A Small Church Celebrates and Supports Each Other


National City, CA

The River of Life (RoL) Church, like most of the nearly 200 churches in the San Diego Southern Baptist Association, is a small congregation. It is a friendly, English-speaking ethnic congregation. The Praise Team is one of the best groups of singers and instrumentalists I have seen. I always enjoy observing their joyful praise. They are so good that on some occasions, one of the families that live in Nevada would drive to National City to attend the service and hear the uplifting music.     

The RoL church had a grand celebration of praise and thanksgiving during its 21st anniversary on Sunday, February 25, 2024. “Momentum” was the theme of the anniversary. It was based on Philippians 3:14 - “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

It has been a blessing and challenge for me to cover for Pastor Louie Ignacio, Senior Pastor. He is currently taking his and his family a well-deserved time off for over two months until May 22, 2024. I was able to preach for Pastor Louie for most of the time he was gone.

Losing a church member by death is always challenging, especially since the Senior Pastor is away halfway around the world. For instance, I was called to say a prayer for Lilia Malong (60) when she was taken to an emergency on March 29. I was told by Camil, Lilia’s daughter, that her mom was looking forward to attending the Easter Service on March 31, 2024, sadly, she was promoted to heaven on April 1, 2024. Knowing that Lilia would want me to share her faith during the celebration of her life, so, I presented a brief gospel message. I was so moved when most of the family members and friends prayed the salvation prayer. Today, Sunday, April 21, 2024, many of Lilia’s family members came to ROL church during the 10:30-12:00 service.   

There is a time for everything under the life of a small church. The RoL Church celebrates during the joyous occasions and, likewise, supports each other when faced with the death of one of her beloved members.”