In August, New Harvest Fellowship went to the Wanapum Recreation Area, near Vantage in Kittitas County, to welcome to disciples to the faith through the ancient rite of baptism.

Submitted by Pastor Eli Martinez

Over the last couple of months, the city of Toppenish has been experiencing some scary events, from homicide to random shootings in our streets.  As a church we’d love to make the headlines for positive things; we never want to be in the news because of a shooting right outside our facility.

A recent shooting outside of New Harvest Fellowship in Toppenish, WA caused damaged to one of the church’s stained windows. Click to view larger version.

As we walked into our worship space recently, Pastor Sarah and I noticed a bullet hole through our beautiful stain glass that ended up in the ceiling of our church. Immediately, fear tried to make its way into our minds.

As we go around and talk to neighbors and friends who live here in Toppenish we begin to hear this tone of fear and concern for the safety of their families. Words like “We need to move out of here, Toppenish is getting worse.” As a husband and a father, I understand these concerns and can relate to these feelings.  For our church seeking direction through prayer, God reminds us through His Word that He has not given to “us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NCV)

When Timothy says power, he is not referring to some sort of political power or anything like that. He’s actually talking about the power found in the risen Christ. This power is the one that overcame death. Jesus overcame so that we too could overcome. This power comes to us with love. Love is our tool that we use here at New Harvest Fellowship to be light in what seems like a dark time for our community.  Our desire is to see the love of God over all of our city.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us in his letter to consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds. How can we have this joy in our lives when our world gets darker and worst? Again, let me remind you that Jesus is Lord and that His promises are for us.

The Bible never said things were going to be easy. Actually, it is clear about this matter in the book of Isaiah 43:1-2. We read here that life is hard and that we will have to face many challenges along the way. We will have to pass through the waters, but He will be with us. We will have to go through rivers, but they will not sweep over us for He is with us. We will walk through the fire, but we will not be burned for God is with us.

This is the message for Toppenish, God is with us and that is a great reason to have joy. In that joy we want to invite you to come and celebrate as we celebrate 120 years of serving the Lord and our community.

New Harvest Fellowship Pastors Sarah and Eli Martinez

Pastor Sarah and I were asked to step into a church with much history but sadly was starting to have conversation about being just that history.  My wife and I decided to accept the calling for our lives and take on this challenge.

New Harvest Fellowship started back in July 2013 as a new start church plant that has given fruit thanks in part to the hard work done here at the Toppenish United Methodist Church over the previous 115 years.  As the city of Toppenish began to form, the Methodist church here was able to provide services to the community such as clinics and education for kids, since there was no schools available at the time. Today, New Harvest Fellowship continues to engage in the community finding new ways to make a difference in our generation with the love of Jesus.

If you are able, please join us on September 23, 2018 at 10:30am as we celebrate 120 years of doing God’s work in this place. We look forward to welcoming you as we worship Jesus and thank God for 120 years and counting of ministry!

New Harvest Fellowship
Toppenish United Methodist
201 N. Beech St.
Toppenish WA. 98948

Eli and Sarah Martinez serve as lead pastors for New Harvest Fellowship in Toppenish, Washington. As new church start planters, they are bringing new life to Methodist ministry that has served the community of Toppenish for 120 years.

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