian.

This year, the Thanksgiving Celebration Core Team formed a partnership with VIDA Church and the Don Julian Elementary School PTA.  Don Julian PTA will invite the families, as well as greet and check in the guests along with our EBCSGV volunteers. Conversation Friends will be a combination of VIDA Church and EBCSGV volunteers, with VIDA Church taking the lead. Familiar faces from VIDA Church and Don Julian PTA inviting, being part of greeting, and conversing with our guests make perfect sense. In addition, the event provides an opportunity for VIDA Church to grow. Again, God’s plan is perfect.

Join us in seeing what God has in store for the celebration. There are still opportunities to serve at this event. If you are available and willing, please consider any open volunteer areas or food donations that are listed at

If you are unable to serve on November 21, please be with us in spirit. We ask that you be in prayer for our volunteers in preparing their servant hearts and that the hearts of our Don Julian guests are receptive to the Gospel.

Praise God for this opportunity to again show our love to our Don Julian families! May all glory be His as we give thanks, follow His commandment of loving our neighbors, and may this event produce lasting fruit.