To My Church Family,
I want to thank you all for your prayers, hospital and home visits, food, loan of medical equipment and supplies, and the many hours of comforting spiritual advice during my recent illness.
I remember the song I want Jesus to walk with me. Jesus was with me during some very difficult medical experiences in the hospital. You were with me too. I remember all of your calls checking on me and, your many get well cards.
I especially remember a hand written letter from the little grand children of a church member. The children had God’s spirit and love. It had a picture of two painted hands. It had a note inside saying, “We hope your heart feels better.” I thank the children for their thoughts.
God is a super power, and I know that.
We often hear in our church “God is at work in our church.” I am a perfect example. It is true that our church family lives and does God’s work. I can feel it, and I see it every day.
"All I did was pray..." Bob Lathrop.
Bobs' compassion toward the homeless in the Las Vegas Valley came to the forefront during the economic recession. He had experience with the FAMILY PROMISE program in Sparks and felt compelled to see if it could develop at Desert Spring. Upon approaching the Church Council and Pastor David, he heard what many have; "does this support our Purpose: To develop deeply committed followers of Jesus Christ who love God, love others, and transform the greater community? Yes? Then "permission already granted".
Since then, people have come from everywhere and brought the greatest gifts- the gift of physical presence and time spent with the (client) families. Gifts such as spending the night with families, having dinner with the kids, mentoring..it's all been provided.
All I did was pray... Bob and wife, Beth
A God Story from long time friends, Anne (left) and Ireesa (right).
When Anne moved to Las Vegas many years ago, she asked Ireesa to recommend a church. Ireesa simply said "I like mine" and Anne has been a member of the Desert Spring body since 2004.
Anne serves on the prayer team , Ireesa sings in the choir. This picture speaks to the joy that comes from their faithfulness.
In 2010, I moved to Las Vegas from Chattanooga, TN. I was newly divorced and was trying to navigate my new life with my two children in a new city. My life had turned upside down and I was in a place I never dreamed I’d be.
After settling the kids into school, we began to look for a church to attend. We belonged to a United Methodist Church in Chattanooga so we decided to try Desert Spring, as it was the closest church to our new home.
What we found there exceeded my greatest expectations. During my first visit, Pastor Dave talked about the growth of the church. He mentioned that our mission was not to become the biggest mega church. He was interested in meeting the needs of the people who were there. After attending a very large church, this was music to my ears. I knew we had found a home.
I have lived in 7 states and belonged to a church in each of those locations. Desert Spring has proved to be more than a place for my children and me to worship. It is truly a church family. It is a place where we belong and a community of believers who are helping me to raise my two children. It is a place where my children are learning about Christ and where they are not just accepted but where they feel comfortable and loved.
God knew that I needed help with my boys. He brought us to Desert Spring and we haven’t been anywhere else since. It’s a place where people are welcomed, accepted and loved despite their circumstances. I am proud to say that my son and I are members of the church now. My second son will be going through confirmation and joining the church in the winter.
My parents, who live out of state, have visited the church during their visits to Las Vegas. My mother said that she was sitting alone in the narthex and was overwhelmed with the warm greetings she received. Several people came to her to introduce themselves and to welcome her.
My father, who is not a believer, said that Pastor Dave is without a doubt the best preacher he has heard. He attends with my family when he is in town without complaining. (If you know him, you know that there is no explanation for this apart from the Holy Spirit working in this congregation.)
Desert Spring is a place where the Holy Spirit is at work. It’s a place where people are welcomed and the love of Christ can be felt every week. The people there have become my family. God has blessed us beyond my wildest expectations with this congregation.
Jean (right) first experienced God as a teenager at a Methodist church camp in her home state of Illinois. She has recognized the Holy Spirit at work on many occasions since then. At Desert Spring, Jean remembers how she taught 3rd graders when the church gathered over at Palo Verde High School. She remembers how she prayed with the children and felt God's presence and power. We can thank Jean and her friend, Julie (left) for the wide catalog of books in the Desert Spring library.
From founding member and worship team leader, Karen Vassallo. Karen's daughter Allyson was the first child in Desert Spring's Sunday School program. Allyson is currently expecting her second child with husband Ryan.
"How amazing is to be apart of a church for the past 25 years. Being with this congregation has been a wonderful walk with God at my side.
There are so many memories to look back on as this journey began when moving here from Maine and looking for a church for my family to attend.
I walked into Trinity UMC to find Pastor Ed Ramsey getting ready to leave to begin establishing a new fellowship in the then Northwest. We began with just a few, traveling to meet in areas of Sun City. Each Sunday brought us closer together with the set up and tear down. We started a Sunday school with just a handful of children, Allyson included. We had a small choir and a handbell choir.
Allyson and I have always been blessed with love and support, especially when her dad, my husband, Tom passed away suddenly. We have always been surrounded with an amazing love.
Throughout the growth…meeting new people, developing strong relationships, having the unique guidance of different pastors…..it has made me a stronger Christian.
How awesome is God to set aside for us this property where it has grown this Church, to foster the love of Jesus Christ with open doors."