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Anthony & Tiffany Salerno lead worship at backpack giveaway event

Saturday, July 31, 2021

It was a blessing to minister at Curbside Community Center's backpack giveaway event today at Oro Grande Park in the High Desert, near Victorville.

Pastor Abel Razo has been ministering for about a decade in the forgotten towns of the High Desert, where some have gotten so small that they are only unincorporated communities of the county, and where many have alarmingly high rates of drug use and teen pregnancy, amongst poverty and the epidemic of a lack of purpose.

As I write those last words — “the epidemic of a lack of purpose” — a tear comes to my eye. It’s so sad to see people who have given up hope and don’t know that they have a calling in Christ.

That’s why I made sure to tell them all from the microphone that they have calling and purpose in the Lord, and that they are so so special to God.

Thank you to Pastor Abel for opening our eyes to the needs of this area!

Pastor Abel not only gives them resources, like backpacks for school, but also things like groceries, which he also gave away at this event. He and his church also do big giveaways around Christmas and Easter times.

Also, at each event, he make sure to present a Biblical message and give people an opportunity to pray to commit their lives to the Lord. No one gets to receive the donated items without hearing the preaching!

Anthony did a great job speaking as always, and his prayer of salvation that he led on the microphone really touched my heart. He is a true worshipper.

In this photo, Anthony says "amen" at the end of the prayer, while I am still basking in the heartfelt love for the Lord that I heard in his prayer.

Thank you to Sara Saucedo for giving us snack and candy prizes for the kids,

Anthony gives out snack packs to kids at the event.

Anthony and I huddle in for a photo with Sara at the event.

and thank you to film, TV and event producer Anna Kim for filming and for assisting with our merch table.

Anna Kim films Anthony speaking while I pass out treats from Sara for the kids.

Also, thank you to Manu Brown for jumping in on the spot as our drummer! He really filled our need. (Plus he has seven kids, all with his high school sweetheart wife, and he is a very involved and proud dad. Way to go, sir!)

As this video shows, Manu Brown was such a great addition to our band today as our djembe drummer at Curbside Community Center's backpack giveaway event at Oro Grande Park.

It was definitely a family event, and we enjoyed not only participation from the kids but also from some of the grownups who were willing to become childlike and do the actions along with us. The Word says you must become like a child to enter the Kingdom, and they definitely let their childlike sides out today!

Adults worship at the backpack giveaway. The two women huddled together were especially expressive in following along with the actions, and the woman in the center raised her hand as she praised the Lord.

As I have been preparing my VBS curriculum for Mount Baldy VBS this week at Mount Baldy Village Church, I talked with my mom about characteristics of God to be sure to show the kids. She talked about how when Jesus’ disciples tried to protect him by shooing away the kids, Jesus said, “No, let the little children come to me!” This shows that God values little children and wants them to be near Him.

Here, I invite the kids to come up closer. If they're closer to the stage area, they can feel more part of the action, and hopefully stay more engaged during worship.

Today on the mic, I mentioned that story of Jesus asserting that He wanted the kids to come close and listen as He taught, and then I invited the kids up to be near us as we sang. We love to have them near the stage area where they can really be a part of the worship and hopefully stay engaged throughout the service. Plus, the ones who get close are subject to possibly receiving prizes 😊

There we go! Now the kids are close to the action. Also, you can see Anna Kim getting some tight shots. Thanks, Anna!

Of course, the best prize of all is our Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior. Praise God for moving through the willing vessel of Pastor Abel Razo. May the Lord continue to use him to do great things in the under-served areas of the High Desert.

Anthony & Tiffany Salerno smile for a photo with Pastor Abel & Heidi Razo at Curbside Community Center's backpack giveaway event on July 31, 2021, at Oro Grande Park.

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