The Christian and Missionary Alliance is strong and growing in Napa, California.
Osvaldo Mata is my friend who pastors Hope Christian Center in the Napa Valley. He is a passionate young pastor with a heart to reach his city with the Gospel of hope that Jesus came to give us. Os, as his friends call him, is not afraid to be himself as he reaches out to his community. Some Hispanic pastors have misunderstood his casual dress for taking his calling lightly, but if you have spent 30 seconds with this brother, you can see that he is willing to give everything to see Jesus lifted up.
Hope Christian Center has done an event called “Hopefest” for the past four years.
It is a community outreach where they supply 1000 children with backpacks and school supplies. In 2018 Hope Fest was featured in the Napa Valley Register. This year Hope adopted a fourth elementary school campus for targeted serving and blessing.
They are the largest source of school suppliers in the Napa area. While giving away these goodies, they also provided school clothes, haircuts, food, bounce houses, face painting and prayer for those who were open to receive it. The event hosts thousands of people from Napa at their church building on Trancas Rd. Hope Christian Center is also providing fresh fruits, vegetables and perishable healthy foods to several hundred families per month.
When one woman was invited to another church, she said,
“Why would I go to another church, when these are the people who are feeding me already.”
Osvaldo said this week,
“My dream is to take the gospel outside the walls to make an impact on our city. I want to get outside, and love others – I want the people that nobody else wants.”
Though Os speaks fluent Spanish, his services are in English.
There are some who have come to his worship services who only speak Spanish – and at the end of the service, they rush to the altar for prayer. In Spanish, Os said to them,
“How is it that you are coming forward for prayer when you didn’t understand a word that I said?” The response he heard was: “Pastor we didn’t understand anything you said, but we feel everything.”
The Holy Spirit is working on these hearts as the Hope team love people in their city well. Now Os is wrestling with the decision to add another worship service in Spanish.
Hope Christian Centers keeps hearing the comment:
“You make us feel like we belong before we believe.”
I am truly inspired by the vision and character of this incredible pastor.
Last November, Osvaldo came to Chico a few days after the Camp Fire to visit us. He brought some money their small church had collected and came to encourage us. It was one of the bright spots during a dark, smoky time here. His broad smile and transcendent beard bounces as he throws his head back and laughs with you. I am excited to find ways for us to partner together.
“I want to revolutionize Napa with the Gospel.”
Like us, Os is working to resurrect the local church to become the hope of the world it is intended to be. He told me, “the church taught me to love God and judge people, but I want to change that.” Working together, let’s change that.
- What does it look like for you to take the hope of Jesus everywhere you go?
- What does it look like to love the people no one else wants?
If you’re ever in Napa for the weekend, consider attending Hope Christian Church and meet my brother Osvaldo!