Sa-Rang Community Church in Anaheim, CA, held its annual 'Easter Hope Festival' on March 26 during which over 2,000 individuals of the surrounding community came and enjoyed various services including free health screenings, free haircuts, one dollar sales, family photos, various cuisines, free nail art, face painting, arts and crafts, live music, and more. A sermon about the Easter story was also preached during the event.
About 1,000 members from the church volunteered at the event, and many of the 60 booths were taken on by specific small groups in the Holy Wave ministry (the English speaking congregation of Sa-Rang). Groups of church members could be seen walking around and praying for visitors from the community.
"I'm glad that I get to celebrate Easter by coming to this event," said Curtis Gamble, who is currently homeless and works to help other homeless individuals to receive the care and shelter they need. This year was his first time at the Easter Hope Festival, but he has been to another event hosted by the church a couple of years back.
"The people here just make you feel so comfortable," Gamble said.
This annual event began eight years ago with a pastor's conviction for the church to proactively serve members of the surrounding community. Since then, the event has grown in scale and members of the community are well aware of the festival. Many expectantly wait for the event each year.
"I've been coming to this event for four years now," said Mike Toney, a resident of Cypress who works as a custodian at Knott Avenue Christian Church. "I love the warmth of the people, it just makes you feel really happy. People pray for you and just make you feel so welcome. It's an event I really look forward to every year."
"The way they put this event together, and the scale of it all, there's no other event like this," Toney said.
But for those who may not know of the event, volunteers from Sa-Rang go out into the community two to three weeks before the event to hang door posts on people's door knobs, and place post cards on car windows, inviting them to the event.
"Our main goal is to show them the love of Christ," said Sunny Park, the young adults pastor of the Holy Wave ministry. "That's why we want to pray for them -- we want to pray for those who are sick, and encourage those who are broken hearted. And ultimately, we want the lost to hear the gospel message."