Stories of Impact

Rick & Jan: Lost Now Found

Rick and Jan both accepted Christ at the age of five, but, as their lives progressed, their devotion faded. “I spent 35 years chasing what life had to offer,” says Rick. He joined the Air Force, became a well-known hairstylist, and was even a racecar driver. “No matter what I pursued, I never found the satisfaction and peace I was looking for.” As Rick sought recognition, Jan pursued relationship. “After being married for 10 years, I went through a bad divorce and married a man who was not a Christian,” she says. “I was not walking with the Lord.”

Eventually, Rick and Jan realized what their hearts were truly seeking. For Rick, a men’s ministry conference in Seattle revealed his need for God. “I knew I was done running,” he says, “and I rededicated my life to Christ.” Jan’s revelation came as her husband, then dying of lung cancer, accepted Jesus. “Just knowing I would see him in heaven made me realize how important it was to get back to my walk with Jesus.”

In 2012, Rick and Jan met in a grief share class after their spouses had passed away. They fell in love, married three years later, and relocated to Moses Lake, where they found Sendero Life Center. “That first Sunday, we were blown away,” says Jan. “We felt like maybe because we were white we would not fit in. We couldn’t have been more wrong! I have never seen such a friendly and accepting church.” Today, Rick and Jan are active members at Sendero, serving their church and community together. “We can’t wait to see what amazing things God is going to do,” Rick says.

Patty: Protected and Healed

Patty grew up as an only daughter with six brothers. In other words, she’s tough. “You bet I grew up like a tomboy!” she laughs. But even a half dozen rambunctious brothers couldn’t prepare Patty for the challenges ahead. She married in 1998 and had three beautiful daughters. But when Patty’s youngest child was born, her husband began experimenting with drugs and alcohol and became abusive. “After 20 years of marriage, we fled,” says Patty. “It has been a struggle, but I have seen God’s favor and protection. My children and I are covered by the mighty hand of Jesus.”

Patty grew up in the youth group at Sendero Life Center and left the area as an adult. But in the trials of a messy divorce, she knew Sendero was the place where she and her daughters would find support and healing. “My church family has been there for me through thick and thin,” she says. “They share the love and compassion to help restore lives no matter who you are or what you have gone through.”

Today, Patty and her daughters offer that same love and compassion to the guests walking into Sendero, by participating on the worship team, the welcome team, and more. In addition, Patty enjoys serving the community through her job as a certified medical assistant and medical biller. “I love serving in what I do,” she says. “But most of all, it is an honor to be a mother and minister to my three teenagers, and a sister and friend to all. My faith has grown every day, and I am so excited to see what God has in store for me.”

Freddie & Brianna: Falling in Love, Again

Freddie and Brianna Prado fell in love in the youth group at their childhood church, and, as they did, they fell in love with youth ministry too. “I began feeling called into youth ministry at the age of 15,” says Freddie. Shortly after their graduation and their wedding, the couple became full-time youth pastors, and, in the first year, grew a group of five students to a ministry of 200. But, the growth came at a cost: their marriage. “We stopped relying on God for our success,” says Brianna, “and it worked for a little while.”

The Prados started counseling, but knew saving their marriage would require more. Eventually, they stepped down from youth ministry, left their church, and began attending Sendero Life Center — hoping to lay low and heal. “Pastor Mike came up to us on our first Sunday and said, ‘Never forget, Freddie, the call of God is irrevocable.’ In that moment, he gave me hope that God wasn’t done with us.”

Over the next six months, the Prados began to fall back in love with Jesus and with each other. “The thing I love most about our church is we are who we say we are: a place of healing and restoration,” says Brianna. “Everyone on staff has their own story of needing healing and restoration. Those are the people God brings to our church.” Seeing their growth, Pastor Mike and Mary asked the Prados if they would consider leading the youth ministry. Although Freddie and Brianna were hesitant, they trusted God’s calling and their pastors’ wisdom. “We are now learning how to do ministry in a way that doesn’t sacrifice our family,” says Freddie. “Under great leadership and the grace of God, we have been able to build one of the most influential and vibrant youth ministries in our region.”