When the Curbside Community Center van rolls into town, communities across the High Desert are served. Whether food, water, shoes, or clothing—Pastor Abel Razo and the more than 40 Curbside volunteers are fulfilling basic as well as spiritual needs.

“When you give to the poor, it’s like lending to the Lord. We are a church without walls. A church on wheels. We have the ability to ‘roll up’ to the highways, by-ways, alleys, and parks in neighborhoods to feed the children and share the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Pastor Abel.

Pastor Abel Razo preaching to the children of Adelanto, CA

The ministry got its start back in 2012 by partnering with The Adelanto West ministry team from Abundant Living Family Church in Hesperia serving “breakfast in a bag” to an apartment complex in Adelanto. Pastor Abel knew God was up to something bigger.

“In 2010, God brought a word: Curbside. We waited on God for about two years. We just started feeding the children of the community in Adelanto. In June 2013, it exploded. God brought many other partners, resources, and volunteers.”

Pastor Abel is on a mission to reach the lost and the hurting. Himself, a man of the streets at one time, he understands pain and loss. Abel was into drugs, violence, and gangs while living in Norwalk. At the age of 17, Abel recalls lying in a gutter, helpless and lost. He continued on that path for many more years. Then on January 7, 1983, Abel found himself in that same ‘curbside’ gutter. But this time, he cried out to God and was saved.

After joining a men’s home in Oxnard, Abel got clean and sober and dedicated his life to serving Christ. When asked what caused the miraculous change, Abel gives credit to God and his grandmother who prayed regularly for him.

“You can ask anyone who knew me. One day I was an angry jealous man on drugs and in gangs. The next day, I was changed. I was a new creation.”

Young Pastor Abel and wife Heidi

Abel and his wife of nearly 41 years, Heidi became ordained ministers in 2016. They serve together in the Curbside Community Center ministry. Their three adult children, Darlene, Eileen, and Abel Junior are also serving the Lord.

Today, Curbside has expanded to Adelanto, Hesperia, and across the High Desert, to Menifee, Redding and Las Vegas. They partner with U.S. Vets of Riverside to “serve those who have served us and our country.”

Recently, Curbside was made aware of the needs of the community of Oro Grande.

“There are holes in the slides on the playground. Kids don’t have enough to eat,” said Pastor Abel.

The pastor called on his volunteers to organize an event called Operation Stitches for the people of Oro Grande on Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to noon at 15115 Olive Street, Oro Grande.

A women’s Bible study at High Desert Church in Victorville donated more than 70 basketballs and several bags of candy for Easter baskets to be given to the children at the Operation Stitches event. In addition, more than 50 cases of water and several packages of lip balm were collected and will be distributed by Curbside to the warming shelter at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds.

Pastor Abel Razo and Paul Roybal

Curbside Community Center is a non-profit organization and often collaborates with other ministries, businesses, non-profits and community service organizations such as HALO (His Arms Loving Others), God’s Hand Extended, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission, Victorville Motors, Victory Outreach— to name a few.

“Our mission and purpose are to fulfill the calling of the Great Commission by being the hands and feet of Jesus and feeding the people in order to see God glorified. Our main purpose is to ‘roll up’ to the streets and neighborhoods to feed the children and share the Good News of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We want everyone to know they are not forgotten. They matter.”

For more information or to donate to Curbside Community Center visit http://www.curbsidecc.org/

Article first appeared in Southern California Christian Voice

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Beckie is a wife and a mother of three grown children and two adorable cats. She is an award-winning poet, published freelance writer of magazine, website and newspaper articles as well as devotions and studies. Her desire is to see others not only know the truths of the Word of God, but to also experience them personally and practically in everyday life. Learn more about Beckie on her blog: beckielindsey16.com