Mourning & Dancing

On May 21st, I sang with Mariachi San Pablo at Mt. Caramel Cemetery for a family and their friends who were mourning the death of a teenage girl named Jazmin Fernandez. She would have turned 15 that day, but she died of cancer in March of last year. It would have been her Quiceañera Day and so they asked us to sing. When we arrived, a woman and her daughter recognized me from Zion Day School events. She told me that the girl who had died had attended Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Zion. This realization gave them comfort and gave me joy at how God works His mission in His time and His way through His Church everywhere for the salvation of all people. I reminded them that Jesus came to save us and did everything necessary so that their girl would live with Him forever, even if she would die. Jazmin had learned about Jesus at Zion’s VBS. May the Lord use this year’s VBS and all that we do to sew the Gospel and turn more and more people’s mourning into dancing through the joy that comes from everlasting life and love in Jesus Christ. (At the cemetery, the Jazmin’s mom literally began dancing as we played the songs she requested.)

This past month gave us many events and moments that were cause for tears, hard work, and joyful celebration. Our recent news posts display some of these: the uplifting funeral service of LaVerna Washington, Confirmation Day and Pentecost, musical performances, the Zion Day School Graduation (the first since Tammy Cagann’s arrival in heavenly glory), a youth group bake sale, Armed Forces Sunday and Trinity Sunday (service, meal, and presentation), and an unexpected ministry to Cuban immigrants who arrived in El Paso. Each was filled with emotion and expectation, wrapped up in the grace-filled promise of provision, peace, and presence through faith in Jesus Christ.


Whether in church or in our everyday lives, there are times that we are able to plan for specific types of ministry and evangelism. Sometimes God drops ministry onto our laps and we respond in the ways He has equipped us to serve. All the time and in every season, let us rejoice over God’s grace and love that draws us together as His Church in His mission to this community and world. God is touching many, many lives with His merciful love and salvation.

in Christ’s love,
Pastor Stephen

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